The demand for convenience often sees consumers opting for items that aren’t always healthy. However, manufacturers and supermarkets are getting savvier and savvier. They’re stepping in to the play the role of ‘sous chef’, with a growing range of healthier convenience products that save us time in the kitchen, while also supporting health.
There are some supermarket products that can be particularly conducive to a busier lifestyle. By having a stash readily available at the office, we have the foundations of a quick and speedy meal or snack on hand.
However, with quite literally thousands of products lining the supermarket, what then meets the brief for being both nutritious and time-friendly? We’ve done the work for you. Here is our list of top supermarket convenience products to keep an eye out for next time you’re doing a grocery shop.
UNCLE TOBYS - QUICK SACHETS ‘ORGINAL’
The humble bowl of oats is ideal morning fuel. Rich in dietary fibre which is slow to be digested (i.e. and so keeps us full for longer), oats provide slow-burning energy to power us through our morning to-do lists.
We love these UNCLE TOBYS Quick Sachet’s for quick breakfasts at work if you didn’t have time before heading out the door. You simply just tip the contents into a bowl, add your choice of water/milk, and then microwave for 90 seconds…and hey presto, you’re done!
The original blend here contains only 100% wholegrain rolled oats. If you like it sweeter we recommend a smidge of honey or chopped seasonal fruit.
TINNED FISH - ANY KIND
Tinned fish is a fabulous source of protein which helps to aid satiation (feelings of fullness), as well as essential omega-3’s which have a role in modulating inflammation within, and heart/brain/skin health.
What we love most about tinned products is their longevity - keep a few of these tins handy at work for a speedy protein source to add to salad, on toast, in a wrap, or with crackers as a snack. Flavour wise, we recommend items in spring water/oil as they tend to have shorter ingredients list, which typically suggests a product less processed. While tuna and salmon are common picks, don’t forget sardines and mackerel too!
If you don’t want to be ‘that’ notorious person in the office who brought fish for lunch (it’s really not THAT bad anyway!), just sit in neutral territory - the shared kitchen. Or better yet enjoy your lunch under the glorious sun outside, while simultaneously topping up your vitamin D stores!
Crackers serve as tasty vehicles for getting more nutrients into you! They’re also infinity variable with toppings, ideal with nut butter, tinned fish, cheese, smashed avocado, pesto, hummus or whatever else your heart desires. Below are a few of our favourites at the supermarket right now:
Ceres Organics Brown Rice Cakes: these are light and crunchy, minimally processed, and contain no msg, synthetic preservatives, artificial flavours or refined sugars.
180 Degree Walnut Oat Crackers: an artisan cracker that is deliciously nutty and crunchy. Made with a high percentage of oats and walnuts. 10/10 good with cheese.
Penati Nut & Seed Crackers in the Nude: all natural cracker made with just nuts, seeds and a smidge of salt. High in protein and low in carbs.
For longevity in product, aim to store your crackers in an airtight container to help prevent them going stale or soft before their time.
Rice is very nutritious, especially fibre-rich brown rice, but does require time to boil from scratch. While taking leftovers from home the night before is always the best pick (and more affordable per serve), microwavable rice is a great option to fall back on, especially at work.
To prepare, simply pop the bag in the microwavable and cook for the required time. We love tossing rice with a quick salad from home (e.g. chopped tomato, cucumber, grated carrot) and whatever protein-rich food was leftover from dinner the night before, and flavouring with a handful of grated cheese, or spoonful of pesto or hummus. If in doubt just add some shredded supermarket chicken or tinned fish. Great fuel for the afternoon ahead!
NUTS - IDEALLY A BIG ‘OL BAG OF MIXED
Nuts are a superbly nutritious snack option. They’re a good source of fat (mainly monounsaturated, and some omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated), as well as protein and fibre. This combo of nutrients is fabulous at aiding satiation between meals, keeping us feeling full for longer. They’re also rich in micronutrients, aka vitamins and minerals, which help support all angles of health.
Nuts keep for a long time and store well at room temperature. As a snack idea keep a bag of mixed nuts at your desk and enjoy a handful each day. They’re also great added on top of porridge, or mixed into yoghurt with fresh fruit as a snack or small breakfast.
This blog was written especially for our friends at Westpac NZ, who we’re excited to be assisting with their workplace wellbeing this year. It’s thrilling to see a company go the extra mile for their staff!