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During these dark times, Brits are turning to comfort food more than ever, with two-thirds of the UK saying their mood has been impacted in the last six months by negative news, according to new research.
A Gousto survey found that when feeling low, 62 per cent of us turn to nostalgic food for comfort, and it is on our plates where we are warmed by this feeling of sentimentality, with 41 per cent claiming they feel most nostalgic from food.
In fact, 39 per cent of Brits actually cook their most nostalgic childhood meals when they need cheering up, with Sunday Roast (26 per cent), Fish and Chips (19 per cent), Shepherd’s Pie (11 per cent), Fish Fingers (10 per cent) and Bangers and Mash (10 per cent) the top 5 meals that bring back the fondest memories for Brits, reports Staffordshire Live.
Given the tough news of late, it is no wonder that over a third (36 per cent) admit they have been craving their favourite foods from happy times in childhood.
However, over half (52 per cent) say they want to learn to cook food that is both comforting and healthy.
Answering the nation’s craving for comfort, Gousto is partnering with food psychologist Dr Christy Fergusson and comedian Katherine Ryan to get the nation meal planning around nostalgia to find joy and comfort in cooking nutritious twists on their most loved childhood recipes.
Comedian Katherine Ryan, Gousto ambassador, said: “Like everyone, I have really strong memories of mealtimes growing up.
“In our home, it was the ultimate treat having Taco Tuesday twice a month.
“I still get excited by the smell of the sizzling fillings and the routine of assembling them, like I used to with my sisters.
“Gousto’s delicious Black Bean and Charred Mango version gives me all the throwback feels and brings back all the same excitement and happiness when I cook it with my family now.
“Gousto’s chefs have created these incredible twists on childhood recipes to help home cooks find comfort in nostalgia when we need it most.”
The benefits of meal planning around nostalgia are backed by science.
Dr Christy Fergusson explains that, being a sensory process with aromas, tastes and sounds triggering fond memories, the brain undergoes chemical reactions when cooking that can literally boost our mood.
Certain dishes really take us back to places, people, routines and memories of childhood, tapping into powerful feelings of nostalgia.
So, it is no surprise that 73 per cent say preparing and eating a nostalgic meal has a positive impact on them.
Supporting the recipe box’s call for meal planning around nostalgia, Dr Christy Fergusson, Food Psychologist, said: “When we cook certain dishes, the smell and taste can help to tap into feelings of comfort and nostalgia, taking us back to a positive experience or memory from the past.
“So cooking a version of one of our childhood favourite meals, like the dishes Gousto’s chefs have created, can be a really powerful way to connect with positive memories and release our feel-good brain chemical, dopamine. It’s literally food to boost your mood!”
Gousto says its menu is packed full of nutritionally balanced, nostalgia-inducing recipes to cook from scratch with quality, seasonal ingredients to transport Brits back and bring a dash of joy to kitchens around the UK.
From new and limited-edition recipes like a Heinz Beans on Toast Burger and Indian-Spiced Chicken Nuggets and Chips to firm favourites like Smoky BBQ Fajitas and Comforting Cottage Pies – Gousto’s chefs have created nutritious twists on top throwback dishes.
Gousto’s nostalgia-inspired recipes are available to order now from www.gousto.co.uk or on the app.
Gousto has over 75 weekly recipes from £3.14 per serving, and with pre-portioned ingredients there is no food wasted, meaning no money in the bin.
- Heinz Beans On Toast Beef Burger With Crispy Potatoes
- Veggie Shepherd’s Pie With Garlicky Greens
- Homemade Fish Goujons & Cheesy Beans
- Broccoli Cheese-Loaded Baked Sweet Potatoes
- Creamy Veg-Packed Potato-Topped Pie
- Feel Good Fish ‘N’ Sweet Potato Chips With Peas
- Simply Perfect Beef Spag Bol
As well as dishes from Gousto’s new “Oven-free Feasts” collection, an extensive range of recipes that rely on alternative cooking methods such as the slow cooker, microwave, hob and toaster to help home cooks make more energy-efficient choices.
- Thyme Crusted Chicken With Crispy Garlic Potatoes & Onion Gravy
- Slow Cooker Autumn Veg Ratatouille with Rice
- Pork & Refried Bean Tacos With Zesty Apple Slaw
- Sweet ‘N’ Smoky BBQ Chicken Fajitas
- Chicken Tikka Masala With Basmati Rice
- Butternut Squash Dal With Coconut Raita
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