Specialty grocery stores like Earthfare, The Fresh Market, and Whole Foods are becoming more popularized than ever as the demand for more natural and nutrient packed foods has increased.
Baskets full of colorful and fresh organic produce, aisles of quick snacks packed with Omega3’s, antioxidants, and protein, not to mention, barrels of tasty and good-for-you granola. These groceries amaze foodies like me, but they do not always agree with my college-student budget. I cannot afford to spend $50 on 5 items once a week, without starving. Actually, according to cnn.com Whole Foods was just recently accused of overcharging their customers (luckily, they apologized)! However, I am not willing to give up on my health or excitement over creative, nutrient-rich foods because of my pre-graduate (almost non-existent) income.
Take a look at the crispy, seasoned kale chips that have been popping up in stores. They’re around $4 a package for about a handful. But, what are we actually paying for when we buy them in the stores? the packaging? the preparation? the recent popularity of kale? For $4 you could have bought a few giant bushels of that leafy green stuff and made your own kale chips (seasoned the way you like, of course).
Fortunately for us, the internet is packed with do-it-yourself snacks that taste exactly like the ones you would find in the aisles of any Fresh Market or Fresh Thyme; Only, these snacks are much cheaper and made by you! It’s easier than ever to make your own granola, Lara Bars, or dried kale chips. My personal favorite are roasted garbanzo beans or chickpeas. These little crunchy nuggets are packed with protein and make a great snack on the go. But, be careful, they are addicting!
Wouldn’t you feel better if you new EXACTLY how the food you put in your body was prepared? And also a sense of pride that you created something so yummy yourself? The Crunchy Chickpeas below made by Saffron Road are priced at $3.45 for a 6oz bag. They claim to be gluten-free, organic, and contain no GMOs. The jar to the left are zesty ranch chickpeas prepared by me, in my own kitchen. I used canned organic garbanzo beans that cost around $1 a can.They are just as delicious and packed with the same health benefits as the packaged beans.
To make it easy for you, I’ve listed below links to a few of my favorite recipes. These recipes prove that healthy and cheap snacks are sitting right in your kitchen. All it takes is a little planning and preparation.