With cost of living pressures putting the squeeze on family budgets, turning to simple, veggie-loaded home-cooked meals is one way to put healthy meals on the table, for less.
We love all vegetables but have hand-picked some hero budget-friendly veggies to add to your weekly shop right now. Not only are they affordable and versatile but they provide outstanding nutritional benefits!
There’s good reason you were told to eat your carrots when you were younger! Rich in beta-carotene (a pigment that makes carrots orange), carrots contain antioxidants to help your body fight off infections, such as the common cold. Beta-carotene can also be converted into vitamin A in the body, which is an important vitamin for eye health and good vision.
Asparagus is rich in fibre, folate and vitamin K. It also contains something called asparaptine, which may help improve blood flow and in turn, lower blood pressure.
Cucumbers also contain Vitamin C and carotenoids which can help provide your brain cells with antioxidant protection.
Celery provides many micronutrients. It contains potassium, folate, vitamin A and vitamin K. Vitamin K is an important nutrient that assists with blood clotting, wound healing and bone health.
Leafy Asian Greens
These greens are also rich in vitamins B6, C and packed with fibre. Vitamin C plays a part in your body’s natural collagen production so it may even help fight the signs of aging.
While they may be small in size, peas pack a big nutritional punch – they provide a good source of fibre, folate and vitamin C, and are packed full of phytonutrients. They are also one of the best vegetable sources of protein, with just ½ a cup providing around 4g of protein. Now forget the mushy, over-boiled peas your mum served you as a kid and think about the burst of sweetness from adding fresh peas to salads, pastas, frittatas or even pureed in pestos.
Sweet potatoes are a source of antioxidants and vitamin A with a 100g serve of the root vegetable providing over three times your daily vitamin A needs. Just like carrots, they are rich in beta-carotene and they’re also a great source of vitamin C, important for helping to boost immunity and assist in iron absorption. Sweet potatoes also offer fibre and are high in potassium, which is important for good heart health. Plus, sweet potatoes are lower GI than their regular potato counterparts, so are a better option for those seeking to lower blood sugar and manage weight.
Far from humble, cauliflower is one of the best bang-for-buck veggies and delivers some impressive health benefits. A member of the cruciferous vegetable family, which also includes broccoli, bok choy, brussels sprouts and kale, cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C, B vitamins and vitamin K, which is best known for its crucial role in bone health and also contains phytochemicals that may have anti-bacterial and anti-viral effects in the body.
Zucchinis contain vitamin C and carotenoids and are also high in both water and fibre, plus contain soluble and insoluble fibre making them a winner for your overall gut health and digestion. Apart from helping to keep you regular, fibre is also helpful in stabilising blood sugar levels and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.
Check out our veggie-packed recipes to see how you can add more of these deliciously affordable veggies into your weekly menu.