Everyday meals can be healthy and ultra cheap if you buy fresh ingredients that are locally grown and in season and if you consider foods with higher vitamin and mineral contents. One of the freshest food seasons in North America is autumn. Consider using a food analyzer to check the health value of your recipes such as the Eat Tracker by the Dietitians of Canada.
Health Canada recommends eating whole grain products that are low in fat, sugar, or salt. Choose whole grain cereals for breakfast; whole grain products are naturally full of fiber and low in fat, and they typically keep us satisfied for longer. For a healthy and ultra cheap breakfast, combine half a cup of oatmeal with a spoonful of bran cereal, one sliced banana, one tablespoon of raw almonds, one teaspoon of raisins and half a cup of semi-skimmed milk.
A study published in "The American Journal of Cardiology" found that pomegranate juice may help to stop the progression of coronary heart disease. Especially high in antioxidants, pomegranates can be enjoyed with a little sugar, or consumed as a juice. To make a refreshing smoothie, blend together a cup of pomegranate juice with one peeled and deseeded apple and half a carrot. Add some ice to chill and enjoy.
Add sweet potatoes to your favorite roasted vegetables dish or potato salad to incorporate more vitamin A into your meals. According to WHFoods, studies have shown that sweet potatoes raise blood levels of vitamin A, especially in children. A healthy alternative to french fries is baked sweet potato fries. To make this healthy snack, simply slice the vegetable into long fingers, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on top, and sprinkle some sea salt on top. Bake in a hot oven until cooked through; this will take about 25 minutes.
A classic fall fruit is the peach, which can make for a great low-calorie and cheap dessert. Buy peaches that are not too soft, have a sweet smell and firm skin. EatRight Ontario suggests that peaches that are too firm can be kept at room temperature out of direct sunlight until they ripen and soften. As a source of vitamin C, peaches can help keep your immune system strong during the fall flu season.
Nadia Haris is a registered radiation therapist who has been writing about nutrition for more than six years. She is completing her Master of Science in nutrition with a focus on the dietary needs of oncology patients.