Recipes to try

Recipes to try

July 21, 2015

Healthy meals that don’t require cooking

Healthy meals that don't require cooking (Thinkstock)

With summer in full swing, you’re probably using your oven less and turning to fresh, natural foods in a bid to keep cool from the hot temperatures.

While you might be used to using your hob or microwave, you can save time (and electricity!) by making healthy meals that require no cooking at all. This is perfect for when it’s hot outside and you want to sit out and enjoy the sun, rather than stand inside a stuffy kitchen for hours on end.

When you think of foods that don’t require cooking, you’ll probably immediately think of processed snacks like crisps, chocolate and sweets. But these are very unhealthy since they contain refined sugars that can increase your risk of health problems like diabetes and obesity.

Not just this, but they also don’t constitute full meals as they don’t provide the nutrients that are essential for the body.

You’re probably wondering, therefore, how you can create tasty, filling and nutritious dishes that don’t require cooking. Read on for some inspiration:

Overnight oats

If you’re always rushing around in the morning and don’t have enough time to prepare your breakfast, do it the night before instead. Overnight oats is a simple, easy recipe that you can spruce up however you wish.

Take a glass jar or container and add rolled oats. Mix with low-fat Greek or natural yoghurt, then throw in raisins, grated apple, seeds and berries.

Leave your mixture in the fridge overnight and in the morning it will be good to go. You could even add a drizzle of honey, too, if you wish to sweeten your oats a little.

Raw pancakes

At the weekends, you may treat yourself to pancakes for breakfast. These tend to be quite stodgy, though, and can leave you feeling full and lethargic. What’s more, they leave you with lots of washing up to do, not to mention them being time-consuming to cook as if you’re making them for your family you normally have to stand over the hob to cook a few batches.

A healthy and cook-free alternative is raw pancakes. All you have to do is mix ground flaxseed with two tablespoons of coconut oil and a bit of water. Mix together until relatively firm, then pat into pancake shapes. You can eat them as they are or add some sliced bananas, berries and a drizzle of honey for sweetness.

Stuffed peppers

You may have cooked stuffed peppers before as a lunch or dinner meal. The traditional recipe involves adding rice, which requires cooking. For a quick, healthy option, try making raw stuffed peppers.

Simply slice off the top of a red, green or yellow pepper and fill with wholesome ingredients, such as mushrooms, tomatoes, carrots and sunflower seeds. It’s a good idea to pop these into a food processor first, so that the peppers are easier to fill and cut into.

Serve with a garnish of salad for a delicious summer lunch.

Raw cauliflower mash

You may be a fan of mashed potato, but this isn’t the healthiest of foods. A raw, healthy alternative, however, is cauliflower mash.

Take a whole cauliflower, wash it and then place it in a food processor to break it down. Add some soaked cashew nuts, herbs and a little olive oil. The texture will be similar to mashed potato, except a lot healthier and tastier!

Serve with a portion of fresh fish, such as mackerel or salmon, or a grilled, seasoned chicken breast along with some green vegetables.