5 ingredients, 5 healthy meals
Make lunches, dinners and afternoon snacks that are not only quick to make, but good for you, too
Here are our favourite five recipes using just five ingredients, all offering health benefits as well as saving you time, money and effort.
1. Smoother than smooth
If you're always in a rush in the morning and tend to skip breakfast, try blasting up a smoothie in a blender. This vitamin C-packed super berry smoothie contains just five ingredients including oats, so it'll help to sustain you until lunch. To keep you going for longer, add a spoonful of whey powder – this protein hit will help to keep hunger pangs at bay. Check out our review of the best protein powders to buy.
2. Savoury soups
Veg-packed soups are great, but toss in some protein in the form of pulses, seafood or meat and you'll tick more nutritional boxes. A hearty low-cal seafood broth with mussels and potatoes means you won't need anything else for lunch. Mussels are a great source of B12 and selenium and will give you an iron boost, too.
3. Super stews
It's not easy to find a stew (healthy or not) with just five ingredients, but this squash & coconut curry is just the thing. If you like, supercharge it with a spoonful of chia seeds added along with the reduced fat coconut milk, or sprinkled over the top at the end for texture. Chia seeds are the hot health ingredient at the moment, boasting high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, protein, fibre, calcium, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
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4. One-pot wonder
Quinoa remains a popular choice for the health conscious as it's a complete protein that contains all nine ‘essential’ amino acids, as well as fibre, magnesium and iron. A one-pot like this spicy vegetable & quinoa one ticks all the boxes, calling for just five store-cupboard ingredients and 20 minutes to prepare. This power pot is high in fibre and counts as three of your five-a-day.
5. Savvy snacks
Ready in just 10 minutes, keep these dried fruit energy nuggets to hand when you're on the go – they're a great way to beat chocolate cravings. If you really can't resist, for a few more ingredients but no extra time, you can make energy bites containing a sprinkling of cocoa along with omega-3-rich flaxseed. The subtle, chocolate flavour with an energy kick is sure to combat an afternoon lull and make the perfect exercise snack, too.
Check out our quick and healthy recipes for more speedy suppers and snacks. Plus, if you'd like to find out more about the benefits of different foods with recipe suggestions, then our health section is the place to start.
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All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.