How Do You Budget for Healthy Food?

No one really wants to eat junk all the time and serve junk food to their family. Cleaning up one’s diet seems to be an omnipresent goal among adults in the US. It can be difficult to do and time-consuming. A common complaint is that eating healthy is too expensive for most people. While it can be daunting to try to decide which healthy substitutes will work for your family and your budget, it will greatly simplify the task to learn a few tricks before heading to your nearest organic grocery store.

Pay Attention to the Dirty Dozen

When choosing produce there are many things to consider before you cook and serve them to your family. Your best produce choices are always going to be locally grown and in season, which gives you a chance for the best tasting produce and a way to check on the habits of the farmer who grew your food. Plus you are supporting your local economy. Farmer’s markets are an excellent way to accomplish these things, but there are many natural foods stores in Pembroke Pines who carry locally sourced produce every day of the week.

When it comes to choosing between organic and traditionally grown produce, for those on a budget, paying attention to the ‘dirty dozen’ can make the biggest difference for your family. The dirty dozen are those foods that contain the most chemical and pesticides when grown conventionally, these are the foods you want to concentrate on buying organic and locally as much as possible The foods are: Strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, peaches, pears, cherries, grapes, celery, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, potatoes. When weighing the cost between organic vs non-organic, these are the foods worth spending the extra cash.

Prepare More Veggie Centered Meals

Another quick way to aid your budget when eating healthy is to concentrate your meals around fruits and vegetables, using meat as a side or omitting meat entirely. A fun way to do this with the family is to institute weekly or bi-weekly meatless days and experiment with all the fun dishes you can have without meat. Getting kids involved in the planning, shopping, and cooking ensure that they will want to try the finished products. There are many resources available for finding healthy new recipes to try, such as the health foods stores near you.

Recipe: Zucchini Squash Bake

Zucchini Squash Bake

Recipe credit: Carsen Snyder

Photo credit: Jennifer Olson

This Zucchini Squash Bake makes for delicious comfort food, your family won’t miss the meat! Gluten-free and vegetarian, it’s chock full of nutritious zucchini plus protein-rich ricotta. Be sure to check out more recipe options at Delicious Living.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small (about 2 pounds) kabocha, red kuri or delicata squash
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • ⅛ teaspoon plus ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 small zucchini, grated (about ½ cup)
  • ⅔ cup ricotta
  • ½ cup grated hard cheese, such as Fontina, Emmental, Gruyère or non-aged Gouda
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

FOR THE TOPPING

  • ½ cup breadcrumbs (regular, gluten-free or panko)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (melted)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  • organic groceries in Pembroke PinesPreheat oven to 400°. Cut squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out seeds. Drizzle oil and 1 /8 teaspoon salt over cut side of squash halves. Place squash, cut side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover squash loosely with aluminum foil, and bake for 45 minutes. Once cooked, remove foil and let the squash cool slightly.
  • In a large bowl, place grated zucchini, ricotta, grated cheese, parsley, thyme, pepper and remaining ½ teaspoon salt; stir to combine. Mix in beaten egg and nutmeg; set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, toss bread-crumb ingredients together; set aside.
  • Once squash is cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh into a bowl and add lemon juice; mash with a potato masher until smooth. Gently fold ricotta cheese mixture into squash until combined.
  • Grease a 2-quart round baking dish, and reduce oven temperature to 375°. Scoop squash mixture into baking dish, and top with bread-crumb mixture. Bake until topping turns golden brown in spots, about 25–30 minutes. Remove from oven, and allow to rest 5 minutes before serving.

PER SERVING (1 cup): 193 cal, 11g fat (4g mono, 1g poly, 6g sat), 57mg chol, 418mg sodium, 16g carb (3g fiber, 5g sugars), 10g protein

Be Creative and Adventurous!

