I am often asked what I buy when I’m grocery shopping. And to be honest, it changes quite a bit depending on the season and what I’m inspired to make that week, but there are some things that are always on the list. These are my top 10 fresh additions that make almost anything you cook taste better. None of them are particularly fancy or require great cooking skill to use – just simple foods that are always good to have around. Enjoy!
Fresh Herbs — I always buy at least one bunch of parsley and one bunch of cilantro. Yes, fresh herbs are a bit pricey, but they are totally worth it. I toss them in green salads, use as garnishes for soups and stews, and blend into hummus. And, both parsley and cilantro are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Here’s a bit more info on parsley.
Plain, Organic Greek Yogurt – Even though I don’t eat much dairy, I like to keep some yogurt on hand. I use it in place of sour cream, mayo, ice cream, and soft cheese. I often blend it into dressings, add a dollop to fruit crisps, or use it on burritos. Please try buy organic when selecting your dairy products because conventional brands are filled with growth hormones and antibiotics. Interested in learning more about Organics?
Good Fruit – Don’t skimp on the fruit. Buy enough that there are always good options calling out to you from the fruit bowl. No one wants that withered old orange that has been there for weeks. Instead, get fresh apples, grapefruits, oranges, kiwis, mangos, and bananas each week. By making healthy choices appealing you’re much more likely to stick with your healthy eating plan. Don’t forget to make sure you’re selecting ripe fruit.
Leafy Greens – I like grabbing arugula, spinach, and spring mix. I mix them together at home for more exciting salads all week long. Leafy greens are one of the most important foods out there. They are filled with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Make sure a big green salad is part of your daily routine.
Scallions – I talked about scallions in my Sneaky Superfoods post, but I had to include them here as well. Not only are they really good for you, but they make literally everything taste better! Put them in salads, use as a garnish on soups, add to burritos and stir fries, or blend into dressings and sauces.
Nuts & Seeds – I keep a steady supply of walnuts (for my daily oatmeal and baking), raw pumpkin seeds (for green salads and garnishes), chia seeds (oatmeal and smoothies), flax seeds (oatmeal and smoothies), and almonds (snacks) in my kitchen. I try to eat a range of nuts and seeds daily to keep up my levels of healthy fats and plant-based omega 3’s.
Citrus – I buy about three lemons or limes per week. I use them in all sorts of dressings, smoothies, and teas. Tangy citrus juice can often take the place of extra salt, and it’s tastier and healthier. All of these Simple Smoothie Recipes include citrus for a fresh, crisp taste.
Staple Vegetables – Make sure you always have garlic, onions, carrots, and celery on hand. They make the aromatic base for so many dishes, plus they last forever so you don’t have to worry about them going bad. Try cutting some up into veggie snack bags at the beginning of the week to pack in lunches and eat as snacks.
Berries – I always have berries in my freezer to add to my oatmeal and toss in my smoothies, but I often also get fresh berries if they look good and are on sale. This is another place where buying organic makes a big difference – blueberries and strawberries are always on the Dirty Dozen list. And don’t forget to give blackberries a try. They make a wonderful snack and are packed with antioxidants!
Fermented Food – You all know I’m a nut about fermented foods, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they always find there way into my cart (although I do make many fermented foods at home). I like to have kombucha, kimchi, and miso on hand, so I’m usually stocking up on one of them in any given week. Fermented foods fill your body with good bacteria, play an essential role in immunity, and help regulate digestion.
Interested in more? You might like this post on Five Easy & Healthy Pantry Upgrades.
Now, tell me what’s always in your cart? I’d love to hear about your favorites and what you make with them.