It’s a common misconception that healthy food is expensive — and we get that. In a world where you can stop by the nearest fast food restaurant and drive away with a 10-pound feast that cost you less than $10, an organic apple is pricey in comparison. Even if you’re being mindful of your health in light of the types of food you eat, it’s easy to be tempted by the faster, cheaper options.
Luckily, eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. In fact, Time magazine recently published an article that lists the seven healthy foods that all cost less than $1 per serving. Surprise, surprise — six out of the seven are plant-based (with eggs being the only exception). At One Green Planet, we’ve known for some time that a diet of primarily whole, plant-based foods is one of the healthiest ways you can eat. It has been shown to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, lower one’s risk of cancer, and it may also aid in better blood sugar and weight loss. But a major mainstream publication such as Time weighing in with the truth simply makes it all the more affirming.
So, what foods made Time’s list?
Not surprisingly, peanut butter is there. According to Beth Lipton from Health.com, “Sixteen-ounce jars run from around $2.50 to $6 and beyond, with organic and flavored varieties at the pricier end of the spectrum. But even at $6 per jar, one serving (2 tablespoons) is only about 43¢.” Not only is peanut butter affordable, it’s versatile enough that it can be used in both sweet and savory recipes. If you’re looking for some easy, affordable peanut butter recipes, try these No Bake Peanut Butter Jelly Bars or these Easy Spicy Peanut Tofu Bites. Or, just check out these 30 Peanut Butter Recipes You’ll Go Nuts For.
Next on Time’s list is frozen, chopped organic spinach. Why organic when regular produce is less expensive? Spinach has consistently made the Environmental Working Group’s annual Dirty Dozen, a list of produce that lists the highest concentration of pesticides. In 2017, spinach was #2. While fresh organic spinach can be expensive, Lipton states that “A 16-ounce bag of the Whole Foods 365 brand contains six 1-cup servings and costs $1.99, which works out to 31¢ per serving.” Spinach also packs a powerful nutritional punch. It’s an excellent source of iron as well as vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, magnesium, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, folate, and other B vitamins. Looking for ways to add more spinach to your diet? Try these Sesame Encrusted Spinach Falafel or this 20-Minute Chickpea and Spinach Curry.
Also on the list are beans and lentils, both excellent sources of plant-based protein. On average, lentils bring about 9 grams of protein per half-cup while beans such as black beans bring 8 grams per half-cup. Need recipes? Try 21 Protein-Packed Vegan Recipes for Lentil Lovers or 25 Recipes That Will Make You Love Beans.
Oats and cabbage were also named as being among the most affordable ingredients. For more tips on how to shop plant-based on a budget, read How to Eat a Healthy Whole Foods, Plant-Based Diet on $50 Per Week and How I Maintain a Very Humble (Low) Budget Eating Vegan, Without Any Sacrifice. If you need more recipe inspiration, we highly recommend checking out Food Monster app, a food app available for both Android and iPhone. The app has over 8,000+ vegan recipes with 10+ recipes added daily. With recipes like this Jalapeño Mac and Cheese Burger With Shiitake Bacon, these Chocolate Fluffernutter Doughnuts, these Cornbread Waffles With Pulled Jackfruit, and more delectable vegan recipes, you’re going to find something you love. Give it a try!
Lead image source: Lentil and Spelt Berry Sloppy Joes