Have you noticed food prices are on the rise but still we all want to stay healthy. Here, Joel Feren, Dietitian and Nutrition Consultant, shares his tips about what to keep in your pantry to up your health game.
Rising food, fuel and gas prices are causing many of us to track our spending habits more carefully. New data shows that the cost of living is increasing rapidly, and Australians are hungry (pun intended) for new ways to save money.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though.
Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t cost more to eat healthier – it’s just a matter of being a little savvier. Stocking your fridge, freezer and pantry with staple foods will likely make your already busy lives less stressful and ease the burden on your hip pocket.
Here are my top go-to inexpensive foods that are always in my kitchen and that you should keep on hand too. What’s more, you can use these budget-friendly ingredients in many delicious and nutritious meals and snacks.
Let’s go shopping!
Berries are nutritional powerhouses. They are rich in antioxidants, low in sugar, and contain a good whack of fibre. There is some evidence to show that including berries as part of a healthy diet can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood pressure. So, they’re good for your insides, too. Frozen berries are also extremely versatile – add them to your morning brekkie cereal, blitz them in a smoothie, include them with yoghurt or eat them once thawed.
Eggs are jam-packed full of protein, vitamin B12, heart-healthy fats, phosphorus, selenium, iodine, folate and vitamin A. You get all that for about 50c a unit. That’s egg-cellent! Eggs are culinary superstars – turn them into omelettes and frittatas, and include them on toast and in baked goods. Talk about the quintessential kitchen ingredient.
Tinned beans and legumes
Tinned beans and legumes are highly nutritious, containing vitamins B1 and B6, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, potassium, zinc and selenium. Plus, they are a great source of long-sustaining energy and fibre and contain an impressive amount of protein. Add them to your salads, stir-fries, stews and casseroles, soups and tacos. Check out my lentil Bolognese using tinned lentils for some inspiration.
Bread is full of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, complex carbohydrates and fibre. Make a humble sandwich for lunch with a range of colourful veggies and a protein source such as tinned fish, egg or cheese for a highly nutritious and economical meal.
Tofu and tempeh
Soy products are high in protein and fibre, low in total and saturated fat, and naturally cholesterol and lactose-free. They are a fabulous plant-based protein and are a cheap alternative to meat. They are SOY good for you and your hip pocket.
Cheese, Milk and Yoghurt
Dairy foods are downright delicious, but they are also extremely healthy and inexpensive. These dairy products contain over ten nutrients necessary for our general health, nervous system and muscle function, energy levels, and bone health. So you get a whole lot of bang for your buck!
Embrace dairy foods as part of your diet, and be sure to keep staples like cheese, milk and yoghurt on hand.
The differences in nutritional value between fresh and frozen vegetables are minimal and unlikely to impact your health. Eating more veggies is excellent for your health! Frozen veggies are akin to a culinary security blanket – they’re quick, convenient, versatile and highly nutritious.
Important to note this list is not exhaustive! Notable omissions include tinned fish, lean meats, nuts, pasta, brown rice, dried herbs, seeds, whole grain muesli bars, wholemeal flour, passata, and breakfast cereal.
So, to bypass the long queues at the supermarket, you can now download the Deliveroo app via the App Store or Google Play Store, or go online to order your groceries cheaply, quickly and conveniently, and have all your cooking needs covered!
Now you can create healthier meals using nutritious products which can be delivered directly to your door from Deliveroo. You’ll not only delight your family with some delicious feasts but also save some money in return. It’s a great way to maintain your bank balance and promote good health.
Joel Feren, aka ‘The Nutrition Guy’, is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist with a background in biomedical sciences.