Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Food basics

Today's post is about some the food basics I always have in my fridge and in my cupboards. They are either basic products or extras which make my everyday meals and snacks a little healthier. Having them stocked means I'll be less tempted to reach for crap. I try to buy as many foods that haven't been overly processed. I thought it might give you some inspiration for your next grocery shopping trip. 
Frozen fruits are easy to keep because they stay good for a long time. I like having frozen raspberries and blueberries to add to smoothies. When it's the season for these fruits again I'll buy them fresh.

I always have some of my homemade granola which I eat with greek yoghurt or use as a topping on smoothies to make them more filling. Store-bought granola is usually loaded with sugar and making your own is so easy and tasty. Find my recipe here

Another staple is greek style yoghurt, full-fat or low-fat. Greek yoghurt is really good for you as a breakfast or post-workout snack. I top it with granola and fruit or use it in smoothies. I also really like Yeo Valley's blueberry yoghurt, though this one contains added sugar.

Almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts are filled with good fats and perfect as a snack to bring to work or school (together with some dates). I usually roast the nuts in the oven for a better flavour.

Talking about nuts, I'm pretty nuts about nut butters. It's fatty, but the fats are healthy, and Meridian doesn't add palm oil to their nut butters. I'm quite obsessed with almond butter and can't live without it anymore. I eat it with toast, add to smoothies, yoghurt, porridge or spoon it right out of the jar... I probably eat way too much of this stuff. I've been told that 1kg tubs of Meridian almond butter will be available now/soon. 

Wheatgrass contains so much good stuff like protein, it's a detoxifier, increases energy levels and much more. I mix 2 teaspoons of this with water and drink this about 3 times a week. It's bright green and not very tasty so I don't like to add it to my smoothies and rather drink it pure. This is more of an extra rather than a basic. 

I keep this mix of seeds stocked to sprinkle over salads. It's a mix of sunflower, pumpkin and flax seeds. You can get a similar mix at Holland & Barrett called Omega Sprinkle. 

I can't live without the rich flavour chocolate and Lindt has become my favourite brands since living in London and not having Belgian chocolate at my disposal. I like the 70% chocolate and the dark chocolate with sea salt is amazing. Many people don't like dark chocolate but it's something you kind of need to learn to eat. One little piece of pure chocolate is so much more satisfying than a big chunk of milk chocolate.

I love eating porridge or overnight oats as breakfast so I always have oats in my cupboard. I either buy these little Quaker bags or the big 1 kg bags of oats from Holland & Barrett which is better in my opinion. 

Fruit! I cannot live without fruit. Lemons and limes are perfect for cooking or to add to water. Oranges and grapefruit make a beautiful fruit salad or a good base for a smoothie. Bananas are another staple fruit for me and I eat them with yoghurt, as banana pancakes or smoothies. I also keep a big pomegranate in my fridge and take some seeds out to use in salads, yoghurts and fruit salads.

Coconut water is a bit of a treat as it's not very cheap, but it's seriously the most thirst quenching and hydrating drink out there! Perfect for when you're very thirsty of dehydrated, like after working out. I also use this in smoothies. Vita Coco is my favourite brand from all the ones I've tried so far (all coconut waters taste a little different). 

Other things I always have are different kinds of vegetables (avocados, tomatoes, fresh spinach, salads, courgette, mushrooms, onions, carrots...), eggs, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, herbal teas and lots of different spices (pepper, cinnamon, smoked paprika, shichimi, zhatar, thyme, chili). My "trick" for balance is to try to eat as much relatively healthy stuff at home as I can so I won't feel guilty when I order burgers and steaks when I eat out. 

What are your food basics?

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