Uni Life

Food for study thought

banana smoothie in a short glass accompanied by 2 bananas

The end of the 2015 study year is almost upon us and it’s now time to get into study mode. Below you are going to find some delicious, cheap and simple recipes to keep you fueled throughout the exam period. But firstly, I am going to explain why a nutritionally balanced meal is much more important than pizza and donuts.

Imagine this…

You are standing just below the Hillary Step of Mount Everest. You know that all you need to do now is climb the steepest and hardest part of your year long journey. A year of both physical and mental training have gone into preparing you for this moment. You know how hard it will be, your body is aching and you’re tired, but you know that once you have reached the top of the Hillary Step you are almost at the top of Mount Everest, the world’s highest point.

What are you going to eat to get you to the top?

a) A banana

b) A slice of pizza

(The correct answer is a)

Now I don’t know about you, but the moment I finish my final exam for the year I feel like I am standing on top of Mount Everest. All that hard work has finally paid off and you literally feel like you’re on top of the world. A critical part in achieving this feeling is the way you treat your body during exam time. You have to fuel your body with nutrients that will help you to stimulate you brain. Do you think that you’re going to make it up the Hillary Step on a diet of 2 minute noodles and chocolate? No you’re not.

Luckily for you, unlike climbing Mount Everest, failing your exams isn’t a matter of life or death. However if you do want to experience that top of the world post-exam feeling, then its important that you treat your body right and allow it to perform at it’s best during your exams.

So without further ado, here some super quick, cheap and easy recipes for the exam period.

Mixed berry smoothie



¾ cup mixed berries

½ cup water or apple juice


Simply put it all in a blender, blitz it and you are ready to go!


Full of antioxidants, helps you to concentrate and it has been recently discovered to help those suffering from arthritis.

A bowl of blueberries a bowl of raspberries and a bowl of mulberries on a wooden table.

Berries are full of antioxidants which are great for our immune systems!

Banana and cinnamon blitz smoothie


1 medium banana (best if frozen prior to making for an icy texture)

1 teaspoon of honey

A sprinkle of cinnamon (own preference)

2 drops of vanilla essence or vanilla bean to taste

200ml of almond milk (tastes just as good with dairy or soy)

Ice if desired


Place everything in the blender and blitz. Add ice if needed to make it nice and cool.


Bananas are incredible for boosting your energy, so it makes for a great breakfast or afternoon study snack. Just as important during study time is the benefits of banana for the brain, it is brilliant for your mental health and for balancing mood. Cinnamon is well known for its benefits to cognitive function as well as helping to prevent colds – which is a big bonus during exam time.

Study break watermelon refreshers


½ or a whole watermelon (depending on desired quantity)

¼ cup of mint leaves


Cut the watermelon into cubes and blend with the mint leaves. Pour into icypole moulds or plastic cups with a spoon placed into them. Put in the freezer for 2-3 hours until set and enjoy!


An extremely refreshing snack for those hot South East Queensland days. No artificial flavour or sweeteners but still tastes amazing!


Simple, cheap and healthy vegetarian rice (serves 4)


2 cups of brown rice (white rice if you can’t stand brown like me)

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

3 eggs

1 cup of peas

½ cup of carrots, cut to small diced cubes

½ bunch spring onion, cut (Scallion)

Soy sauce

Oil (any type but sesame oil is best)

½ glove of garlic, crushed

Ginger to taste if desired


  1. Crack eggs into a bowl and whisk with a spoon (can add a little bit of milk if desired). Pour into a greased fry pan over medium heat and fold until cooked. Remove from heat and put aside for later.
  2. Boil rice in a medium sized saucepan.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large fry-pan and add garlic and carrots and cook for 2 minutes on a medium heat.
  4. Add the peas and chickpeas and cook for a further 5 minutes. Turn down the temperature if needed.
  5. Add in the spring onion and cook for a minute.
  6. Add the cooked rice and gently stir it into the vegetable mix.
  7. Gradually add a tiny amount of soy sauce and stir in until you are happy with the taste.
  8. Add in the egg and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Serve up a bowl for yourself and store the rest for later. It makes up to four meals so you don’t need to stress about cooking.


Apart from being super cheap, this meal is packed with protein from the eggs and the chickpeas. Chickpeas are also a great source of fibre which will keep you fuller for longer during the exam period.

Well there you go. Here are four super simple and healthy recipes to get you started. Remember that 2 minute noodles aren’t the only food that you can get for $1 or less a serve. Check out some sites that are dedicated to cheap and nutritious meals and you’ll be on top of the world for the coming exam period.

Do you have any recipes you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comment section below!

– Hayley


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