Secrets to the Bulk Section
It was already two weeks ago that we explored Feng Shui-ing your Pantry. How time flies. So this week we are looking closer at what is going inside those jars.
The bulk section in a grocery store is where it's at if you are into eating healthy on a budget. I always get a little high strolling down this isle. You will save some $$ by not paying for the cost of packaging and marketing, which means that money stays in your pocket for a rainy day. Whoot! You can even up the eco-friendly ante by saving your bags for your next visit.
Now, if you are new to the bulk section remember one thing, bulk doesn't = healthy. Honestly, I can't believe the number of junk-food type things in this section. You could even scoop bagfulls of MSG if you really wanted to. Which you don't.
I get that it can be a little confusing with all the options. But keep it simple. Go for items with only ONE ingredient. Read the labels. Last time I was there I noticed countless types of pretzel mixes with different spices and ingredients. Get them if you want, but they are not for the healthy section of your pantry.
Here is what to look for:
Look for raw and unsalted. Stay away from ones that have vegetable or canola oils (they are usually low quality and go rancid) Steer away from spiced nuts, candied nuts, chocolate covered nuts. I know, I know - you can only get the no-fun nuts. But they actually ARE fun, believe me!
BEANS and LEGUMES
A holla goes out to all you dried beans out there. I feel sorry for you. You guys have been neglected for YEARS. But you really own your section here in the bulk isle, Im proud o' ya. Black beans, kidney beans, mung beans, lentils of all colours, red kidney beans, garbanzo beans...holla.
Oatmeal, quinoa, rice, millet, amaranth, barley, big couscous, small couscous, buckwheat. You name it, the bulk section has it. Not sure how to prepare them? No excuses, Google it.
What do you need? Spelt flour? Check. Dates? Check. Raisins? Check. Cacao powder? Cinnamon? Check. Check.
Now be careful here. Many others have been tricked in this department before. Dried fruit often contain oils or sulphur of some sort. Some are candied, some are coloured. Look for the single ingredient dried fruits. Apricots might look brown and mangoes may look flat but they taste soooo much better.
Superman didn't even eat 'superfoods' and he could still fly. How do I know that? I just do. So I consider this the icing on the cake section. Gogi berries, hemp seeds, chia seeds. They are fun and nutritious but can tap into that rainy day fund.
Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, popcorn (is a seed;)
There are other treasures to be found - spices, whole grain pastas, almond butter, many things I didn't list. Go for it, hit up the bulk isle and have a good time. When you get home, put them in your pretty jars and you are stocked up to eat well.