Sneaky 5 a day
The World Health Organisation recommends that we eat 400g of fruits and vegetables each day to lower our risk for serious health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and obesity1. For many of us, though, getting our five a day seems to be a challenge. The September results of our Everyday Health Tracker found that just 31% of UK adults eat their 'Five a Day' - a minimal increase from the 29% in the first wave of results. For some of us eating all of our 'Five a Day'2 may come down to lack of time, but there are probably more than a few of us who just aren't big fans of eating lots of fruits and veggies. If that's the case, then we've got a great solution for you. Check out these six great ways you can hide your 'Five a Day' in the foods you eat every day.
1. Cauliflower sauce
A thick, creamy sauce can make pasta an absolute delicious treat. Most sauces are rich in butter, milk, flour and cheese, but you can make your sauce much healthier and just as delicious - and get one of your 'Five a Day' at the same time! The key? A head of cauliflower. The method is simple - boil your cauliflower until tender and then transfer into a blender. Add a cup of vegetable or chicken stock and then blend until smooth. You can add more stock or milk if you prefer to make the sauce thinner. To season try adding some saut¿ed garlic and salt and pepper. If you're looking for a cheesy sauce, add some cheddar.
2. Courgette pizza crust
We recently wrote about this delight in our article 6 ways to cook with courgettes. Pizza is a tasty treat for anyone, but instead of using a regular bread crust you can make one with courgettes, egg and cheese. You'll barely notice the extra helping of vegetables in your dinner as you chow down on a slice. Check out the recipe here.
3. Banana pancakes
If you love pancakes then you have to try this one. Put a banana, two eggs, and a dash of cinnamon in a blender and blitz until smooth. Heat a non-stick frying pan. In our experience the pancakes may stick a little, so you may want to lightly coat your pan in oil. Then, cook as you would a pancake until lightly brown on each side!
Smoothies are tasty, and can be a great way to consume healthy foods without even noticing! While most smoothies are fruit based, you can also add a variety of healthy vegetables to pack the best 'Five a Day' punch. To get the most out of smoothies skip the store bought variety and make your own at home. In addition to fresh fruits like strawberries and bananas, add vegetables like kale, spinach and beetroot. Getting your five a day will be simple!
For more tips on how to boost your smoothie, check out this article.
From carrot cake to butternut squash brownies, there are dozens of recipes out there for sweet, tasty cakes that incorporate veg right in them - and you won't even notice! It's not the healthiest snack, but it's okay to have a treat once in a while. And what better treat to have then one that helps you get your 'Five a Day'. Our favourite is chocolate courgette cake. It's rich and moist and if you didn't know there was courgette in there, you'd never think to ask.
6. Cauliflower mash
Mashed potatoes are a staple at most dinner tables, so this swap should be quite easy to pull off. Instead of making your mash with just potatoes, you can make a delicious, creamy mash using half potatoes and half cauliflower. For instructions, check out this great recipe.