Nutrient Dense foods are foods that have a ton of beneficial nutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and even fiber) without packing a lot of calories. Any person trying to stay healthy should be aiming to maximize their consumption of such foods. One might think that this would be time-consuming and expensive, but with a little planning, it’s not. You just need to find the right veggies, fruits and whole grains to have on hand at all times! These 7 cheap and nutritious plant-based staples make it easy. Let’s begin!
Chickpeas are legumes with a buttery/nutlike taste. They are very versatile and even more nutritious. These little beans are nutritional powerhouses and an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fibers. They’re packed with phytonutrients and antioxidants and are a great addition to almost anyone’s diet.
Here are a few easy suggestions to get some more chickpeas in your life…
Awesome recipe including Chickpea on Orchids + Sweet Tea: Roasted Plantain + BBQ Chickpea Vegan Bowl
Bananas are instant and convenient for increasing energy. They earn their rank as nutritional heavyweights by being packed with nutrients and fiber and by coming prepackaged by mother nature. Bananas have potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, folate, niacin, riboflavin, B6, vitamins and fiber and can be as cheap as 19 cents per pound! Insane, right?
Although they have less antioxidants than other fruit, bananas go a long way to sweeten things up without adding processed sugars---so it’s still a win win situation!
Banana recipe ideas are bountiful, but here are a few to get you started…
Love cheese and want to eat less of it or cut it out completely?
Nutritional yeast will be your best friend. It’s a great source of protein---the elusive B-12 vitamin that vegans need, as well as folate, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, selenium, and zinc. Nutritional yeast deserves a top spot in the superfood hall of fame, in my opinion.
Put this one in your pantry where it’s easy to grab so that you can sprinkle some on your food anytime you want. Try this by:
Broccoli is a cruciferous veggie known for its disease-fighting benefits. It contains fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, chromium, folate, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin E, manganese, phosphorus, choline, vitamin B1, vitamin A, potassium, copper, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, zinc, calcium, iron, niacin, and selenium.
That’s a lot of micro and macronutrients for a little green floret, right? More specifically, bags of frozen broccoli (or other veggies) are inexpensive to buy and easy to keep and should earn a top spot in your kitchen.
Here are some quick and easy things you can do with it…
When it comes to Sweet Teriyaki Chicken + Broccoli, the possibilities are endless; with taste that is! Trust me, this recipe is better than take out and is made in less than 30 minutes.
Lentils are small, but mighty, legumes with even more potent nutritional benefits. Virtually fat-free, they are an excellent source of fiber, minerals, B-vitamins, and protein. They are filling but not fattening as there are only about 140 calories for half a cup of cooked lentils.
You can also use them in a ton of ways…
Speaking of soup, wait until you try this delicious Spicy Vegan Lentil + Veggie Soup.
Rice is considered one of the essential foods in the world. In some cultures, “to eat” literally means to eat rice. Colored rice is less milled than white rice and retains more of the nutrients and health benefits. Unprocessed rice contains fiber, trace minerals such as manganese, selenium, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, and niacin.
It’s plentiful, cheap, versatile and nutritious.
Prepared rice stored in the fridge is excellent as a base for quick and easy meal ideas.
Here’s are some things you can do with it…
Oatmeal has many digestive benefits – like making you feel full longer -- and offers vitamins and minerals as well. They are considered one of the healthiest whole grains on earth. Oatmeal is gluten-free, higher in protein and healthier fats than other grains, and come fully packed with antioxidants.
Oatmeal is cheap, easy to make, versatile in its use, and tasty.
Here’s some great ideas…
Are you a fan of all things oatmeal? Well, you won't want to miss these Oatmeal infused recipes: Vegan Strawberry Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars, Vegan Strawberry Oatmeal Ice Cream Sandwiches, Healthy Cranberry Orange Oats with Pistachios, and last but not least.....these healthy Chocolate Cranberry Almond Snack Bars.
Wrapping up of Thoughts:
Stocking your pantry with go-to superfood staples is a great way to always have tasty and nutrient-dense options in the house.
By having just these 7 superfood staples, there are endless combinations of meals and snacks you can make.
You should also get whichever other fruits and veggies are on sale, as almost any of them make an excellent compliment to the foods listed here. Bon Appetite!
Guest Post by: Joey Bruno, Founder of ThriveCuisine.com
7 Cheap & Nutrient Dense Foods to Always Keep on Hand.
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