When the great outdoors becomes chilly and dark, it might not feel like the ideal time for a health drive.
But you can have your comfort food and eat it if you know how to cook those heartwarming and tasty dishes from scratch.
Barbara Crick runs Emsworth Cookery School and is offering January workshops which could help to put people on a healthier track.
‘Cooking from scratch is a really good way of reducing artificial things in your food, lowering calories and understanding how much fat is in different dishes,’ she says.
‘You can control what’s going into a dish and you also have a better understanding of the ingredients so you might opt for a smaller portion.’
Barbara’s January courses include Winter One-Pot Wonders and Healthy Mediterranean.
Those attending the Winter One-Pot Wonders will be creating stews and steamed puddings.
Barbara points out that a steamed pudding can be lower in fat than a sponge if the right ingredients are included and it is cooked in the right way.
Stews are a great way to include the healthiest of ingredients in your diet.
‘You can get your five-a-day covered with no problem and they can be nice and low in calories and fat and high in fibre.
‘If you start including things like pearl barley and lentils in there, you’ll have your carbs and protein and will really be filling yourself up.’
And they’re also economical. Easy to adapt, cooks can look for the best offers when they go shopping and create their casserole to suit.
In the Mediterranean food session, she’ll be covering a range of Greek, Spanish and Italian dishes that are on the lighter side.
So it’s less about creamy, cheesy pasta options and more about salads and rice dishes.
‘There won’t be tiramisu, I’m afraid,’ says Barbara. ‘But don’t worry, we will be doing a pudding.’
There are some great ingredients in Mediterranean food, says Barbara, and it’s a case of focusing on the right ones. ‘You have all those lovely tomatoes and courgettes. Not everything has to include mozzarella and mascarpone.
Winter One-Pot Wonders is on January 11 and Healthy Mediterranean is on January 23. Visit emsworthcook eryschool.co.uk or call (01243) 371407.