Healthy and organic foods have a nasty reputation for being expensive, but luckily you can ignore the gossip mills. While it’s true that grocery bills can add up fast at the natural market, there are plenty of options that fit into any budget (gotta leave room for nights on the town, right?). The following nutrient dense and versatile foods give you major bang for your buck. In fact, if you consumed all of these items in one sitting it would total less than $5!
If you want a healthy yet cheap source of protein that’s ready to eat in 15 minutes, quinoa is the answer. But the nutrition content doesn’t stop there – it’s also jam packed with manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and iron.
Cost: between $1.50 and $3.50 per pound and one cup dry yields a whopping four cups cooked!
Ideas: Delicious when cooked with veggie broth then tossed with olive oil and herbs, or get a little more creative with this lemony recipe or pilaf.
Brown rice really needs no introduction – it has been a staple of the healthy diet for centuries because it’s filling and pairs well with vegetables and legumes. Nutritionally speaking, it’s an excellent source of manganese and fiber and contains important minerals like selenium and magnesium.
Cost: ranges from $1.50 – $3 per pound
Ideas: The possibilities are endless with rice. Top it with your favorites veggies, wrap it up in a tortilla or nori sheet, whip up a rissoto, and turn it into a dairy-free milk.
A plate with grains and vegetables is incomplete without legumes. They add a big protein punch and are an inexpensive way to feed your hunger. There are many varieties – black beans and lentils among the most popular – which contain high amounts of potassium, fiber, B vitamins, iron, zinc, folate and manganese.
Bananas provide a natural energy boost due to their sugar and potassium content, and are therefore a great caffeine alternative when you need a little extra oomph in your day. Plus, they’re high in vitamin C. So, if you’re tired of oranges, you know where to turn!