A taste of the Mediterranean – Greek Style

The secret of a long-life?

Juicy tomatoes, homemade feta cheese, grilled fish straight from the ocean, giant beans and the sweetest watermelons were just some of the wonderful foods that I sampled during my two weeks on the sun-drenched Greek island of Kefalonia this summer. Trying out the local food is always a major part of my holiday and Kefalonia certainly didn’t disappoint. I loved the Meze style of starters where everyone shares a few small dishes so you get to try a bit of everything.

The Mediterranean diet is often regarded as one of the healthiest in the world. Abundant in fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, pulses and copious amounts of olive oil, it is a diet rich in healthful antioxidants and fats.

Yoghurt and feta cheese are an everyday feature in the Greek diet. Feta is one of the healthiest cheeses around- being lower in saturated fat and higher in friendly bacteria that most other varieties. Made from goats milk and naturally lower in lactose many people find feta easier to digest than other cheeses. It has quite a strong tangy fIavour so a little goes a long way. I bought huge chunks of freshly made feta straight from the wooden churn in our tiny local shop. For breakfast I loved to crumble a little feta over cubes of watermelon and drizzle with olive oil- simply delicious. Of course feta is the star ingredient in the world-famous Greek salad.

Greek yogurt is strained more thoroughly than regular yogurt which makes it deliciously creamy. We enjoyed tzatziki (a dip made from garlic, cucumber, garlic and mint) most days as a starter or alongside grilled meat or fish.

In Kefalonia, you only find local, seasonal fruits and vegetables in the shops. These are much tastier than much of the pre-packed produce we get in our supermarkets which travels hundreds of miles to get here- losing much of it’s flavour and nutrients on the way. It reminded me of the value of eating locally produced and seasonal food- not only is it more tasty – but it’s simpler to prepare as the flavours speak for themselves so you don’t need to do anything too fancy with it.

Click here to find simple recipes for Greek Salad and Tzatziki to enjoy whilst the sun is still shining.

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About Michelle Lake

Hi, I run Mission Nutrition, and I'm a nutritional therapist/ nutritionist helping people all over St Albans & Hertfordshire feel happier & healthier. If your diet needs an overhaul, come and see me for a nutrition consultation! Tel: 01727 893 042 / 01727 869 929 or email michelle@mission-nutrition.co.uk