“It’s so expensive to eat healthy!!” is the mom’s lament. But I’m here to tell you not to believe it!
Yes, it’s true that the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables are variable, seasonal and can take a good chunk of your money. But, did you know that there are perfectly nutritious, dirt cheap healthy food items on store shelves that you ought to be tossing into your cart?
Frozen spinach – The frozen stuff represents about 3-4 whole bags of fresh spinach cooked down and ready to eat. And it costs pennies per serving.
Frozen Brussels sprouts – The frozen sprouts are normally trimmed and ready to serve so there is no waste. When you buy the fresh ones, you do lose a few leaves and ounces from each batch.
Frozen Organic Edamame – On a price per pound basis, a little goes a long way and they cost much less than even the cheapest cut of beef.
Canned peaches – Most canned peaches come from California at the peak of the season and retain their nutrients as well as texture. Each can holds about 3 peaches which is less than a buck a peach. Even in peak season, fresh, local peaches can cost more than that. These peaches are available in juice rather than sugar water and are great in smoothies, on pancakes or ice cream.
Canned tomatoes – This convenience is heaven sent. All the prep that goes in to peeling and poaching tomatoes can’t be quantified. The buck or so per can contributes one of the best sources of lycopene and vitamin A.
Brown rice (even instant) – It contains more nutrients than white rice. For pennies per plate you can have the foundation of a variety of nourishing meals.
Red Lentils – These legumes can be stirred into any soup, pasta or sauce and they virtually disappear while adding phytonutrients and critical fibre.
Cost per nutrient fresh veg
Onions – Cheaper by the dozen and powerhouses of trace minerals.
Bagged Carrots – Not the baby ones! The whole carrot has much more to offer and is a fraction of the cost.
Cabbage – Ounce for ounce cheaper than broccoli and more versatile. Shred into soup, pasta or make cole slaw.
There are hundreds of ways to cut corners on the household budget; your health need not be one of them.
About the Author
Theresa Albert is a Food Communications Specialist and Toronto Personal Nutritionist. She is @theresaalbert on twitter and found daily at www.myfriendinfood.com