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How HFG recipes are made

How HFG recipes are made

Have you ever made a recipe from a book or magazine and had a failure?

It happens, probably because people are human and sometimes mistakes slip through. But most food writers and publishers try hard to make sure their recipes work and taste good.

At Healthy Food Guide I’d venture to say we work even harder than most. That’s because we not only want our recipes to work and taste good; we want them to be really good for you, too. And so you don’t have to worry about whether or not a dish is healthy, we do the work for you.

Recipes don’t make it into the pages of HFG unless they meet our nutrition criteria. The ones that go beyond that and have extra benefits – high fibre, high calcium, low sodium, etc – get recognised with special badges.

All of our recipes need to have at least two serves of veges per person (unless they’re baking or desserts, although sometimes even then we like to sneak some veges in!) It’s great if we can get even more vege serves in. We like to have a range of meat-free meals, including some vegan dishes. And we will try to tell you whenever we can how to adjust dishes to make them gluten free, if they’re not already.

A recipe starts its life as an idea; in our heads or the head of one of our recipe writers, or from inspiration we find around us.

The idea is developed into a recipe; it’s tested and tasted and then checked by our nutritionist. If it needs tweaking, if gets re-worked and re-tested. Once everyone’s happy it tastes good, works, and ticks all the nutrition boxes, the recipe is approved for styling and photography, where it is cooked and tested again.

Once the photos are taken, the recipe can be put on to the page by our designers. We check it again, though, after this, just to make sure the nutrition still works and no mistakes have slipped through.

Once everyone’s happy at this stage, the recipe can be signed off and the magazine can be printed.

This process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to work through. Each recipe involves:

  • Approximately seven to ten hours’ work
  • Six stages
  • Seven different people

We’ve made a video to show you all that work in less than a minute. We hope you enjoy it!

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First published: Oct 2016

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