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Shopping Tips and a Hummus Recipe

This week's column from Food Mood Girl Lindsey Smith of Brookline.

We have been taught that eating healthy is expensive and eating unhealthy is inexpensive. While this can be true to a certain degree, it also depends where you shop and where your value lies.

For example, a bag of potato chips will cost you about $2, while a fresh bag of kale to make homemade kale chips will cost you about the same. A smoothie to go will cost you about $3.50, while a fresh homemade smoothie can cost you as little as $.75 per smoothie and you’ll get more bang for your buck since you’ll have all the ingredients on hand!

Here are some simple tips to save you money on your grocery items:

1.) Cook it Yourself: Whether it’s chips, smoothies, or hummus, most likely you are better off investing the time to make it yourself. You will not only save money, but you will also ensure the quality of what you are eating.

2.) Shop local: Visit your local farmers market and save. These products not only taste fresher, but they are more reasonably priced and cut back on the extra handling that comes along with store bought fruits and veggies.

3.) Use coupons: Since a lot of bargain groceries stores are popping up, many stores are now taking competitor coupons. Keep this in mind when you are shopping.

4.) Buy damaged produce: A lot of the time, stores will have a damaged produce section. It means that there is usually a dent or bruise on the item. It is still completely edible and you can just cut off the section that is bruised or dented. The cost is usually a lot cheaper and you can get some great produce!   To get started, here is a simple and delicious recipe that you can make yourself. You will also save money doing so!

Original Garlic Hummus

Total Cost:  $1.56
Compared to Comparable Size Store Bought Hummus: $4.50

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups canned chickpeas
  • 1-3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup or more spring water or use chickpea water

Directions:

1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food possessor and purée until creamy. It is easier to do it in several smaller batches.

2. Add more garlic, tahini or lemon juice to taste.

3. Serve with pita bread, crackers or crudités.

Variations: Use as a spread for healthy sandwiches and add sprouts, lettuce, tomato or any other fresh vegetables. Add fresh parsley to the blender for a lighter flavor.

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