How you can eat healthy amid rising food prices

We live in a time where the impossible has happened; cauliflower is now $8 a head in certain stores! Healthy food is becoming more and more expensive. Back in your grandparents era it was easier because you either knew a farmer who could supply you with your healthies or you were a ‘farmer’ with back yard plot. Now everything is so expensive! But how do we cope especially since half our portions should be fruits and veggies?

Easy, a few ways to increase your vegetable intake and not break the bank could include buying the seeds and growing them yourself; yes I know that can be a lot of work, you have to buy the soil, fertilizer, containers, etc. but it could be a possibility if you have a green thumb. The best idea is to start small. Put some herbs on a windowsill or container on the balcony and see how you do. Some plants are easier to grow than others, so do a little research and find out which are likely to be more successful. Gardening takes patience and perseverance, but it will pay off with healthy, economical food.

If you don’t have time for growing your own why not trying something new and cheaper? Instead of buying that $8 cauliflower why not trying cabbage? It’s cheap and when its cooked right can be delicious; my mother has incorporated cabbage into our diet and we haven’t noticed because she bakes the leaves sprinkled with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a pinch of garlic all over the cabbage and you wouldn’t even know its cabbage! There are plenty of ways to cook “boring” vegetables to make them taste amazing.

You can also substitute fruits and veggies with seeds and nuts; nuts are healthy too! There are a huge variety to choose from and you change them up often – or combine them for a different flavour. They make a great snack as they are but be careful around young children as they are small. You can toast them and add them to veggie dishes, you can add them to oatmeal, or add them to yogurt. You can even flavour them with herbs and spices – one of our favourite is pumpkin seeds roasted in the oven with organic pumpkin spice on. It’s so good!

Nuts are a great way to stay healthy and can cost less, but remember to eat less. They are much higher in fat that seeds and can be very moreish, so if you’re not careful you can easily eat much more than you need. You can roast and flavour them just like seeds but be sensitive to people’s allergies as nuts are a known allergen.

So with nuts and seeds it’s a delicious crunchy, nutty flavour but you’ll pay a lot less.

Have you heard about sprouts? They are so easy and very economical. You can buy organic sprout seeds from many local suppliers along with the purpose built sprouting jars, but a mason jar with panty hose stretched across it will do just as well. They grow very quickly and a packed full of nutrients so extremely healthy. If you aren’t used to cooking with sprouts, they are really versatile. You can add them to salads, sandwiches, stir fry’s or just eat them as they are. They can also be added to breads or sprinkled over granola. Give them a try!

Maybe it’s time to try cutting back on meat. I know the horror! My brother loves meat and there’s been many meals he hasn’t noticed there’s no meat in the meal; like the other day my mother made falafels with pulses, grains, seeds, and delicious flavouring, and my brother ate them all up without know that they weren’t meat!  And meat nowadays can be really expensive; you can also buy meat replacements, here’s a good website to look through and see what kind of meat substitutes are out there: http://www.fakemeats.com/MeatSubstitutes-s/47.htm

It none of these ideas are for you, why not try reducing food waste? Instead of buying something that you ‘may’ eat try buying it as you need it; or try planning meals. A god meal plan can save you money as you can plan to use up all the ingredients that you need, which reduces waste. Plan what to buy and if there’s leftovers try eating them for lunch the next day instead of throwing them away.

By following these simple tips could save you as much as $1,000 a year! They can also crank up the health rating in your diet and notch or two – sounds good to me!

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