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Boost your nutrition and save money with these 5 foods

Piggy bank in the fridge door with some eggs and milk

HFG nutritionist Claire Turnbull shares five healthy foods that are nutrient-rich while being affordable.

1 Oats

Oats are a super versatile and incredibly affordable ingredient to stock up on! In half a cup of oats, not only do you get 6g of protein, but you also get 5g of fibre, which gives you a great head start towards the 28g of fibre you need per day if you’re a woman and the 38g if you’re a man.

Oats aren’t just for breakfast either. Why not try our vegan pancakes, carrot cake bliss balls or savoury porridge.

2 Mussels

Mussels are great value for the nutrition boost you get from them. As well as being packed with more protein than three eggs, 10 mussels will tick the box for your daily dose of both selenium and iodine and omega 3. Try our spaghetti with marina sauce , or this tasty mussel chowder.

3 Pulses

Beans, chickpeas and lentils are nutrition packed and so affordable and versatile.

Pulses are low GI, a great source of essential daily fibre and a delicious way to add protein to a meal.

You can use them to make hundreds of different recipes from dips, soups and casseroles to curries, burgers and chocolate brownies. Plus, you can use them to bulk out meat dishes, saving you even more money while boosting the nutrient value of your meal.

Check out all our recipes here and search for lentils, chickpeas or black beans in the ingredients tab.

4 Frozen peas

You can add frozen peas to almost any dish, mash them, puree them, make them into fritters…the list goes on!

One cup of peas, like most other veggies, provides fibre and an array of vitamins and minerals, but it may surprise you that it’ll also give you a whopping 8.4g of protein.

Yes, it is not the same high ‘quality’ protein that you find in animal products but including protein from a variety of sources, including meat, fish, seafood, pulses, eggs and veggies, is a great way to get a wide range of nutrients and feel fuller for longer. Plus, if you don’t eat a lot of animal products, it is good to know that it’s not just tofu you have to turn to top up your protein!

Give our Thai green pea blender soup a go, or maybe this easy paella, or how about this tasty green Spanish omelette.

5 Eggs

Eggs pack a big nutrient punch for their relatively low cost. An egg has around 6g of high-quality protein as well as vitamins A, B12, D, E, plus iron, selenium, choline and more.

Research now suggests that there is no need for the average person to limit the number of eggs they have. Only those with an increased risk of heart disease are advised to limit them to no more than six per week.

They are wonderfully versatile, from eggs on toast to omelettes, fried rice, fritters, frittatas and more… there are many healthy, budget-friendly and satisfying meals that can be made in a flash with eggs.

Try these delicious ideas:

Quick vege frittata with pesto
Asian-style coconut chicken omelette
Baked Scotch eggs

First published: Apr 2021

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