Inventive ways to sneak in your 10-a-day

Sweet treats, crisps, sauces and more

If you’ve heard the recent news that the standard five-a-day veggie intake has doubled, you might be well… flabbergasted. Gone are the days when you could count your daily dose on one hand – now you need two. While the new recommended 800g of fruit and vegetables may seem like a foodie mountain just too high to climb, we’ve come up with some genius ways to sneak in the good stuff. You’re welcome:

Desserts for days

Fruit and vegetables are brilliant on their own – we get that, but sometimes you just need a bit of indulgence, a naughty treat. And no one's judging. But when science decides to throw you lemons (and carrots, grapes – whatever makes up your 10-a-day) it’s time to utilise those nutritious superstars in delicious... sweet treats.

First off, it’s all about the cookies. Freshly baked and satisfyingly warm, these perfect little rounds have been comforting us for as long as we can remember. Up your veg count with parsnip, white chocolate and cranberry cookies or these sweet potato treats with caramelised macadamia nuts.

If cookies aren’t your thing, try this chocolate and aubergine loaf with cinnamon cream cheese frosting or these avocado and lime ice lollies.

Chip it, dip it, crisp it

Chips, dips and crisps are the cool kids of any party spread. And, like the popular crowd at school, they’re all about the (foodie) trends. Stealing the title of homecoming king, this guacamole is healthy, nutritious and simply delicious while queen-bee status goes to hummus (you can pick some up from our deli).

Sweet potato fries (need we say more) are excellent with crumbed chicken and balsamic lamb steaks; try adding fresh salads or veg – we’ve got plenty of ready-to-roast traybakes that score points for taste and convenience. And would it be a veg article without a nod towards kale? Turn the superfood into a super snack with these crisps served with a butter bean, lemon and garlic dip.

Get saucy

When times are tough sauces are great. They can be made in big batches and frozen for a later date, they provide a delicious base for a whole host of recipes and they’re great for sneaking in the good stuff. Think of onions as your new best friend. Not only do they flavour dishes like a boss – no sauce is complete without them – but just three heaped tablespoons count as one portion of veg. Add tomatoes, peppers and anything else you can think of and you’ve got yourself a golden ticket to veggie success.

Cauliflower… can you cut it?

We’re not saying to cut out carbs by any means, but there are a few simple swaps you can make that’ll help you to reach your daily target. Use cauliflower as a pizza base, as a meat substitute with these cauliflower steaks or in these crispy cauliflower rostis. We’ve tried not to harp on too much about the wonders of this white vegetable, but with its brilliant versatility (and the fact that just 8 small florets count as one portion) it was hard not to.

Hey you, over there… do you count towards my 10-a-day?

If you’re still not quite hitting double digits, here are some hidden gems that’ll bump up your quota:

  • 3 heaped tablespoons of baked beans – try them with marmite, wholemeal bread and cheese for a super simple meal.
  • 30 olives: If you’re a guest, or hosting a party, and haven’t managed to reach your goal, rest assured that these beauties are a here to lend a helping hand. Choose from our extensive deli range or enjoy them marinated in chilli.
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of tomato pureé will strike one portion off of the list – use it in sauces. Always the sauce. Use it in a saucy tortellini.
  • For a quick switch sandwich your next burger patty between two portobello mushrooms instead of a bun.

Has the recent revelation got you in a tailspin? Not to worry, we’ve got your portion sizes and food prep down. Or maybe you want to learn about what happened to Spinneys Magazine senior sub-editor Joe Russell when he attempted to reach 10-a-day? Right this way