Eating for convenience is the death knell for people who have to dip into their pockets to pay high grocery and food bills in the cost-of-living crisis, believes Frances Young, wellness consultant and consultant.
Young has been promoting and helping people eat healthy for 30 years, and said his biggest piece of advice to anyone who wants to eat nutritiously without breaking the bank is to invest time in meal planning and preparation.
“People often talk about running out of time, but your health, well-being, and living within your means and budget are worth having the time to make these decisions.”
She recommends sitting down once or twice a week to plan meals that are loaded with veggies, high in fiber and keep you full longer, and she’s provided three easy ways to do that.
* Seven healthy food hacks for busy people
* How to eat more sustainably
* Kai with Soul: think wisely and buy wisely
Throw away the peeler
Keeping the skin off your potatoes, kūmara, and any starchy vegetables when preparing meals is a simple way to get more nutrients into your meal, and it saves you time when preparing and cleaning.
“You get more fiber in your diet by keeping the skins on, you’re full longer, satisfied longer, and you don’t have hunger spikes,” Young said.
Keeping the skin on vegetables means they take longer to digest, unlike eating heavily processed “ready to eat” foods, which often make you hungry again after a short time.
Replace fresh with frozen
Young’s easiest tip for keeping dinner costs down is to use frozen vegetables, which are often much cheaper than buying fresh and are always packed.
“Frozen is just as good and there’s less waste,” she said. “They’re already prepared, and they often have better nutritional value than fresh because they’ve been picked and frozen within an hour of being in the field.
Green beans, for example, are significantly cheaper frozen than fresh. The Pams frozen range costs just $0.39 per 100 grams, a saving of over 75% compared to Pams fresh green beans which cost $1.80 per 100 grams.
“These changes add up and could amount to allowing your [car] rego,” Young said.
Make breakfast your biggest meal of the day
According to the old wives’ tale, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and is often the cheapest, Young said.
“The principle of good eating habits for a healthy body and a healthy bank balance [is] make your breakfast the biggest meal of the day.
She said that with options such as whole grain porridge, fruit and yogurt, or baked beans on wholemeal toast, breakfast is “by far the cheapest meal of the day”. , and doing so will minimize snacking later.
Recipe to try: Carrot and red lentil dhal
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 large grated carrots
500ml vegetable stock
¼ cup split washed red lentils
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 teaspoon curry powder
Pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat
Add the grain mustard and cumin and stir
Add the carrot and cook for 10 minutes, letting the carrot soften and stir regularly
Add broth and lentils. Let simmer for 30 minutes
Stir in peanut butter, curry powder and pepper
Simmer for 5 minutes then serve
Garnish with yogurt and cilantro or mint
* Young will give a cooking demonstration focusing on cheap meals at the Vegan Expo in Haere-Roa (University of Canterbury) on Sunday. $5 adult tickets from veganexpo.co.nz, 16 and under free.
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