The A-list food guru, bestselling author and award-winning chef Gurpareet Bains is on a mission to reinvent snacking – and to help Britons battle the bulge during lockdown, writes Katie Hayes.
The celebrity nutritionist whose bestselling cookbooks are a hit with the A-list has launched the world’s first snack bar that contains up to two of our recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
Gurpareet Bains, whose fans include Gwyneth Paltrow, Goldie Hawn and Chris Evans, spent six years developing a new vegan range in partnership with Vedge Snacks in a bid to help Britons consume a healthy and balanced diet.
They are made with between 50 and 70 per cent vegetables and are lower in sugar and higher in fibre than anything on the market.
The bars contain between one and two full portions of our five-a-day – the recommended minimum target set by the NHS.
Bains, whose ‘superfood’ antioxidising recipes are used by celebrities including Dermot O’Leary, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Meera Syal, Theo Paphitis, Simon Mayo, Dame Vivienne Westwood and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, said the snacks are designed to boost consumption of vitamins, minerals and fibre in a low-calorie form of inexpensive fast food.
The Anglo-Indian chef behind the ‘world’s healthiest meal’ and the ‘world’s healthiest Christmas dinner’, said the range may also help children and fussy eaters to avoid piling on the pounds during the Covid-19 outbreak.
He said: “It has taken six years of research to create what is without doubt my most challenging recipe – a vegetable-based snack bar that contains one or two portions of your five-a-day and is lower in sugar and fat than existing fruit and nut-based bars.
“Whilst it is aimed primarily at existing healthy eaters, it is my hope that the bars will become the go-to snack for everyone and a genuine substitute for existing convenience foods like chocolate.”
Bains, who was named Chef of the Year at the inaugural English Curry Awards and whose sleep-inducing ‘Insomnia-No-More Curry’ was formally recognised as a British icon by the Experimental Food Society, added: “Vedge bars may also come in handy for parents who are struggling to get their kids to eat healthily at home during lockdown.”
According to existing studies, fewer than one in five Britons eat the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
A ‘portion’ is described as a 80g serving of each – just under three ounces.
People who consistently meet the current recommendations are reportedly less likely to be diagnosed with heart disease, type-2 diabetes and cancer.
Bains said the Vedge Snacks range, which is Sugarwise certified, was developed in response to feedback from family and friends who struggled to find veg-based snacking options.
They are now available from Vedge Snacks and from Amazon, and are expected to reach the High Street later this year.
Vedge Snacks is donating a free bar to NHS staff for every one bought online during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Bains, 43, is no stranger to culinary firsts. He hit the international headlines in 2009 when he created the ‘world’s healthiest meal’ – a simple Chicken Curry with Blueberries and Goji Berry Pilau – which contained the antioxidant-equivalent of 23 bunches of grapes.
His debut recipe book, Indian Superfood, a collection of the world’s most antioxidising recipes, was published the following year and became an international bestseller.
Bains’ second book Indian Superspices, which combined laboratory-inspired Indian recipes to alleviate everyday ailments, hit the shelves two years later.
The third, The Superfood Diet, described as “a gastronomic, multi-cuisine, healthy cookery book”, was published by Bloomsbury in 2014. All are available from Amazon UK.