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Nutrition on a budget: Buying fruits and vegetables
Putting healthy meals on the table doesn't mean spending more at the checkout and more time preparing at home. With a little planning and creative thinking you can have it all – nutrition, economy and great taste. Read the great food information, nutritional advice and shopping tips below.
Do you think it's possible to eat well on a budget? Share your thoughts and tips in the comments section on the next page!
Canada Choice/Canada Fancy
Buy Canada Choice vegetables and fruit instead of the higher priced Canada Fancy. They are just as nutritious and a better deal. Canada Choice still taste good, though they may not look as perfect or be as uniform in size as Canada Fancy. Most of the canned fruit I found was Canada Choice regardless of the brand.
Buy apples in bags instead of loose when you're planning to cook them. They may not be Canada Fancy but they will be just as nutritious. And they'll cost less. You may have to cut out some bruises or other blemishes before using.
Frequent farmer's markets
Shop at farmer's markets or from local farm stands whenever possible. Buying local means your produce should be fresher, thus retaining more of its important nutrients. For instance, tomatoes lose vitamin C over time, so the quicker the tomato gets from the field to your table, the better. Vine- or tree-ripened produce tastes much better, too. Be inspired and try a new vegetable or fruit each visit. Get to know your market vendors to be certain that what they are selling is indeed local.
Buy local produce in season when possible. Since it has travelled a shorter distance than imported produce, it has retained more of its nutritional value and taste. The following vegetables and fruits have high nutritional value: bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, collard greens, corn, green beans, kale, romaine lettuce, potatoes, rutabagas, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, swiss chard, tomatoes, apples, bananas, blueberries, cranberries, grapes, grapefruit, kiwis, nectarines, oranges, peaches, pears, plums, strawberries.
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