When people find out that I eat mostly whole plant-based foods they often say ooohhh that must be so expensive --when they’re done asking where I get my protein of course. Eating plant-based and healthy does not have to break the bank and I’m on a mission to prove it! Here are my top four foods that give you the most bang for your buck.
True nutrition powerhouses. These little guys are high in fibre and protein; one cup provides 64% of your daily fibre needs, and 18g of protein. They also have a good amount of iron, magnesium, and B vitamins (90% of your folate needs for the day!). The best part? Lentils are dirt cheap! You can buy a 16oz. bag (which has over four one-cup servings) for $3.00 at Food Basics.
Favourite recipe: Red lentil dal from Oh She Glows
This fruit is consistently rated as one of the highest antioxidant foods out there (sorry goji, you were popular for a hot moment there). I also love them because they’re so versatile and can be used in sweeter dishes but are also great on savory items like salads. Research is coming out that blueberries can help memory and cognition, possibly because of their ability to protect against free radical damage. Blueberries grow in Southern Ontario so when in Season they’re very reasonably priced! I also just picked some up this week for $2.00 per pint at Food Basics.
Favourite recipe: Blueberry quinoa salad from Minimalist Baker
A type of soy bean, edamame is often found at Japanese restaurants. It’s high in protein, with one cup having 17g. This wonder bean is also a good source of minerals such as manganese, copper, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, potassium and zinc. Bonus: edamame also have omega-3 fatty acids, great for keeping inflammation down in the body! I usually suggest buying them frozen, a 500g bag on average is $3.50, which would give you about 5 servings. You can buy them de-shelled also if you don’t want to deal with that hassle!
Favourite recipe: Chopped kale salad with edamame from Cookie and Kate
Steel Cut Oats
If you’ve met me even for five minutes I’ve probably brought up steel cut oats. I freaking love them. They have a texture that’s a little chewy when cooked and are one of the only breakfasts that keeps me fueled until lunch. They’re like rolled oats cool hipster brother because they’re less processed and less “mainstream”. Per ¼ cup dry you get 7g of protein, and 10% of your daily iron needs. You can find these with oatmeal in the grocery store for a reasonable price, or I snag them from Bulk Barn and buy about 2 cups worth for $1-2.
Favourite recipe: Steel cut oats with blueberries from my website!