How to incorporate more fresh and less processed food into your diet
Do you find it challenging getting enough fresh food into your diet? Eating fresh doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. Finding what works for you in terms of convenience for your lifestyle is key to maintaining a sustainably fresh diet.
Fresh food doesn’t need to work out more expensive either. In fact, choosing fresh produce over processed food usually produces a lot more bang for your buck. With a few go-to recipes under your belt and by pitching for seasonal fruit and vegetables, you’ll soon be waving goodbye to pre-packaged meals and eating your way to a healthier happier you.
Order some food boxes
A really good way to get yourself up and running with some recipe ideas for cooking from scratch. There’s a lot of these schemes out there right now, with the main players in the UK being: Hello Fresh, Gusto and allplants. The idea is you choose 4-5 meals a week from that week’s recipe selections on your app and then the company delivers all fresh ingredients, conveniently portioned out, direct to your door.
Now whilst economy-wise there are cheaper ways to eat fresh, portions average out at around £4 a meal, it’s certainly a much healthier option than pitching for pre-packaged ready meals. Great for busy working people or if you’re feeling stuck in a rut with your recipe repertoire.
Batch make soup
Many people are surprised by how easy it is to make yourself a nutritious and delicious bowl of homemade soup. All you need is a hand blender to get you going. Trust me once you learn how to Wizz yourself up batches of delicious soup, you’ll never eat salty shop-bought soup again!
Making homemade soup is one of the easiest, economical and best ways to cram in 2-3 portions of your daily fruit and veg count. It’s also a great way to use up old veg that’s sat around in the fridge. Pop it in a thermos as a healthy lunch for work. And it freezes perfectly in freezer bags, so you always have a portion for one on hand for a light meal.
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Make up big bowls of fruit salad
If you find it difficult getting enough fruit into your diet then you could try making up bowls of fruit salad. If you squeeze some citric juice over the fruit salad and then store it in an airtight container in the fridge, then each batch should last around 3 days.
Try adding in a mix of as many coloured fruits as possible for an extra nutritional kick. And with all your favourite fruit already cut and prepared you’ll be more prone to add it to your breakfast bowls, snacks or after dinner desserts.
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Learn to make some basic veggie dips
Hummus, baba ganoush, red pepper dip, beetroot and mint, blue cheese and pear…the dip recipe possibilities are endless for these super and tasty snacks. And as with the homemade soup, all you’ll need is a hand blender to bring them to life, if that!
Great nibbles to put out if you’ve got a few friends over, and another healthy snack idea for the lunchbox. These dips will last for days in the fridge. Throw even more veggies into the mix by cutting up carrot, pepper and cucumber batons for dipping. Or use toasted sourdough or whole-grain flatbreads for a more filling snack.
Check out our Trio of Mediterranean dip recipes for some ideas
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Stir fry more
One of the best fast food options out there. A stir fry can be from fridge to plate in the space of 10 minutes with very little effort. And the great thing about stir-fries is that the ingredient combinations are endless.
Try to include cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli and spinach; something red or orange like peppers, chillis or squash; experiment with different fungi varieties; and then mix up your proteins between cashew nuts, peanuts, tofu, prawns, chicken or beef. Serve with either rice or noodles, or even add to as miso broth and crack an egg into it for extra protein.
Chuck it in the slow cooker
Just as with a stir fry, this is a low labour, low precision, stress-free way to cook. Literally, just rough chop up some seasonal vegetables and chuck them in with some pulses or meat, add some herbs, seasoning and liquid, and then leave it to work its magic. A particularly good idea for the winter months.
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