Getting your five a day can be hard sometimes, yet it is the recommended amount of individual fruit and/or vegetable portions for a varied and healthy diet. From using up the beans at the back of the cupboard to making mouth-watering stews on lazy afternoons, here are some tips.
Healthy Desserts and Puddings
Believe it or not, you can make healthy desserts. Not all desserts must be full of sugar and bursting with calories. And they can be an excellent way of pushing your four of a day into the five. And you can even get the kids involved when making things like this apple fritters recipe you can make at home. Other examples include frozen vegan strawberry yogurt, fair trade chocolate blueberry muffins, and homemade vegan cream rice pudding with raisins.
Using Tasty Beans and Lentils for Five-a-Day
There are countless store cupboards with neglected beans and lentils hiding at the back all over the world. The reasons aren’t that they aren’t loved, but that people generally don’t know when to use them. But they make a great alternative to meat while counting towards your recommended RDA of vegetables; 80 grams, to be precise. Beans are excellent for vegan chili-con-carne, and you can put your spices to good use within hearty Indian lentil dishes.
Using Hidden Gems
This works great for fussy kids who don’t like to eat vegetables. Vegetables can taste too strong for children, but the taste is masked when you hide these vitamin-packed gems in other dishes. For instance, you can pack a Carribean rice dish with peas and spices to hide the taste. And why not add broccoli to the blender when making pasta sauce? Adding vegetables to dishes in this way almost guarantees that children won’t notice and will even love these recipes too.
Sweet and Fruity Breakfast Recipes
Breakfast is the most important meal for many people, and kids especially. But rather than reaching for the choco puffs and soy milk, you can jazz up breakfast with these simple dishes:
- Try a warming combination of apples, winter berries, and cinnamon in your porridge.
- Vegan yogurt mixed with bananas, honey, and maple syrup is worthy of the Greek gods.
- Adorn your bran flakes with sliced strawberries to liven up the most boring bowl.
- A mixed bowl of exotic fruits such as melon, pineapple, and kiwi bursts of energy.
- Why not make your own jam with strawberries and other fruits you have left over?
Even the most boring breakfast dishes can be livened up with the addition of simple and readily available fruit. These provide massive health boosts and also add to your RDA intake each day.
DIY Healthy Snacks
Snacks are great, it has to be said. But more often than not, they are unhealthy. You should eat snacks of between 150 and 300 calories per day. But for most people, their favorites contain much more than this and excess salt, sugar, and fat. But fruits, and indeed vegetables, make great snacks. If you have beets lying around, you can thinly slice and fry these like potato chips. You can also mix chickpeas with spices and nuts for a healthy mix of low-calorie protein snacks.
It doesn’t get much more convenient than a sandwich when eating. But these can also be a great way to get more vegetables into your diet. There are classics such as plant-based meats with lettuce and vegan mayo. But you can use sandwiches to pretty much use up anything you have lying around, and the kids love them. Further, they make for great snacks or quick lunches when heated up in a panini press or toaster with plant-based cheeses for extra gooey flavor.
Lazy Afternoon Stews
A classic stew relies on meat proteins and gelatin for infusing the liquid over a long period. But there are also vegan stews that are just as tasty and better for you in terms of getting more of your RDA. For instance, a stew of red wine, kidney beans, canned tomatoes, soy sauce, and potatoes is just as delicious without meat. Stews are bursting with nutrients, taste amazing, and use up what you have. Is there any better way to spend a rainy and lazy mid-week afternoon?
You may not know it, but you can use desserts to get more of your five-a-day with fruity recipes. You can also use fruit for glammed-up breakfasts that even the kids will love. Further, you can use up what you have by making a hearty vegetable stew when you have a rare day off.