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Healthy foods that are easy on the pocket

It doesn't break the bank to eat healthfully. Below are some healthy foods that should be in your regular meal plan.
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Lianne Phillipson-Webb, May 17, 2013 3:00:12 PM

When you think healthy food, do you see too many dollar signs at the check out? It can be a pricier way of living, going organic, gluten free or following along similar health fads.It really needn’t break the bank to eat healthfully. Below are some healthy foods that are pocket friendly:

Hemp seeds
Classified as a super food, these little seeds or hearts have left some confused as hemp and healthy food haven’t always gone hand in hand. Sprinkle a handful on salads, add to yogurt or use in shakes instead of protein powder, as they are more economical. Hemp seeds offer fibre in combination with protein and essential fats giving them super food status.

Don’t groan. Beans, when you find the right ones make a filling addition to a leafy green salad, stir-fry or veggies and brown rice. My favourite are aduki beans as they are small and not as textured as kidney beans. I make dips with white kidney or cannellini beans and an all time favourite, chickpeas turned to hummus. To be super economical, buy dried and soak overnight before cooking. Canned (as long as the can is BPA-free) are also an economical option if you don’t have time to cook.

I cannot live with out eggs. My family eats eggs every day. They are such a powerhouse of nutrition, protein, fats and cholesterol (which is a good thing, promise). Any way they come –– actually you can hold the omelette –– is good with me. Fast and cheap, eggs can feed a family of four and still have half a dozen left over for the next day. My fast go-to is a boiled egg and soldiers (finger strips of toast) which my kids absolutely adore.

This ancient grain is botanically a seed. You’ll notice when you look up close and personal how tiny it is. Quinoa’s protein profile rivals an egg which is a complex protein, and a substitute for meat. If you haven’t tried or herd of it, you’ve been living under a rock. It’s found in all supermarkets and there are whole cook books dedicated to quinoa. I’ll warn you though, cook with stock if eating hot. Or cook with water and cool for a nutty addition to your usual salad and add a tasty dressing. It’s rather bland, so don’t make it like rice and serve. It’ll put you off for life. It needs some help which is where the stock or dressing comes in.

Sweet potato
Just as versatile as it’s white cousin, sweet potato or yam gives longer lasting energy, fibre and beta-carotene. I’ve baked sweet potato and served with ground almonds blended with cinnamon and a pinch of salt, sprinkled on top. Watch them vanish. Sweet potato fries are a staple in my work, my book and home. I bake them at least once a week and now my kids request either circles or fry shape when I make them.

Healthful eating isn’t as difficult or costly as you think. Trade up to any of the foods above and you’ll still have enough left in your wallet for next week’s shopping trip.


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Lianne Phillipson-Webb

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