We all know that eating healthily increases life expectancy. But it can be hard if you live on a tight budget or you can’t get out to the shops as often as you used to. With a bit of planning you can stock up your freezer with all the ingredients you need to create some simple budget healthy recipes and get your five a day.
Frozen meat and fish is often cheaper but just as nutritious and there is no wastage. Frozen vegetables are also surprisingly good. I stock up on frozen peas, cauliflower, green beans, sliced peppers, sweetcorn on and off the cob. Sweet potato chips are a recent discovery and a tasty more nutritious alternative to the plain potato variety. You can also buy frozen herbs and chopped chilli to sprinkle into recipes. Another freezer staple for me are frozen berries. Take out as much as you need, defrost and sweeten to taste. Stir into porridge for a really nutritious and filling breakfast. Or for a delicious dessert mix with natural yoghurt or ready made low fat custard.
Frozen fish is excellent, usually much cheaper and can be used in a variety of recipes. In most cases fish can be cooked in the oven straight from the freezer (but check the label). I always have spare bread in my freezer. I buy a basic medium sliced wholemeal and separate into small amounts. A third I use straight away, and bag and freeze two more portions. Any leftover stale bread from the fresh loaf can be grated into breadcrumbs and frozen to be used straight from the freezer.
Did you know you could freeze semi-skimmed milk? It keeps for a month but don’t be bewildered if it expands a little and turns yellow. It’s perfectly ok and can be used as fresh once taken out and defrosted.
This simple fish recipe can be on your plate within half hour of thinking about it. Take one or two portions (depending on your appetite) of frozen white fish per person and place in an ovenproof dish, take out a good handful of frozen breadcrumbs per person and mix with some fresh grated cheese (parmesan or hard Italian cheese works best but any cheese is ok). Add a teaspoonful of dried herbs. Place this breadcrumb topping on the fish and bake uncovered in a preheated medium hot oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the fish is cooked. Delicious with green beans and sweet potato chips.