Yet another survey has been released revealing our modern eating habits and how they have changed over the last 50 years. According to the Daily Mail, Britons only spend an average of 38 minutes a day cooking, compared with 100 minutes in 1960. Strangely no-one ever does a survey on how our nutritional needs have changed over that time; probably because very little has actually changed in that area. So if our nutritional needs have not changed why have our eating habits? Well that’s pretty obvious isn’t it? Cooking every day is time consuming and despite 65% saying that they enjoyed preparing food, the reality is that one in four admit that not only do they use bottled sauces rather than home-made cooking sauces, they couldn’t live without them!
Mars Food UK, who conducted the survey, are known for their delicious chocolate products but are less known for their meal time products like Dolmio sauces and Uncle Ben’s Rice range. Can’t live without ‘bottled sauces’ is music to their corporate ears.
Instead of preparing tomato cooking sauce and a white sauce from scratch for use in our lasagnes and bologneses, should we be spending our precious time with our children or doing chores? Well apparently that is is one of the main reasons that people use convenient food products. However, multiple surveys (even our own) remind me that we love cooking. It doesn’t make much sense.
I decided to find out for myself whether there was much difference a) nutritionally and b) cooking time between home-made tomato and white cooking sauce and bottled. Then I’d know once and for all whether it still leaves time for children and chores.
1 Onion (Peeled and finely diced)
1 Garlic (Clove – diced)
1 tblsp Olive oil
½ tsp Herbs (Mixed)
1 Pinch Seasoning
1 Can Chopped Tomatoes
1 tblsp Worcestershire Sauce
Bottled (Dolmio Bolognese Sauce. Source – Tesco)
Tomato Paste (15%)
Red Peppers (4.7%)
Yellow Peppers (4.1%)
Roasted Onion Paste (Onions, Sunflower Oil, Salt)
- Heat a pan, add oil, sweat diced onion and garlic in the oil.
- Add mixed herbs, seasoning and chopped tomatoes
- Simmer for 10 minutes. Blitz in a food processor or hand blender whilst hot
- Taste and season again as required. Serve hot or cold.
- Add hot water to make a thinner consistency suitable for pasta dishes.
Clearly it took a little longer to make the home-made tomato sauce, and even longer had I used fresh tomatoes, however the taste made all the difference. Fresh beat the bottled for me, less salty and less sweet.
Home-made (my latest quick option)
200 mls Natural Yoghurt
Bottled (Dolmio White Creamy Sauce. Source – Tesco)
Modified Maize Starch
Butter Oil Powder (Butter Oil, Lactose, Milk Protein)
Fat Powder (Palm Fat, Lactose, Milk Protein)
Natural Flavouring (contains Celery)
Broth Powder (Sugar, Flavourings, Yeast Extract, Dried Glucose Syrup, Salt, Palm Oil (Hydrogenated)
Sunflower Oil (Smoke Flavouring, Milk Protein)
Acid (Lactic Acid)
Stabiliser (Xanthan Gum)
Antioxidant (Rosemary Extract)
- Gently whisk the two ingredients together.
- Use in lasagne and gratins.
There isn’t much reason to comment, the ingredient list says it all. Endless ingredients in the bottled, compared to two in the home-made version. In addition, the taste of the Dolmio white sauce in the lasagne was also quite overpowering. Definitely not good enough for my family.
In conclusion, the best way to enjoy good food, is freshly prepared, and if children and chores are neglected whilst you cook, could the answer lie in getting them to cook and share the chores with you?