Food should be fun! It is a dominant form of socializing and a big part of every culture. Eating healthy doesn’t have to break the bank, nor does it have to be boring. Regular trips to the organic grocery stores near you can open you up to a whole new world of fruits, veggies, and healthy foods to try! The staff of the organic groceries in Pembroke Pines can give you cooking tips, show you what is newest and freshest, and clue you into the local food vibes of your town.

 

A Guide To Fruits: Which Ones Are The Healthiest?

Everyone knows that they really should eat more fruit and veg. That doesn’t mean that you can just hit up the grocery store and pick up whatever fruit is on special offer. Like all foods, some fruits are much healthier than others. Here’s a guide to the healthiest fruits out there, so you can choose wisely.

Picking The Right Fruit

Pembroke Pines Vitamin Store
When you’re in the supermarket, you need to know which fruits are the best to buy. There’s so many in there, how can you know which ones are right for you? Here’s a checklist to help you buy the right fruits in grocery stores near me.

  • Pick richly colored fruits: As a general rule, the richer the color of your fruit, the better it will be for you. Keep that in mind as you’re shopping, and compare fruits to see which ones would be better for you. It’s well worth picking these kinds of fruits, as they’re a good source of Vitamin A.
  • Eat in season: The best fruits are going to be those that are in season. Thanks to modern grocery stores, you can buy all kinds of fruits even if they aren’t in season. However, when they’re out of season they’re not the healthiest. Fresh produce is best, followed by frozen. Canned fruit isn’t as great as it seems, because it’s lacking B and C vitamins from the canning process.
  • Prepare Your Vegetables Well: The way you prepare your vegetables will affect their nutritional value too. The best way to eat your fruits is raw, if you can. If they need to be cooked, steaming them is best as you won’t lose vitamins in the cooking water.

The Best Fruits For You

Now you know how to pick fruits, which ones are the best for you? Here’s some of the healthiest fruits you can buy, as recommended by Pembroke Pines Vitamin Store:

Grapefruits

Grapefruits are the healthiest citrus fruits out there, as it’s such a good source of vitamins and minerals. It’s also a fantastic fruit to keep around if you’re looking to lose weight. It’ll even help you reduce your cholesterol levels, so if you’re watching your levels make sure you keep some grapefruit in your kitchen.

Avocado

Avocado is having a moment in trendy food circles, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s low in carbs and full of healthy fats. When so many fruits are high in carbs, it can make them hard to eat if you’re on a low carb diet. If that sounds like you, get more avocado into your diet to increase your fruit intake.

Blueberries

Blueberries are the fruit that are the highest in naturally occurring antioxidants, so make sure to get plenty of them in your diet. The antioxidants are thought to help reduce the risk of many conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s.

Apples

These trusty go to fruits should always be in your pantry, as they’re so good for you. They contain high amounts of potassium, fiber, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C. As they’re so good for you, the old wives tale that ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ may actually be true! It’s also worth knowing that apples have been linked with increased bone density and the increase of good bacteria in your gut, too.

Pomegranates

Pomegranates are known as some of the most nutritious fruits around, thanks to their powerful plant compounds. They also have anti inflammatory effects, which have been seen to reduce the risk of cancer.

Nutrition Smart vitamin store Pembroke Pines

Mangoes

Mangoes are some of the most delicious fruits out there, and some of the healthiest fruits you can eat. They’re full of soluble fiber, which has tons of health benefits you can take advantage of. As well as this, their antioxidants can help prevent a whole range of diseases.

Strawberries

If you’re diabetic, strawberries are the fruit for you. They’re full of vitamins, but have relatively low sugar index. That means you can eat them without causing a large blood sugar spike. It’s important to have some strawberries around, as you can get the health benefits without causing more issues.

As you can see, there’s plenty of fruits out there that are delicious, healthy, and readily available. If you’re looking for the healthiest fruits around, drop by Nutrition Smart vitamin store Pembroke Pines to find out more.

