7 Everyday Superfoods You Can Afford

What are superfoods?  Superfoods are foods that pack a powerful nutritional punch.  They are great because you can obtain many vitamins and minerals straight from these foods that you may be otherwise lacking in your diet.  Some superfoods that come to mind are acai, goji berries, and cacao.  Unfortunately, these are also a little more pricey and can be hard to find.  Don’t worry though; you can find superfoods in every day foods!  Here are some of my favorite ‘normal’ superfoods:

1. Kale, collard greens, Swiss Chard.  Greens are packed with nutrients and vitamins B and C.  They also contain chlorophyll which helps cleanse your blood.  Greens are also high in vegetable protein and can help detoxify your body.  Learn how to cook greens or how to make a green smoothie to incorporate more greens in your diet.

2. Almonds.  Almonds are full of vitamin E, healthy fats, and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.  Soaking almonds for 6 hours and then dehydrating them is the best for digestion, as the soaking helps neutralize phytic acid.  Phytic acid is an anti-nutrient that prevents your body from absorbing the vitamins and minerals from the nuts.  When you soak the almonds properly, you eliminate much of the harmful phytic acid.

3. Broccoli.  Broccoli (and other cruciferous vegetables) is high in Indole-3-Carbinol, which is thought to promote liver detoxification and help prevent cancer.  Eating broccoli or Brussels sprouts with your dinner can be a good way to pump up the anti oxidants.

4. Tea.  Green tea is full of anti oxidants, and when prepared properly, tastes great.  It also helps you save money because tea is cheap and a nice alternative to drinking just water.  I add a little honey to my green tea and it tastes amazing!  Unfortunately, when you do add sugar or sweetener to tea it does cut down on its anti oxidant properties.

5. Sweet potatoes.  Sweet potatoes are full of fiber and vitamins A and C.  They make a great alternative to regular french fries when you cut them into french fry sized strips and bake in the oven until tender.

6. Honey.  Honey is great as one of the natural allergy remedies.  The thought is that when you use local honey, you are ingesting some of the pollen that the bees in your area have made into honey, so your body starts fighting the allergies naturally.  Honey is also very healing for your body.  It’s a much better alternative to sugar as it is not refined and the body processes it better than white sugar.

7. Apples.  Apples are one of the Dirty Dozen list, so it is important to purchase organic apples.  Apples are full of fiber, enzymes, and vitamins.  They are contain phytochemicals and antioxidants to help neutralize free radicals and toxins in your body.

Eating well can help you save money because generally when you eat better, you’re healthier.  You’ll also feel better and get sick less.  Don’t worry about spending tons of money on the normal superfoods; just eat more fruits and veggies and be sure to include some of these everyday superfoods in your diet.  You’ll be glad you did!

Do you buy superfoods?

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Gluten Free Recipes on a Budget

About four months ago, I decided to go gluten free to see if it would help with my fertility problems.  I’ve learned quite a few things while being gluten free.  For one, it’s a lot more complicated than eating a the Standard American Diet (SAD).  Secondly, it can be a lot more expensive!  I’ve found quite a few ways to be gluten free on a budget, and I am hoping that my tips can help someone else who already is (or has been thinking about becoming) gluten free.  I am sure that the longer I’m gluten free, the easier it will become.  With that said, here are some tips for being gluten free on a budget.

1. Cook from scratch.  So many prepackaged foods contain weird things like gluten, soy, and corn.  I try to avoid all three of those things, and you’d be amazed at the weird things that corn is in (those little packets at the bottom of the meat package- those contain corn!).  Cooking from scratch will not only ensure that you aren’t eating any gluten, but it will also help save you money because prepackaged foods are expensive!

2. Don’t buy gluten free packaged items.  It seems like so many companies are now labeling their items as gluten free to be able to market themselves to Celiac people.  While I think it’s awesome that more and more companies are looking to cater to the gluten intolerant, I also think that they are trying to just make more money by throwing the label on the package.  Of course, sometimes you might just have to buy a package of gluten free cookies because you don’t have time to make your own.  Overall, it’s much better for you to avoid gluten free packaged foods.

