Top 5 food tips for students
A-level results are out, so for many its now off to University. You may be completely prepared for it or you might be terrified of what the next three years holds for you. But either way you will have to be more independent than you probably have been. And that goes for what you eat.
Follow my 5 simple tips and at least you will have the food side of things sorted!
Try and avoid fast food outlets, takeaways and ready meals. If that’s not possible limit them to once or twice a week. The reason being they are heavily processed, contain high amounts of salt, sugar, fat and calories and are often lacking in nutrients. The result could be weight gain, tiredness, bad skin, irritability, poor sleep and concentration. Instead focus on plenty of vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, water, nuts and pulses.
Buy the basics; by that I mean a selection of tins, jars and packets that can quickly be turned in to a nutritious meal. And don’t be afraid of frozen veg and fruit; they are nutritious, inexpensive, reduce food waste and easy to prepare.
Do your food shop at the end of the day, when you are more likely to bag bargains like reduced prices. Also buy food the day before a shop is closed for a public holiday (and they have to get rid of stock). Buy fresh fruit and veg when its in season – it is bursting with nutritional goodness and also cheaper (often greengrocers or local Asian supermarkets have very reasonably priced items). But don’t buy food when you are hungry, it will encourage you to buy high fat, sugar processed items
Buy in bulk. Dried goods are often cheaper when bought in quantity. If you haven’t got the space to store lots of food, club together with your friends; share the cost, share the quantity, share the discounts. Don’t be afraid to shop around; Aldi, Lidl, Coop, Morrisons are often cheaper than the big named supermarkets.
Whilst you’re still at home get some quick and easy recipes under your belt. Base your meals around vegetables, they are incredibly cheap, nutritious, versatile and easy to cook
- spaghetti Bolognese – either with mince, Quorn or lentils, tinned tomatoes, lots of herbs, chopped veggies (carrots, peas, sweetcorn, onions, mushrooms courgettes, or wherever you have available) and some stock powder. Served with wholemeal spaghetti (to keep you fuller for longer)
- Curry – cauliflower and chickpea is simple and cheap. Fry frozen cauliflower in a pan with a chopped onion. Add a jar of curry sauce or curry powder/paste. Add a tin of chickpeas and its water (if using curry powder or paste). finish with a splash of lemon juice and some fresh coriander (if you want it to look cheffy!
- stir-fry – use can use a frozen stir-fry mix and a jar of Sharwoods black bean and pepper sauce (low in sugar). Add chicken, beans, tofu, nuts or Quorn for protein
- cheats risotto – using microwave wholegrain rice, frozen veg and leftover cooked chicken, Quorn, tofu or beans. You can make it fancy by adding fresh or dried herbs and spices
If you really don’t know where to start come to my student cookery classes that take place in West Bridgford, Nottingham every Thursday at 2pm