A thick, creamy stew is what winter is all about, right? Comfort food is where it’s at, but what about your waistline and, more importantly, what about your health?
While it’s cool to indulge every now and then as the winter chill makes its presence known, for your own good, it is still important to eat right. You also need to ensure that you are getting the best nutrition possible to help you ace your studies! Here are some tips for healthy eating on a budget throughout the wintertime.
- Don’t forget about your fruits and veggies. They’re still the most important aspect of your diet and the veggies make great soups. Save some money when shopping for these essentials by visiting a green grocer close to your digz. They’re sure to offer much lower prices than those that you’ll find at a regular grocery store.
- Buy seasonally. Certain fruits and veggies will be abundant, and therefore cheaper, throughout the winter months, while others will almost double in price. Steer clear of the latter and fill up on the former.
- Make your own homemade soup. It’s really simple and affordable to do – plus, soup can be low in calories while still being wholly satisfying! Just remember to go easy on the salt. Oh, and also be sure to cook double and freeze half for the nights when studies take priority over cooking.
- Drink plenty of fluids. It is so easy to forget to keep hydrated during winter because the weather is so much cooler and you probably aren’t sweating as much anymore. However, 6 to 8 glasses of water every single day are still essential to your health and general functioning.
- Add garlic to your meals. Not only is it a cheap way in which to add extra flavour to your favourite dishes, it also has disease fighting properties, thus helping you ward off those pesky colds and ‘flu!
- Share grocery costs with your roomie. Take turns doing the cooking and go halvies on the grocery bill. After all, cooking for just one person can be such a drag. On top of that, what better way in which to get to know your roomie than over a healthy, home-cooked meal?
Here’s a Hearty chicken and veg soup
You will need:
- 2 chicken carcasses (after your Sunday Roast!) or 3 chicken breasts on the bone
- 1 chicken stock cube
- Veg: 1 carrot, 2 cups of red cabbage, 1 med sweet potato, ½ a butternut, 1 large onion, 2 cloves of garlic, cup of frozen peas, fresh coriander, parsley and rosemary
- Salt and pepper
- Juice of 1 lemon
Making the Soup
- Put your chicken carcases in a huge pot, add the stock cube and cover the carcasses with water
- Once the broth starts to boil, turn the temperature down and simmer for 1 hour
- While your broth is simmering chop your veggies – chunky or fine (your preference)
- Put them into a slow cooker – leave out your onions and garlic
- In a separate pan, soften the onions and garlic and once lightly browned, add them to the rest of your veggies in the slow cooker
- After an hour of simmering, sieve the stock from your chicken carcasses and use a fork to pull all the meat off the bone. Add these back into the stock
- Pour the chicken stock into the slow cooker, season and place the rosemary on top
- Cook slowly on a med heat for 3hrs
- After 3 hours stir in the juice of the lemon and the fresh herbs – taste and season again if needs be
- If you prefer a smooth soup – blitz it before you add the lemon and herbs
- Dish up what you need with freshly baked rolls and store the rest in your freezer!
Healthy eating during winter doesn’t have to be a challenge. Do you also have a few helpful tips to add? Tell us in the comments section below!