5 ingredients, 5 healthy meals
Health editor Roxanne challenges food editor Caroline Hire to find five recipes on our site that are so simple to make, we'll really have no excuse not to...
Here are five recipes with just five ingredients, all offering health benefits as well as saving time (shopping and cooking), money and effort - hope you like them.
1. Start with a smoothie
If you're always in a rush in the morning and often 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 really help to sustain you past the tempting coffee and croissant stop. To keep you going for longer, add a spoonful of whey powder from a health food shop - this protein hit will help to keep hunger pangs at bay.
2. Soup-up your soup
Veggie soups are great but toss in a bit of 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 and vitamin C boost.
3. Super stews
It's not easy to find a stew (healthy or not) with just five ingredients but this Squash and 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, shall I go on?
4. One-pot power
Quinoa remains a popular choice for the health conscious as it's a complete protein that contains eight essential amino acids aka 'the building blocks of life', fibre, magnesium and iron. A one-pot like Spicy vegetable and quinoa laksa ticks all the boxes, taking just five storecupboard ingredients and 20 minutes to prepare. This power pot is high in fibre and counts as three of your five-a-day.
5. Savvy snacking
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 fuelled flaxseed. The subtle chocolately 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 recipe collection for more speedy suppers. 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.
What are your favourite quick and healthy dishes? Share your tips below...