healthy_eatingThere are some groceries that I like to have in my pantry at all times.
When they aren’t there, I can feel a little bit of panic set in.
These three little beauties are always on my shopping list as they are healthy, versatile and super nutritious.
They are also waistline friendly AND wallet friendly which is always a good thing.

Tinned Tomatoes

This unassuming pantry cupboard staple has so many uses. The Swiss Army knife of tinned goods, tomatoes can be used in everything from soups, stews, casseroles, nachos, risottos, salsas, dips, pasta sauces, curries, lasagnes, bolognese…you get the picture.
With less than 100 calories per tin, they are a great way to enjoy the fresh flavours of tomatoes all year round.
They are rich in antioxidants, high in fibre and provide a number of vitamins and minerals; such as potassium, vitamin A, calcium and choline (a B vitamin). They are also low in fat and calories.
Watch out for – the sodium level can be quite high, so don’t add too much additional salt to your dishes.
Simple pasta sauce

  • Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan over a med-low heat. Add 2 cloves of chopped garlic and 2 rashers of chopped bacon and stir for a couple of minutes.
  • Crush 2 tins of whole tomatoes, then tip into the pan. Add a bay leaf, and bring the heat down to a simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring often, and then season with salt and pepper.
  • Serves: 4. Calories per serve: 120.
Tinned Chickpeas

Chickpeas are rich in protein, minerals and vitamins.
Fibre rich foods like these are great for when you are trying to lose weight. Fibre makes you feel fuller for longer so you end up consuming fewer calories.
Chickpeas are perfect for making your own veggie burgersprotein cookieshealthy dips; as well as delicious when added to salads, stews, stir fries, rissoles, and curries.
Watch out for – excess salt. Avoid this by rinsing well before using.
Hommus Style Dip

  • Place 1 can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed), 2 tsp minced garlic, ½ cup natural yoghurt, 2 tbsp lemon juice and some salt & pepper into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
  • Serves: 6. Calories per serve: 64
Tinned Kidney Beans

Like chickpeas, these are high in fibre which is good news for weight loss. They are also a good source of protein, as well as being low in fat.
The list of vitamins and minerals is as long as your arm. They contain folate, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, pantothenic acid and vitamin E.
They also contain minerals like manganese, potassium, copper and phosphorus, zinc, magnesium and selenium.
Kidney beans are great added to a curry, dip, veggie burger, salsa, quesadillas, chilli, nachos, bolognese, Mexican stir fry, soup or stew.
Watch out for – while tinned kidney beans are cooked and perfectly healthy, consuming raw or partly cooked kidney beans can be toxic. The toxin they contain will make you feel nauseus even after as few as 4 to 5 beans.
Chunky Mexican Salsa

  • In a large bowl combine the fresh corn from 2 corn cobs, one tin of drained and rinsed kidney beans, 2 chopped tomatoes, ½  a thinly sliced red onion, a handful of freshly chopped coriander, the juice of one lime, 1 tbsp of lime zest, 1 tsp of honey.
  • Serves: 4. Calories per serve: 191.  

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