Absa Evergreen [APR16]

Healthy foods that won’t break the bank

03 November 2017

Healthy foods can be expensive… Unfortunately foods that are good for you tend to be a bit pricey.  There are, however, a number of foods and dishes that won’t break the bank!

Bananas are one of the most economical fruits one can buy! They’re easy to eat, particularly when you’re out and about, a great base for healthy smoothies, and they’re high in potassium, fiber and vitamin C. Sliced banana can add some great flavour to a bowl of muesli or Greek yoghurt with honey.

Brown rice is really cheap and a whole lot better for you than its brother, white rice. It’s lower in calories and contains great vitamins and minerals. I often mix brown rice with lentils, and then add chickpeas, celery, green and red peppers, corn, fresh coriander, salt and pepper for taste, and a little low fat mayo for a great salad. I make a big bowl of it and keep it in the fridge the whole week, decanting from it for lunches and snacks.

You can also add some tinned tuna (in brine) or hard boiled eggs to the rice salad for a little extra protein but don’t add it your big bowl as Tuna doesn’t hold as long as the other ingredients. Tinned tuna is often overlooked as a healthy food. It’s also such an easy-to-use ingredient, which can be added to sandwiches, salads, and quiches. It also offers the convenience of a can, which means that it has a long shelf life – once open though, refrigerate and consume within 2 to 3 days.

Remember all those years ago when eggs were supposedly bad for you? I never really believed it and have always been a fan. Everything in moderation though as they contain fat and cholesterol but are packed with protein, folic acid and choline (vitamin B). Despite the nutritional value of eggs, there are some potential health issues arising from egg quality, storage, and individual allergies. I only buy free-range eggs as a result of this. Battery husbandry is incredibly cruel and disease spreads easily in these conditions. I eat eggs most days and they don’t just have to be eaten for breakfast. Hard-boiled eggs are great in salads or sandwiches or just on their own for lunch or dinner, and when I’m lazy, I some times even have scrambled eggs on rye toast for dinner.

Greek yoghurt is one of my favourite healthy foods! I always have a big tub of it in the fridge and we use it daily in smoothies or just on its own with some fresh fruit. It can also be used in salad dressings and on baked potatoes instead of sour cream (which contains far more fat). It contains probiotics, which are essential to our digestive systems, and help build our immunity to fight against disease and infection. Since smoothies are such a big part of my diet, here is one of my favourite simple recipes.

  • 5 blocks of ice
  • 4 table spoons of plain low fat Greek yoghurt
  • 1 banana
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of peanut butter
  • ½ cup of sugar free muesli
  • 1 raw egg (you won’t taste it but you can leave it out!)
  • Hand full of baby spinach (you also won’t taste it and raw spinach is really good for you!)
  • Mix together and blend either in a conventional blender or with a hand-held blender or Nutri-Bullet if you’re lucky enough to have one! This recipe will make one big yummy glass of smoothie

Unfortunately great “superfoods” like nuts, berries and avocados are expensive but there are so many substitutes for these as mentioned above. Avocados are also very easy to grow. The tree takes a few years before it bears fruit but it’s so worth the wait and there’s something special about nurturing your own growing tree and seeing it go from a pip/seed to a 6-meter high tree.

If you have the space, start your own herb and vegetable patch. If you don’t have access to a garden you can grow these plants in planters or pots. You can save a large amount of money on your monthly food bill by growing veggies like butternuts, spinach, tomatoes etc. on your own at home. All vegetables are good for you so you can’t go wrong.

Disclaimer: The advice contained on this blog is for general purposes only and does not take into account individual circumstances, objectives or financial needs. Accordingly, readers are advised to seek appropriate advice from licensed professionals prior to making any investment, or taking up a financial product or service.