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Recipes for cooking the smart way

Well known for his weird and wonderful cake and bake skills, Ian Cumming has now channelled his creativity into cooking up an energy saving storm.

Popular baker Ian Cumming has released a series of energy saving recipes, developed with the help of his smart meter.


Ian’s new recipes – designed to use as little gas and electricity as possible – are now available to download as recipe cards, complete with Ian’s energy saving tips and tricks for the kitchen. A selection of easy-to-follow recipe videos are also now available, as well as a short documentary about Ian’s energy saving crusade in the kitchen.


Since upgrading to a smart meter as part of Great Britain’s national rollout, Ian has been looking into a variety of ways to reduce the energy used to make tasty home-cooked food. An inventive cook, who became known for his quirky and original ways of doing things in the kitchen, Ian was keen to get creative when applying his eco-friendly ethos to his recipes. 


His new recipes offer innovative alternatives to traditionally baked dishes, as well as some great energy saving ideas that can be applied to everyday cooking. Ian used his smart meter to help him accurately test which cooking methods and techniques used the least energy and to give each of his recipes its own energy cost. 


Smart meters show you how much gas and electricity you’re using in pounds and pence, giving you the information you need to make positive changes and save energy at home. Everyone in Great Britain will be offered a smart meter at no additional cost by 2020.


Ian has developed the following delicious, energy saving recipes:


  • Chicken and lemon tagine – made in a slow cooker, which uses little more energy than a traditional light bulb
  • Feta and spinach steamed buns – a great alternative to baked bread rolls 
  • 90 second Welsh bara brith cakes – amazingly light sponge, which cooks in a minute and a half in the microwave
  • Elderflower, honey and blueberry cheesecake – a no-bake dessert that uses almost no energy at all 
  • Scottish salmon macaroni cheese – a delicious and easy to make dish, which is quickly grilled instead of baked 


The recipes, as well as Ian’s energy saving tips and tricks, aim to encourage people to think about how they could cook a little smarter at home and save both energy and money on their utility bills.  


Ian Cumming said: “I live in an energy disaster of a house and, when I got my smart meter installed, being able to see how much energy we were using and what it was costing was a total revelation for the whole family. It’s been an exciting challenge coming up with these energy saving recipes – I really hope everyone enjoys trying them at home and thinking about different ways to reduce their energy use when cooking.”


Claire Maugham, Director of Policy and Communications at Smart Energy GB, said: “Smart meters give us the accurate information and visibility we need to transform the way we use gas and electricity at home. From melting butter on the windowsill to whipping up a sponge cake in 90 seconds, Ian has come up with a fantastic range of ideas for cutting energy costs in the kitchen. His delicious energy saving recipes are a real inspiration – encouraging everyone to use their smart meter to take control and save both energy and money.”


To find out more or to download Ian’s new energy saving recipes with his energy saving ideas, visit our Smart Living section.