I spend a lot of my time thinking about food. Cooking food. Writing about food.
Even with all of that, I still sometimes get overwhelmed trying to figure out what food I should buy.
For example, when do I need to buy organic and when can I spare my overburdened food budget and buy conventional produce?
Lucky for me there’s help figuring that out. I check with the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Every year they produce a list of the “Dirty Dozen” — produce that’s the most impacted by pesticides when grown conventionally that you should buy organic. The current list includes these fruits and vegetables: apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, hot peppers, imported nectarines, potatoes, spinach and strawberries. The current list also includes two additions: kale/collard greens and summer squash because when they were tested they carried residues of toxic pesticides that aren’t in use any more.
EWG also produces a list of produce that’s probably okay to buy conventional. These they call “The Clean Fifteen.” These include: asparagus, avocados, cabbage, cantaloupe, sweet corn, eggplant, grapefruit, kiwi, mango, mushrooms, onions, papaya, pineapple, frozen sweet peas, and sweet potatoes.
I’m all for fruits and veggies. I eat lots of them everyday, and I give them to my kids for snacks after school or when they get the between-meal munchies. Snacking can be an ideal way to boost your overall nutrition if you’re making healthy choices.
But what do you serve when you have friends stop by for tea? What can you make to celebrate the little victories of life; to turn the everyday into a special day?
What’s a good way to turn that frown upside down?
How about filling your kitchen with delicious aroma and then spooning some warm sweetness into your mouth?
One of my favorite comfort foods is rice pudding. It is a flexible base for gluten-free or allergy-friendly treats. You can change up the flavors to suit the season and your desire. You can go sugary sweet for a decadent dessert or strictly fruit sweetened for a dish healthy enough for a special breakfast.
One of the adjustments to switching to a special diet can be sticker shock. Unfortunately, there is a certain amount of specialty shopping that goes along with the transition to a gluten-free or allergy-friendly diet. These specifically designed items can come with a hefty price tag.
What are some tips to keep your food budget within your household budget?
Keep reading to get Kim’s money-saving tips and an easy pasta recipe