So you’ve heard of superfoods – but how can you buy healthy foods without breaking the bank? Never fear! We’ve got a roundup of 10 superfoods for under $15:
One of the cheapest superfoods available is also one of the most delicious: beans. The humble bean is high in protein, antioxidants, and fiber – meaning you’ll stay full for longer. Cut calories without feeling deprived with a spicy dip (with black beans), a crisp salad (with white or garbanzo beans), or a hearty chili (with any combination of beans you can imagine!). Garbanzo and white beans can even be pureed and combined with traditionally fatty favorites like mashed potatoes or ricotta cheese for a lower-calorie option that doesn’t sacrifice taste. Add 2 cans of beans to your cart for between $1-2.
This superfood is favored both by nutritionists and trendy high-end eateries. Kale is full of fiber, calcium, and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids – which support your body’s natural detox system. Kale is also a great source of potassium, iron, and manganese, as well as vitamins A, C, and K. This hearty green pairs with just about anything, but it especially shines with sweet potato, lemon, or garlic. Whether dressed in a beautiful salad, added to a veggie frittata, or simply sautéed in olive oil, kale is as easy to prepare as it is on your wallet. Add 1 bunch of kale to your cart (about 2-4 cups, depending) for under $1.
Replacing your usual white potatoes with their orange, sugary-fleshed cousins will not only save you calories and carbs, but introduce more fiber – and color! – into your meal. Regular potatoes clock in at twice the starch levels as the same serving of sweet potatoes. Bonus round: sweet potatoes get their rich orange hue from beta-carotene, the same chemical compound found in carrots—good for vision, immunity, and overall health. Roast sweet potatoes whole, or add to pastas, grain salads, omelets, and more. Sweet potato hash browns make any breakfast better! Add 2 sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds) to your cart for less than $1.
One egg will cost you 70 calories and about 20 cents – not bad for a food that’s loaded with protein, vision-enhancing antioxidants, and choline, a vitamin shown to promote brain health. Scrambled, poached, or hard-boiled, an egg is a great way to start your day (or end it!). Mix with veggies and greens for a wholesome omelet or frittata, or top plain scrambled eggs with salsa, onion, and avocado for a Mexican-inspired meal. Most of the health benefits of the egg are in their yolks – so stick to 7 whole eggs or fewer each week to keep cholesterol in check. Add 1 dozen eggs to your cart for $2.
This old standby gets a bad rap for being too boring – but come breakfast time, you won’t find better than this protein-packed grain! Oatmeal is one of the highest natural sources of soluble fiber, which keeps blood sugar from rising too quickly and can help rid the body of excess cholesterol. Rolled oats are packed with inflammation-reducing flavonoids, not to mention zinc, magnesium and iron – essential minerals that boost your immune system. Jazz up your morning oats with fresh fruit, cinnamon, and honey; or, try substituting rolled oats in your favorite baked goods and breaded meats. Add 1 box of rolled oats to your cart for $2.
Brown rice is another superstar grain packed with vitamins and minerals – including 88% of your daily-recommended manganese. Always choose brown rice over white; each grain of brown rice preserves the nutrient-dense bran and germ layers milled out of white rice. Brown rice is a great substitute for higher-calorie pastas or breads. Use brown rice in a stir-fry or in a soup, or serve simply with steamed vegetables. Add a 1-pound bag of rice to your cart for $1-2.
Bananas are a beloved fruit both for their portability and sweet, creamy texture. Bananas are chock full of potassium, sure – but they’re also a great source of fiber and vitamin C. Enjoy fresh bananas for breakfast or a snack, or use mashed banana in place of oil or eggs in baked goods. A frozen banana dipped in a bit of dark chocolate is a fantastic sweet treat; or, blend plain frozen bananas with your favorite fresh fruits (or peanut butter!) for a deliciously creamy smoothie that tastes just like soft-serve ice cream. Add 1 bunch of bananas to your cart for less than $1.
Spinach is packed with iron and beta-carotene; it also possesses several important phytochemicals, including lutein, which can prevent age-related macular degeneration. Served raw, spinach is a great source of vitamin C. The plethora of vitamins and minerals in spinach can even improve your complexion! Showcase spinach in soups or salads, or toss cooked spinach with pasta or scrambled eggs. Though fresh is best, you can always cut costs with flash-frozen veggies. Add 1 bag of frozen spinach to your cart for $1-2.
Pumpkin isn’t just for pies – this superstar fruit is a significant source of vitamin A, and its flesh is packed with fiber and key minerals. But you don’t need a fresh pumpkin to reap the rewards! Just one cup of pumpkin puree provides over 7 grams of dietary fiber – plus 10% of your daily requirement of potassium. Use pumpkin puree in place of oil in your favorite baked goods, or stir the puree right into oatmeal, soup, chili, or stew. Pumpkin puree is also delicious in pasta sauce or even hummus! Add 1 can pureed pumpkin to your cart for $1-2.
Cruciferous cabbage is linked to lower rates of cancer – as well as being an excellent source of vitamins C and K. Red cabbage also boasts anthocyanin, an antioxidant that improves heart health and concentration. Try this fiber-rich veggie in a slaw or atop a turkey burger; 1 cup of cabbage will only cost you 22 calories! For an unusual treat, dress thick slices of whole cabbage with olive oil, lemon, and fennel seeds and roast. Picked cabbage, or sauerkraut, is a delicious and low-calorie condiment. Cabbage is also a hearty companion for a soup or sauté! Add 1 head of cabbage to your cart for $1.
There you have it! One week’s worth of wholesome fruits, vegetables, and grains for under $15. We’d love to hear what you make with these budget-friendly superfoods – share your recipes in the comments below!