COOKING WITH HEALTHIER (AND USUALLY CHEAPER) ALTERNATIVES
- Try to do most of your shopping around the perimeter of the store (or better yet, produce as much of your own food as you can). (See Michael Pollan's book In Defense of Food.)
- Cook from scratch - Get as close to possible to the natural source. Ex: Kroger’s All Natural sour cream has only cream, milk, and enzymes. Use butter instead of margarine. Even make your own spice mixes and cook desserts from scratch too.
- When you do buy prepackaged/prepared foods, check ingredients: The fewer the ingredients the better--and if you don’t know what some of them are, it’s probably better to opt for something else. (Again, see Michael Pollan.)
- Avoid MSG (monosodium glutamate). It’s added to many bottled sauces, salad dressings, canned soups, premade spice mixes, bullion, prepackaged foods, and even some sausages (not to mention many restaurant foods).
- Eat more vegetables. Try planning some dinners more around vegetable (and bean) dishes than meat dishes. This can also be cheaper.
- Limit or cut out white flour and refined grains. Bake with whole wheat flour and whole grains, including whole grain pastas and brown rice. Whole wheat flour is best ground fresh, since wheat begins losing its nutritional value (particularly its protein content) 72 hours after it is milled. You can also save a lot of money by grinding your own.
- Add more beans to your diet (preferably cooked from scratch). Ex: Substitute hummus for your vegetable or chip dip. If you do use canned beans, be sure to rinse off the sodium. Beans are super nutritious and very inexpensive. (Tips on how to get rid of much of the gas when cooking dried beans.)
- Refined sugar: Cut it down or out! Examples:
- Drink 100% juice instead of punch or soda.
- Replace fruit snacks with dried fruit.
- Instead of pancake syrup, use honey. Buy items such as peanut butter and
applesauce without sugar.
new ketchup without it!)