Did you know 30g of dried fruit is one portion of your 5-a-day? Or that sweet potatoes and baked beans both count too? Make the most of colourful fruit and veg in ways you might not have even thought of and add extra portions to your meals alongside plenty of fresh fruit and veg to make getting your 5-a-day easy.
Stock the freezer full of frozen fruit and veg. There’s so much more to choose from than just frozen peas – bags of frozen spinach go further than fresh, store colourful sweetcorn or keep bags of juicy mixed fruit so you can enjoy berries all year round. Add frozen peas to quick frittatas and sweetcorn to fish pies or try blitzing fruit into smoothies.
30g of dried fruit is 1 portion of your 5-a-day. Choose from juicy dried apricots, raisins and sultanas or chewy dried tropical fruits, such as pineapple and mango. The NHS recommends that these are eaten as part of a meal, rather than snacks in between, to help prevent tooth decay due to their high natural sugars. Add dried apricots to this Middle Eastern-inspired vegetable tagine, add sultanas to a colourful pearl barley salad or use raisins in the filling for spicy stuffed tomatoes.
80g of beans and pulses count as 1 of your 5-a-day. However, these only count once as part of your 5-a-day, no matter how many you eat, because whilst they are a good source of fibre, they contain fewer nutrients than other forms of fruit and veg. Nevertheless, they are still an easy way to add an extra portion into your day – whether you open a tin of baked beans, blitz up healthy bean burgers or use lentils in veggie cottage pies or Bolognese.
80g of canned fruit and vegetable counts as 1 portion of your 5-a-day (the same amount as fresh or frozen). Choose tinned fruit that comes in natural juice or water instead of syrup to avoid extra sugar. Tinned fruit is great for using in healthy fruity bakes, such as tinned apricots in a simple crumble. Tinned veg is an easy shortcut when the fridge is bare – peas, mushrooms, green beans are all available, as well as classics such as sweetcorn. Read our 3 ways with tinned sweetcorn to get you started!
150ml of fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothies counts as 1 of your 5-a-day and it is not recommended to drink more than this. Make homemade smoothies and experiment with different flavour combos for a healthy, colourful way to start your morning – use frozen fruit to keep the final smoothie extra chilled. We’ve got plenty of smoothie and juice recipes to get you started – from tropical mango to green avocado, spinach and lime.
Unlike plain white potatoes, sweet potatoes do count as one of your 5-a-day. Mash, roast or bake them in place of white potatoes for an easy way to get an extra portion of veg. Potatoes are a good source of fibre, so keep the skin on for maximum nutrients. Check out our favourite sweet potato recipes and choose from a healthy sweet potato and lentil salad, crisp sweet potato fritters or a veg-packed tikka masala.
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