7 Tips To Make Your Food Go Further
Thanks to lockdown, we are all being forced to cook more than we would normally, some of us on smaller budgets. However it’s still possible to eat healthily without it costing the earth. It just takes a little imagination. Here are 7 tips to help your food go further.
Sabrina F. Henry is a visual artist with a background in Nutrition. Painting with natural pigments and exploring the unique narrative of phytochemicals, she derives her inspiration from nature. But she’s also a nutrition geek. Having an education in Nutrition, she’s also committed to a more sustainable, and healthier lifestyle. We asked her for a few tips on how to make your food go further, how to have a more strategic approach to meals and organic living.
During lockdown, many of us are only leaving home for essential food items, as infrequently as possible. This has caused us to re-think our shopping habits and meal preparation techniques. Here are some ideas that have helped me, during this time and through life in general.
7 Tips For Making Your Food Go Further
Substitute meat with pulses
This has to be one of my favourites as you can buy the best Organic pulses for the price of cheap meat. Although I enjoy eating a plant-based diet I’m not vegan. However I do have the awareness to recognize (and generally choose not to support) the ill treatment of factory farmed animals to meet the demand of the meat market. If you are choosing to eat meat, free-range is definitely a better choice, though it is more expensive. In light of this, I have enjoyed using organic pulses in place of meat in some of the following dishes; Chickpea Korma, Brown or Green lentils in Bolognese, Aubergine or Sweet Peppers in Thai Red or Green Curries or 2-ingredients Vegan meatballs. If you can’t quite get your head around completely substituting meat with wholefoods you can try going 50/50 instead. The extra fibre will help keep your body’s sugar use regulated. It will also slow down feelings of hunger and will help your meal stretch further.
Cook a dish that can be used for two different meals
Make mince for spaghetti bolognaise ( meat or meat-free) and then team with some mashed potato and use it for a shepherds pie the next day. Add some steamed veg and voila you have a simple, but satisfying and nutritious meal. Curry can also be versatile and could one day be eaten with rice and the following day be eaten with naan or pitta bread and salad. If you eat chicken – a whole chicken need not be wasted, at all! Do it like our grandparents did and after roasting a chicken for a meal – or two, use what remains to make immune-supporting bone broth. There are many recipes out there, find one that suits you and don’t be afraid to improvise and create with what ingredients you have.
Cultivate meal sharing relationships with neighbours and friends
That way some days you can cook for one another or feed each other with excess food. I love the food sharing app called Olio. It’s super friendly to use and helps us to share and waste less food. Just be mindful of COVID19 regulations and guidelines.
Dunk fresh fruit & vegetables in water if they look dehydrated
Rather than throwing them away. This can work really well with leafy greens and fruit. Our fresh items contain plenty of water, and just like us, sometimes they just need a little drink to keep going that little bit longer.
Re-grow food cuttings
This can appear to be romantic when you look at the cool online videos and Instagram posts, but you may need some patience, and it’s not necessarily a reliable method of food growing. But it can be satisfying to watch your celery or chard root begin to grow again! There are instances where it works with a variety of food items – including spring onions, regular onions, romaine lettuce and beetroot. Do some research and experiment with a couple of items you buy.
Use your freezer
If you have one. Buy frozen fruit & vegetables and freeze pre-prepared meals or items that are at risk of going off. Similarly freeze extra portions for a quick but nutritious home cooked meal.
By sprouting certain seeds, legumes, grains and nuts in water – over a number of days, you can increase the nutritional content of the mentioned food items by 20%. Sprouting is a great way to make a meal more nutritious, therefore increasing the nutritional density of a single meal or two – making your ‘food go further’. Sprouts can be cooked, but I prefer to eat them raw sprinkled on a salad or as a side dish. There is an extensive list of seeds, legumes, grains and nuts that are suitable for sprouting. However, some of them are not easily accessible.
Here is a list of items which are suitable for sprouting, that may be at hand. Seeds; Alfalfa, Mustard, Sesame, Sunflower and Pumpkin seeds. Pulses; Chickpeas, Lentils, Mung beans and Peas. Grains;Buckwheat, Millet, Quinoa, Wild rice. And of course almonds! The only equipment you need is a clear glass jar, cotton fabric and an elastic band. You can also buy ‘ready-made’ sprouting packs available online.
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