3. Eat more raw veggies and drink more water.  Raw veggies can help keep you full and will help you feel better.  Water helps your body detoxify and keep things moving.  Don’t drink bottled water so you don’t have the extra added expense.  Buy a filter like the PUR Faucet Mount Filter to help keep your water yummy and cheap!

4. Recipes for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) and Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet (GAPS Diet) are gluten free.  Search for recipes that are suitable for that diet.

5. Meat and veggies are gluten free.  When in doubt, you can make a meal with some meat from the freezer and a can (or even frozen) veggies.

6. Eat more beans, rice, and lentils.  Beans, rice, and lentils are all cheap and good for you.  When buying rice in bulk though, keep in mind that brown rice does not keep as long as white rice.  Brown rice is better for your health, but if you’re buying rice at Costco, go for the white because it will last longer.  We get a 25 pound bag of Jasmine rice from Costco. Vegetarian chili is a great meal that’s easy to be gluten free.

Going gluten free can help many different ailments.  I know personally it’s helped me, so maybe it can help you!  My budget really hasn’t taken a huge hit, and for that I am thankful!

Do you have tips for being gluten free on a budget?

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How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar

I’ve always wondered how to make apple cider vinegar, and this weekend I thought I’d give it a try.  I actually made pineapple vinegar instead of apple cider because I had pineapple scraps.  You can use fruit scraps to make fruit scrap vinegar, and apple cider vinegar is just another fruit scrap vinegar.

Apple Cider Vinegar Health Benefits

Apple cider vinegar has many health benefits, and is great for making salad dressings, using in a bath for detoxification, and even cleaning.  Apple cider vinegar has been often called a wonder drug, and contains vitamins and minerals essential to good health.  Losing weight, lowering blood pressure, and even healing headaches have been some of apple cider vinegar’s benefits.  Personally, I take it when I feel a cold coming on because I think it helps ward off the bad germs.

When you make your own apple cider vinegar, you control what goes in it, and you know you are getting the real deal.  When I purchase apple cider vinegar, I buy the Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar because it contains all the goodness of unpasteurized vinegar.  It’s unheated, unfiltered, and contains the “Mother”.

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar

You can make apple cider vinegar, or any fruit scrap vinegar using this method.  All  you will need is some fruit scraps, sugar, and water.

1. Chop your fruit scraps up.  You don’t have to chop it into tiny pieces, so chunks of fruit are fine.  I made sure to wash the pineapple very well before I used it for my fruit scrap vinegar.  Use the core and skin of the pineapple or fruit you are using.  Apples and pineapple are the most popular fruit to make into vinegar.

2. Mix 1/4 cup of real sugar with 1 quart of warm, filtered water.  Allow the sugar to dissolve in the warm water.  You may need to stir to help the sugar to dissolve.

3.  Put the fruit scraps into a large clean jar.  Make sure you wash it well with hot water and soap.  You don’t want your vinegar getting bad bacteria in it.

4.  Add sugar water solution to the scraps and place a kitchen towel over the opening of the jar.  I secure mine by using a rubber band.

5.  Place jar in a warm area (around 70 degrees) for about two days to a week.  Check it every day and stir if you are able to.  When it smells like vinegar and has a darker color to it, remove the fruit scraps and use!

Please remember: when making fermented foods, if it smells bad, don’t eat it! If it has mold on the top, throw it out!

Apple cider vinegar and fruit scrap vinegar can be added to salad dressings, soups, and even green smoothies.  A tablespoon won’t even be detected by your family.  If you don’t like consuming the vinegar, you can actually use it for cleaning or even conditioning your hair with the no poo method.  Making apple cider vinegar is a great way to use up fruit scraps and provide your family with a great quality vinegar!

Have you made apple cider vinegar?  Do you like it?

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