This may be my last weekend as a full time student as I’ll be submitting my Masters thesis on Monday, then starting work after a month or so break. I’ve spent the last 4 years living on a student budget yet am fairly active and health conscious. I don’t always nail it, but 80% of the time I eat pretty well.
One of the most common issues people on a budget raise is that eating healthy can be more expensive than buying convenience foods. This is especially so for students, as we view ourselves as ‘time poor’ (may or may not be true!).Most Aussies also don’t get the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables (only 5.1% meet both guidelines) so it’s always awesome when you can start the day with a few serves before you even leave home.
With that in mind, I thought I’d share this simple homemade superfood breakfast smoothie that costs just $4.50AUD ($3.32USD) per serve, and contains 2.5 serves of fruit and 2 serves of vegetables. To put the cost into perspective, at work I can buy a ham and cheese toastie for $5.00AUD, with zero serves of fruit and vegetables (throw a small coffee in and it’s $8.40AUD and still no veggies!).
I’m not fussy when it comes to organic, as eating enough fruits and vegetables is way more important for health than eating organic fruit and veg but in tiny amounts. I just make sure I wash everything well. Keep in mind the cost would vary depending on the brand and whether you use organic produce.
I also use frozen blueberries and spinach cubes which are just as nutritious as fresh. The spinach isn’t in its prettiest format, as it’s nothing more than 100% chopped spinach formed into cubes and snap frozen. I’ve found I often throw away fresh spinach if I don’t use it quickly enough and also find that frozen spinach is easier to work with (just throw the cubes in!).
This smoothie can be modified depending on your tastes e.g. swap the banana for peaches, the beetroot for cooked carrots etc. and your activity levels e.g. you might want to add raw oats or protein powder if you work out often. You could also eat it alongside a small meal (serve of porridge, cooked eggs etc.) if you don’t find it filling enough.
Blueberries (frozen) – 1/2 cup
Banana (fresh) – 1 medium, torn/chopped into 1″ pieces
Spinach (frozen) – 2 cubes
Beetroot (fresh) – 1 medium
Yoghurt, 99% fat free – 3/4 cup
Walnuts – 1/3 cup
Chia seeds – 1-2 tsp
Cinnamon – to taste
Water – approx. 1 cup
Place everything into the blender and blend for 60 seconds or until smooth (you may need to turn the blender off once or twice to allow the mix to settle, then continue blending). It mixes best if the frozen items are at the base, followed by fresh fruit and vegetables and then yoghurt. Place any nuts, seeds and spices in last as these can get stuck around the blades of the blender if they go in first. This makes around 600ml smoothie.