Beside the obvious fresh fruit and veggies, keep these essentials on hand for a quick, nutritious meal or snack.

1. Greek yoghurt – With up to twice the amount of protein compared to natural or plain, Greek yoghurt is the perfect hunger-busting snack which can be naturally sweetened with fruit and crunchy nuts. For a savoury meal, use it in place of cream for sauces to cut down on saturated fat and calories, without skipping on flavour.

2. Pre-chopped – Buy bags of washed salad (baby spinach, kale rocket, coleslaw) and throw together a quick salad, lunch wrap fillers or toss into stir-fries.

3. Fresh Herbs – add loads of flavour and extra nutrition without extra calories or salt. Whip up a pesto to stir through wholemeal pasta or add to salsas, salads or scrambled eggs. Think mint, basil, coriander and parsley, or lemon thyme.

4. Eggs – Omelettes are a great vessel for using up leftovers like last night’s roast vegetables or other odds and ends in the fridge. Serve with grainy toast for a complete and quick meal. Not into scramble, just boil, poach or fry. Any way, eggs are a cheap and versatile protein source because they contain all the essential amino acids our bodies need in the right amounts. They’re a natural source of key nutrients including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, E and B12, antioxidants and choline.

5. Smoked Fish – smoked salmon or trout is great to throw together a speedy pasta or serve alongside eggs in the morning as a healthier alternative to bacon.

6. Medjool dates – Enjoy one or two as a sweet treat on their own, or stuff with a spoonful of nut butter, or goat’s cheese for something more decadent, or blitz up some bliss balls using rolled oats, nuts or seeds and coconut.

7. Hummus – Made from chickpeas, tahini, and olive oil, this fridge staple is full of fibre, plant-based protein and healthy fats. Use on wraps and sandwiches in place of mayonnaise, or enjoy a few tablespoons as a snack with crunchy carrots and celery.

8. Wholegrain wraps – Load up with leftovers like grilled chicken, lamb and lots of fresh salad or use as a healthy pizza base.

Is your pantry in need of a makeover too? 

For more meal planning tips, nutritionally balanced and health enhancing menu plans, and seasonal recipes, check out the 10 Days to a Healthier You e-book


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