Must-have ingredients that make putting together a healthy meal possible, even on the most hectic of days.
1. Eggs and egg whites: Eggs top our list because they offer a super convenient source of high quality protein, an essential component for satisfaction. They’re not just a breakfast food either. A veggie omelet or frittata makes a nutrition-rich, satisfying dinner in no more than 10 minutes. A hard-boiled egg makes a tasty snack when paired with whole grain crackers or doubles as a breakfast when sliced on an English muffin with a slice of tomato. Take a sweet approach by whisking egg whites with cinnamon, oats, berries, and vanilla and cook the mixture like a pancake.
2. Baby spinach: Pre-washed baby spinach just might be THE most convenient and versatile veggie that you can have in your refrigerator. It can be eaten raw or cooked, which only takes about a minute of sautéing, microwaving, or tossing into a soup. Spinach is also one of the most nutrient dense foods and contains just 50 calories per cup. It’s also rich in vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, and folate. Use it on egg sandwiches, tossed into pasta sauce and soups, or as your green of choice in salads for a quick way to add veggies to your meals.
3. Salsa: You might typically think of salsa as the soul mate of tortilla chips, but it’s got many delicious uses beyond the chip. Salsa is a simple way to add more flavor to other foods. And guess what… it counts as a veggie too! Add 1/4 cup of salsa to an egg sandwich; use as a condiment for fajitas, wraps, and sandwiches; add to the top of a cooked chicken breast for a flavor boost; or stir into low-fat plain yogurt and use it as a dip for veggies.
4. Bumble Bee Sensations Seasoned Tuna Medley bowls: What we love most about these bowls is the convenience (all of the seasoning is already done for you, so you can peel the top off and eat) without all of the additives. All you’ll find in these bowls are tuna and herbs and spices like paprika, garlic, and onion flavor as the marinade seasoning. Add to a salad for a flavorful protein boost that also eliminates the need for dressing; toss into whole wheat pasta with chopped veggies and serve hot or cold; or stuff into a whole wheat wrap (Maybe with a handful of baby spinach) for a quick lunch.
5. Frozen berries: Berries are one of nature’s sweet super foods. They’re packed with antioxidants and fiber, low in calories, and add natural sweetness to meals or snacks. Frozen berries are especially nice to have on hand when fresh berries are not in season. Not only are frozen berries more cost-effective when it’s not berry-season, but they contain more of the powerful nutrients than berries that have been shipped from halfway across the world! Frozen berries last for months in the freezer, so you don’t have to worry about them spoiling quickly like fresh berries either. Thaw berries and use as a topper for whole grain pancakes or waffles, a smoothie addition, or to add to hot cereal and yogurt parfaits.
Are any your favorites on this list? What’s one of your go-to healthy ingredients that you can’t live without?