Must-have healthy foods if you’re on a budget
If the purse strings are tight, fill your trolley with these nourishing foods that won’t break the bank.
If you want to eat healthy foods without blowing the budget, stock up on these nutritional supermarket staples.
Beans are an affordable source of protein, compared with animal sources, says dietitian Rebecca Gawthorne.
At around $1 a tin, they can add texture and taste to soups, nachos, spaghetti bolognese and salads. Black beans can also be used in sweets like brownies.
- Try this recipe: Vegan Pie with Tomatoes and Red Kidney Beans
Frozen green vegetables
“Often less than $2 a bag, frozen green veggies are a great source of vitamins C, B, E, K, and iron, magnesium, calcium, antioxidants and fibre,” says Rebecca.
They can be enjoyed as a side or added to stir-fries, soups, curries and smoothies.
- Try this recipe: Green Pea and Cress Soup
“Like beans, lentils are also an affordable source of protein when compared with animal sources,” says Rebecca.
“Canned or dried, they’re budget friendly and a great source of healthy carbohydrates, fibre and iron.”
Lentils can be used in soups, curries, Buddha bowls and burgers.
- Try this recipe: Buddha Bowl with Quinoa, Lentils, Sweet Potato and Hummus
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Whether it's a healthy lunch or quick midweek dinner, this creamy lentil and broccoli bowl is loaded with nutritious grains, plenty of greens and a tangy, creamy yogurt dressing. You'll want to save this one as it's sure to become a solid fave! Get the full recipe on our website now (you'll find it under 'Eat' 😋).
Fibre-rich breakfast cereals
Starting the day with a fibre-packed breakfast cereal provides a great source of prebiotics, which aid gut health, says Rebecca.
Enjoyed with milk, yoghurt or added to smoothies, they are a cheap and healthy breakfast option.
Garlic and onion
“Often less than 50c a kilo, onions and garlic not only add loads of flavour to many dishes, they’re a great source of vitamins, minerals, prebiotics, sulfur compounds and phytochemicals,” says Rebecca.
Garlic and onion are extremely versatile and can be used to season almost any dish from roasts, stir-fries, pizzas, salads and risottos.
- Try this recipe: Garlic and Rosemary Cauliflower Bread
With a bag usually costing less than $2, carrots are a great source of beta carotene, fibre, vitamin C and K, says Rebecca.
Not just a dinner staple, they can be used in cakes, added into smoothies and used in baking.
- Try this recipe: Carrot and Chocolate Cake
The spud is not a dud. At less than $2 a kilo, the humble white potato should not be discounted as a way to load up on healthy carbs and fibre, says Rebecca.
“They can be baked, steamed and mashed or used in veggie juices, sweets and slices and soups,” she says.
- Try this recipe: Leek and Potato Soup with Olive Oil
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This bright and beautiful roasted tomato and white bean soup is perfect for blustery winter evenings, when an old tin of condensed soup just won't do! It scores bonus points for its antioxidant-rich ingredients, nutritious cannellini beans and delicious flavour combos. 🍅❄️ Grab the recipe here: https://www.houseofwellness.com.au/eat/vegetarian/roasted-tomato-white-bean-soup
“At around $1 a can, we should always keep canned tomatoes handy,” says Rebecca. “They are a great source of vitamins A, B, C and K as well as potassium.”
Tinned tomatoes can be blitzed into pasta and pizza sauce and used in salsas, soups, pies and casseroles.
- Try this recipe: Vegan Chilli Con Carne
Fruit is often more affordable when in season and can be frozen for later, says Rebecca.
She says in-season fruit often has a higher vitamin content as well as providing an excellent source of fibre, antioxidants and phytochemicals.
Fruit can be eaten fresh, added to cereal, smoothies, used to sweeten muffins and slices or poached.
- Try this recipe: Spiced Roasted Pineapple with Peanut Crunch
Brown rice comes in at only a few dollars a kilo and provides a great source of wholegrains, rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals.
These slow-burning carbohydrates can be served with stir-fries and curries and in salads and risottos.
- Try this recipe: Warm Moroccan Cauliflower ‘Rice’ Salad
Written by Sally Heppleston.