I know how to cook from scratch. I know the benefits of cooking from scratch. I know it’s better for the environment, my bank account, and my family when I cook from scratch. But there are some things I’ve settled on for convenience, sacrificing as little health as I can in the process.
Be careful, that in an effort to provide the best food for your family, that you’re not sacrificing sanity, recreational activities, or sleep. But at the same time, don’t let your desire for sanity, recreational activities, or sleep dictate that you revert back to junk food. Health-giving food can come in packages as well.
These 5 packaged foods make their way into my grocery cart more often than not:
1. Apple sauce cups.
These are in lunch boxes just about every day, used as ‘dessert’ more often than not, and are a great way to hide supplements in capsule form. Choose organic, apples are heavily sprayed. I usually find them at Costco, but Amazon has them as well.
2. Frozen vegetables and fruit.
I would buy my Costco membership JUST for access to these awesome frozen vegetables. They make stir fries a snap. I like the cauliflower/broccoli/carrot medley and organic green beans. Frozen berries (choose organic when you can) make their way into smoothies, muffins, and scones regularly.
3. Epic Bars.
This is the first ‘food bar’ that I haven’t felt is a huge compromise. Epic bars are mostly meat, the liver ones are great as well. I keep a few in my car for breakfast most mornings. I still buy Lara Bars, but being nut and date based, those are more of a cookie that can hold you over until the next meal than a meal substitute. (My favorite is the beef, habanero and cherry)
4. Sparkling water.
A little more festive than my plain water with apple cider vinegar, more hospitable to offer to guests than my normal, “um, we have…. tart cherry juice, milk, or water.” And mixed with a little lemon juice and tequila, it makes a great weekend drink without sugar. Grocery stores have it (this is the brand I buy) for around $3/12 pack.
This is a treat, but it’s in my cart once a week. We like to mix it with sparkling water (#4), or use it in gummies. I buy lemon juice in bottles too – it adds a light flavor to recipes so easily. I limit purchase to one container a week, but juice does make it into my shopping cart most weeks.