10 simple inclusions/swaps that will add a nutritional boost to your meals
1. Super seed sprinkle: I make this and use it on everything! Sprinkle over salads, porridge, yoghurt, roasted vegetables, cakes, muffins, smoothies... anything!
Simply combine brown linseed, chia seeds, sesame seeds, pepitas and sunflower seeds and store them in a jar. Adding this to your meals will increase the amount of omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, fibre, good fats, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, thiamine, manganese and vitamin E. The thought that these tiny seeds can pack such a nutritional punch and add to your daily nutrients is really quite amazing!
2. Wholesome flours such as spelt, kamut, teff, buckwheat, amaranth, oats, millet or barley can be included in anything from pancakes, muffins, scones, cakes or anything that has the inclusion of flour. These are usually unbleached and not refined and provide so many more nutrients and benefits than white flour alone.
3. Veggies, Veggies, Veggies! When people ask me the first thing they should change about their diets, I usually answer with this: More vegetables! Only 5.1% of Australians eat the required amount of fruit and vegetables per day.. shocking! You simply can't go wrong by filling your plate with more vegetables. Here are a few suggestions to add more to your day:
I'll start with the obvious: add more vegetables to your smoothies such as spinach, kale, herbs, beetroot, celery, carrot, cucumber, wheat grass and broccoli.
Add more vegetables into pasta sauces and pesto. Rocket or spinach works so well in basil pesto (here is my recipe for veggie filled pasta sauce).
Make a fritatta and fill it with veggies! Great for breakfast or lunch
Hidden in cakes.. crazy? Sweet potato, pumpkin, beetroot work well and there are many recipes out there!
Re-think your go-to meals: Mexican? add more into the sauce or serve on the side such as shredded red cabbage, grated carrot, spinach leaves etc. Spaghetti bolognaise? Add veggies in the sauce and serve with zoodles. Mashed potato? Substitute half the potato for cauliflower (still white for those fussy kids or adults!)
4. Add something green: you can never go wrong with greens. Eat them with every meal! Add spinach, grated zucchini and freshly chopped herbs to scrambled eggs, pan-fry some bok choy, kale and green beans with garlic, chilli and lemon juice or add some sneaky avocado to your smoothie.
5. Plant Protein: Add beans to your go-to easy meals, make some delicious bean dips, sprinkle some hemp seeds on top of your salad, add a handful of nuts to your afternoon snack.
6. Sugary yoghurt to Greek or Natural: if the bitter taste is not your thing, mix with seasonal fruit and a little bit of raw honey.
7. 'Normal' bread to sourdough bread. For those who can eat gluten with no side effects, make sure you choose a good quality bread. Organic sourdough is a real treat, especially when eating it freshly baked with a generous scraping of butter!
8. Homemade granola, cacao pops or porridge instead of store bought cereal: easy to make, gluten free and you can choose what goes in - there are so many varieties.
9. Regular pasta to gluten free or pulse pasta. It's not secret that I am a huge fan of pulse pasta. It is high in plant protein and when cooked, you can hardly notice the difference! With gluten free pasta, I would suggest opting for a brown rice based over a corn based.
10. Non-organic dairy to organic dairy. I am a strong believer in this. If you consume dairy products, buy organic! Cows raised organically ensures that no GMO food, pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics or growth hormones are used. Yes, organic is more expensive, but the milk is so much more pure and has more omega 3 fatty acids and a higher concentration of fat-soluble vitamins. If you don't do dairy, there is a huge range now of no-dairy milk alternatives that are great options.