01 Aug

Tips to reach 5 plus a day

Tips to reach 5 plus a day!

I am just back from holiday and I ate very well. However eating out every day to avoid cooking meant I did not eat as much vegetables as I am used to. I have come back craving green foods! It can sometimes be a challenge in reaching your 5+ a day but here are some quick tips that will help:

  1. Make kale chips (see recipe below). You can also roast cauliflower and broccoli in the oven with olive oil and spices.
  2. Beans, chickpeas and lentils are also part of your 5 a day, so increase pulses, add to soups, pasta sauces, curries and cottage pies.
  3. Aim half you plate be vegetables at mealtimes, use veg as the base of all your meals
  4. Stewed apples and pears with cinnamon and raisins makes an easy delicious desert and is also good for digestion
  5. In the summer you can experiment with salads with mixed lettuces, cherry tomatoes, courgettes, red onions, peppers, celery, carrots, beetroot, add a sprinkle some seeds and a handful of raisins for a bit of sweetness. Add crushed garlic to homemade salad dressings, this goes well with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  6. Keep a bowl of cut up vegetables i.e. carrots, celery, peppers in the fridge visible, serve with humus, avocado dip or a bean pate.
  7. Bake cakes with veg – pumpkin, beetroot and courgette go well in cakes.
  8. Add extra veg to pasta sauces, soups, curries and casseroles. As well as onion, garlic, and carrot to a casserole base add celery and a chilli pepper.
  9. Tins and jars of passata, tomatoes are useful cupboard items. If low on food, then a quick pasta sauce can be put together, add herbs and garlic to up the nutrition.
  10. Have one day a week meat free and replace with vegetables. Sweet potatoes are a good filler. Cauliflower can be made into rice. Roasted beetroot is also very tasty.
  11. Keep fruits and vegetables in sight, the more you see them the more chance of eating them. Use fruit and vegetables in smoothies. Banana and avocado with chocolate powder and milk is an easy go to smoothie.
  12. Herbs and spices contain phytonutrients that are supportive and protective to the body, use them in cooking. Add rosemary to roast potatoes, turmeric and mustard seeds to scrambled eggs, cumin to curries and oregano, basil and parsley to pasta sauces, soups and casseroles. Keep a pot of fresh herbs in the garden, that way they are accessible and easy to use in cooking. Rosemary, thyme and bay are all  hardy and easy to grow. Parsley is good in the summer months.
  13. Frozen fruit is useful to have in the freezer especially berries in the winter
  14. Whats in season – raspberries, cos lettuce and plums, checkout Eat Seasonally
  15. Fermenting vegetables is another way of increasing nutrients from vegetables. It also has the added benefit of supporting the digestive system as it contains useful bacteria for the gut.

 Recipe for Kale Chips

Bag of washed kale on a baking tray 2 tbsp. of olive or coconut oil and rub into kale, sprinkle with chilli flakes and bake in the oven at 100 degrees Celsius for 25-30 mins. Enjoy! Tip – break up kale and remove any thick stalks.