Trying to eat healthily this year but already find yourself teetering on the edge of that wagon? Join the club! If you’re sick of soggy salads and sad sandwiches at lunchtime, allow us to give you a little inspiration…
We asked a few members of our tribe for their favourite healthy lunch recipes – we don’t just run on bananas you know, and trust us when we say our gang needs all the nutrients and energy they can here at Banana HQ! Healthy eating isn’t a mystery; just remember to keep things natural and fresh, and that it’s all about balance – which, as it happens, is also an important skill when you’re navigating our tree tops!
Ready to liven up your lunchtime? Take a look at these tasty healthy lunch ideas…
Stuck having your lunch al-desko? With just a few spices and dry ingredients, you can get a real taste of the exotic! Just prepare some couscous according to the packet instructions, then in a separate pan, toast a spice mix of ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cardamom and mixed spice, before adding oil, sliced red onion, red pepper and courgette. Throw in some sultanas, chickpeas and pistachios, then stir it all into the couscous with some chopped fresh mint. If you like, add grilled chicken breast for extra protein.
Loaded sweet potatoes
If you tend to crave something warm at lunchtime, this nutritious take on a jacket potato will do the trick. Sweet potatoes are packed with antioxidants, vitamin A, bet-carotene and fibre ΓÇô and they’re oh-so-tasty! Just cook a whole sweet potato for 40 minutes in the oven, then cut in half and stuff with anything you fancy. You could try cottage cheese; feta and roasted veggies; spicy chicken; tuna and red onion; or houmous and spinach.
Spicy bean burrito bowl
Arriba! Fire up your taste buds with a spicy Mexican bean bowl – so yummy you won’t even notice it’s good for you! Cook a grain of your choice (such as quinoa or bulgar wheat) then stir in chopped onion, garlic, chilli, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper. Mix through black beans, red kidney beans and sweetcorn. Divide into portions, then pile each one onto a bed of chopped iceberg lettuce. Top with salsa, chunks of avocado and a dollop of yoghurt.
Frittatas are a great lunchtime choice ΓÇô they’re cheap, versatile, easy, and you can make a few portions in one go! To make a basic frittata, cook your chosen fillings in a large, oven-proof frying pan (try chorizo and red pepper), then add 5-6 eggs beaten with milk, and cheese such as goats cheese, cheddar or feta. Cook for 10-12 mins until set, then flash under a hot grill to cook the top and turn it golden brown. Cut into three or four portions and serve with a crispy green salad.
Wholesome banana muffins
OK, we couldn’t help include one banana recipe! What can we say, we’re bananas about them! Whip up a batch of these beauties on a Sunday evening, and you’ve got lunchbox puds for the whole week. Take 250g flour (use a 50/50 mix of white and wholemeal) and combine with cinnamon, ginger and baking powder. Stir this into a mixture of three mashed bananas, two eggs, brown sugar, honey and vanilla extract, and mix until blended. Pour into muffin cases, sprinkle with oats, then bake for around 25 mins.
So there you have it! Some healthy ideas to keep you full up and fuelled up. And if you’re making a packed lunch, why not bring it to one of our forest locations to fuel a day of fun and adventure? We promise to help you work up an appetite!