Thursday, May 28, 2009

10 Tips For Saving on Superfoods

This week I've been featuring executive fitness coach, Bonni Doherty.

Though Bonni is not a nutritionist, she does recommend her clients eat many small meals throughout the day, meals high in essential fatty acids and phytonutrients.

Bonni calls her favorites --leafy green & red vegetables, some fruits, avocados, nuts, seeds, deep-sea fish, good fats and oils--Superfoods, and when we shopped together at Whole Foods, my task was to help her locate great deals on those items.

So far this week, I've offered a number of tips for getting great deals on superfoods and to recap, those tips are as follows:
  1. In the produce section look for the Good Stuff for Less, Weekly Specials, Weekly Buys signs since veggies and fruit under these signs are a great deal.
  2. Leafy greens like kale, chard, spinach, and celery, often go on sale: two-bunches-for-the-price-of-one, so watch the weekly prices and buy more when the price is lower. Whatever leafy greens you don't plan to eat that week wash, saute, and freeze portions for later consumption.
  3. Consider buying WFs loose braising mix. It contains all of the above leafy greens (plus other bitter leaves), but it's just the leaf -- no woody stalks. So you'll pay only for the portion of the plant you'll eat.
  4. Avocados are in season now and because of their tough outer skin, it's safe to consume non-organic avocados, and the price of conventionally grown is less than organically grown. If you buy several at a time, pick firm through soft. Store the firm avocados in the fridge and eat the softer fruit first. Take the firm avocados out of the fridge a day or two in advance of eating them so they have time to soften.
  5. Pick bunches of beets with healthy green tops. Cut the leaf from the stalk, wash it, and saute it with other leafy greens. In other words, bunches of beets are naturally a two-for-one vegetable.
  6. Buy nut butters and olive oil in bulk at WFs and save on packaging by bringing your own containers.
  7. Also shop the bulk aisle for seeds and whole nuts. Buying dry goods in bulk offers a great savings over brand-name packets of nuts and seeds.
  8. Consider purchasing tinned fish, i.e. sardines, tuna, salmon by the case and receiving WFs 10% case discount. Ask a WFs associate for help, and get the best deal on deep-sea tinned fish.
  9. Cut back on your consumption of expensive cuts of meat and consider tofu products, tinned deep-sea fish, or fresh and or fresh frozen salmon, and less expensive cuts of chicken and or turkey.
  10. Because you'll save when you cut back on meat protein, buy the DHA Omega 3 eggs, they cost a bit more, but if you follow the above tips, you're still saving overall.
It's one thing to buy all these healthy superfoods, but it's another to cook them up into satisfying meals. With that in mind, and in-keeping with Bonni's counsel that her clients eat regular small meals, I'm offering two mini-meal ideas using superfoods:

Beets with Pear or Apple and Cheese
1) Cut beet bulb from stalks. Wash and gently scour beets of dirt. Add to pot of water and simmer till tender, about 45 minutes.
2) Peel beets and slice. Store in an old yogurt container or Tupperware. You can add the strained beet water from the cooking pot to the container so beets don't dry out. To the beet water, you can also add rice wine vinegar if you wish -- the vinegar off-sets the sweetness of the beets.

To Serve: Slice a pear or an apple, lay alongside sliced beets. Drizzle with lime or lemon juice. Grate or thinly slice your favorite aged Italian cheese, i.e. a Romano or Parmesan or Asiago etc. Place cheese alongside beets and fruit to create an eye-appealing superfood mini-meal.

Red Chard with Apple, Chicken and Walnuts
1) I posted a variation of this dish a couple of months ago.
2) You can swap out spinach for chard, or chard for kale, or use the WFs braising greens I mention above.
3) Then either turkey or chicken or tinned tuna or Tofurky would work with this dish, since all compliment apple well.
4) And of course walnuts are the crowning glory!

To serve: drizzle with olive oil and juice of a half lemon.

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