 

Four Healthy Foods You’ve Been Missing from your Diet

This time of the year, dieting is in the headlines and the subject of conversation nearly everywhere you go. Some people want to lose weight, anticipating swimsuit season, and some just want to clean up their diet and live healthier. There is a learning curve to dieting as the information about the newest diet and the foods that are good for you seems to be ever changing. There are certain foods prohibited in every fad diet but it seems that there are tried and true guidelines that fit into every diet plan. Before you start searching out health foods stores near you, there are some simple guidelines of foods that you can add to any diet to make a healthier you!

The Greener the Better

Your mom always wanted you to eat your vegetables. And as it turns out, mom was right. In some cases, if you regularly eat these foods, you may reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases. A lot of people are missing the vital nutrients that can be found in green vegetables, especially the dark, leafy, greens. Green vegetables contain nutrients like potassium, fiber, folate and vitamins A, C and E. Fiber helps us feel full for longer periods of time and helps regulate our digestive system. It is recommended that everyone aim for 2-3 cups of green vegetables every day. This doesn’t have to be a dull, repetitive routine of salads day in and day out, although there are endless ways to construct a salad! You could toss a handful of spinach into a smoothie for an extra kick of vitamins. You can test out some of the darker greens, by introducing your family to swiss chard or kale! Green veggies are easy to find but best bought organic due to their fragile nature, the fewer pesticides the better. And a store that carries organic produce in Pembroke Pines should have quite a variety for you to choose!

It’s Always Bananas

Bananas are an often overlooked superfood, despite the fact that bananas can be found at any grocery store near you. Bananas are loaded with both soluble and insoluble fiber, which like the fiber in green veggies, helps keep you feeling fuller for longer periods of time and helps regulate your digestive system. There are few foods that compare to the banana when it comes to the amount of nutrition contained in a single food. It is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and B6. These all contribute to the proper functioning of the body and keeping you healthy. Bananas are a good thing to reach for to help a sour stomach, the sugar plus potassium can settle a stomach and help you get back on your feet after a bout with a gastro virus.

Lacto-Fermentation isn’t as Complicated as it Sounds

Lacto-Fermented food is just a fancy word for a lot of foods we commonly see in diets in the US but aren’t necessarily viewed as healthy foods. Lacto-fermented foods are part of the American tradition but are commonly eaten globally in one form or another. The most recognized lacto-fermented foods are sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, and some kinds of pickles. Lacto-fermentation is an ancient method of preserving food. All health food stores near you should carry a wide variety of lacto-fermented foods, and better yet, kits so that you can try lacto-fermentation at home! Lacto-fermentation makes foods more readily digestible, thus those who have problems digesting fresh fruits and vegetables still have options. As the foods ferment, they release more vitamins and minerals; they particularly produce B vitamins and vitamin K2. Most importantly, lacto-fermented foods are full of probiotics! A single half-cup serving can contain millions of beneficial probiotics.

The Squirrels are Onto Something

Healthy FoodsContrary to the fat-free fads of decades past, nutritionists and physicians are starting to advise that we consume certain healthy fats on a regular basis. Some vitamins cannot be absorbed into our body without fat to help the process, crucial vitamins such as Vitamin D. An easily accessible source of these healthy fats are seeds and tree nuts. For quite some time, seeds and nuts were demonized for their high fat and calorie content, but as it turns out, seeds and tree nuts are good sources of natural unsaturated fats. They contain protein, fiber, and plant stanols, which may help lower cholesterol, and antioxidants including vitamin E. Best of all, to get the benefits of seeds and nuts, you need only include a handful in your diet per day! Any nutrition store near you will have a selection of nuts and seeds, as well as products such as granola bars and cereals so that fitting these healthy foods into your diet is never dull!

It Doesn’t Have to Be a Puzzle

Adding healthy foods to your diet is a good way to begin your path towards your dietary goals, be they weight loss goals or overall health goals. By making sure these four healthy food categories are part of your diet, you are doing a large part of the work! Don’t forget to utilize the organic health stores around Pembroke Pines when you need ideas or advice!