Sandwich recipes with health benefits
Prepare a work-friendly packed lunch sarnie with added health benefits, including low-calorie, low-fat, calcium-rich and omega-3-rich options.
Shop-bought sandwiches can be high in fat, salt and sugar, so making your own allows you to create healthier options. Ready-made sandwiches can contain high-fat cheese and dressing or sugary chutney, making some high street choices as calorific as burgers.
Our sandwich recipes are packed nutritious ingredients and feature slow-release energy from lean protein, fish rich in omega-3 and filling beans. When it comes to bread, some shop-bought loaves can be high in salt, so keep an eye on portion sizes. Always go for a fibre-rich loaf rather than refined white bread. Along with thin-cut wholemeal bread, we've used wholemeal and seed wraps and pitta, but crispy lettuce also makes a great wrap and is gluten-free.
Healthy veggie olive wraps with mustard vinaigrette
Key benefits: Low-fat, calcium-rich, fibre-rich, source of vit C, source of folate, 3 of 5-a-day
When it comes to sandwiches, the more colourful the better. This seeded wrap with courgette, olives and spring onions is a handy vegan option that's low-calorie but still packs in three of your 5-a-day. If you're not a fan of olives, spread the wrap with a nut butter like peanut, almond or cashew instead before adding the filling. Go for a sugar-free butter without palm oil. It will add more protein but also a little extra fat too, so don't slather on too much.
Low-fat herby chicken gyros
Key benefits: 3 of 5-a-day, low-calorie, low-fat
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Fancy a sandwich with a Greek spin and plenty of bite? This herby chicken gyros is full of salad and nutrient-rich veg like peppers, avocado and tomatoes. Switch up the chicken breast with lean steak for an alternative rich in iron, B vitamins and zinc.
Key benefits: Source of folate and fibre, low-calorie, 3 of 5-a-day
This chunky BLT contains three of your 5-a-day. We've replaced butter and mayo with avocado, which provides one of your 5-a-day and gives a rich, creamy texture. We've also replaced the bacon with crisp prosciutto as a little goes a long way. You can also swap the prosciutto for chicken, roast beef or prawns. Make it veggie by spreading the bread with hummus and thinly slicing avocado instead of meat.
Omega-3-rich lemony salmon & lettuce wraps
Key benefits: low-fat, low-calorie, source of calcium, folate, omega-3 and fibre, 2 of 5-a-day
Salmon is omega-3 rich and makes a great change from canned tuna. This lemony wrap recipe uses crisp lettuce rather than tortilla wraps, and it's healthy, calcium-rich and gluten-free. For an alternative filling, try a homemade tomato salsa of red beans, coriander, chilli and lime with lean chicken or turkey.
Calcium-rich feta toast with minty beans
Key benefits: 2 of 5-a-day, source of folate, calcium and fibre
This open sandwich with minty soy beans, crumbly feta cheese and beetroot is versatile, can be built at your desk and needs just a handful of ingredients. Toasting the bread adds texture and stops it going soggy. For an alternative topping, try mashed avocado with poached salmon instead of feta. You could also swap your feta for a strong blue cheese and top with fresh pear instead of beetroot, plus a few walnuts and dried dates or raisins instead of the beans.
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What's your favourite healthy packed lunch? Let us know in the comments below...