Since many people shop at Costco at least some of the time, I thought it was a good idea to make a journey out to the superstore to see what they had that would be “Michelle Approved.” Boy, was I surprised by not only the number of organic foods available, but really great quality foods as well! So I am doing a three-part series (or maybe even more!) on foods you can get at Costco! Series #1: foods I think are SUPER!
1. Blueberries (organic, frozen):
I use these every day for my morning smoothie but they are great in any recipe. I love buying frozen berries because they are always on hand and don’t spoil or get moldy. Blueberries are low-glycemic (which means they won’t spike your blood sugar). They are also full of antioxidants and phytonutrients like anthocyanin which support our brain, heart and eyes. I especially love that these are organic!
2. Chia seed (organic, non-GMO):
I also use these every day in my smoothies but you can add them to soups, salads, cooked grains, and even make this pudding from them! Chia seeds are packed with fiber, omega-3s, and protein which helps stabalize your blood sugar, makes you feel full, and keeps you satisfied. Just 1 tablespoon of chia seeds contains 5 g of fiber, 3 g of protein plus a good amount of magnesium, calcium and potassium.
3. Hemp seed (raw, organic, non-GMO):
Super-duper food here because they are delicious and you can add them to just about anything. These little seeds add a nice crunch and nutty flavor. Since they are seeds and not nuts, these can be a good alternative for anyone with a nut allergy. You can also make a porridge out of them or add them to your oatmeal, smoothie, salad, baked goods or even dessert! Just 3 T. contains 10 g of protein, 3.3 g of Omega-3, and 50% of your magnesium and phosphorous and 25% of your zinc (RDA).
4. Sprouted Pumpkin seeds (raw, organic, non-GMO):
I was so excited to see these at Costco! Why sprouted? Sprouting makes the seeds easier to digest and more of the nutrients available. Also the phytic acid is removed in the sprouting process, so that it won’t block the absorption of valuable minerals in your body. Besides being a good source of protein, vitamin E and the minerals phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc and iron, they are also have anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Pumpkin seeds are great all by themselves or sprinkled on salads, soups, cereals, or added to baked goods or granola. You can also make delicious sauces with ground pumpkin seeds like this pesto or this sauce.
5. Sprouted sunflower seeds (raw, organic, non-GMO):
Sprouted sunflower seeds are also a staple in the house because again you can add them to just about anything. These also pack in the vitamin E, magnesium, copper, manganese, phosphorous and are a good source of iron, selenium, zinc and vitamin B6. And again, these are sprouted.
6. Mary’s Gone Crackers (organic, gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO):
Believe me when I say that these are great crackers, in and of themselves, not just as a gluten-free alternative. I love them because of their great flavor, crunch and whole seed goodness. These crackers just taste and feel a lot less processed than your average cracker. The only drawback? They are a bit pricey, which is why I was so excited to see these at Costco for a pretty good price. These crackers are so delicious and satisfying that you don’t need to eat a lot to feel gratified.
7. Quinoa (organic):
Quinoa has been a popular “grain” option because it is a gluten-free seed, a complete protein, and nutrient dense. It can be used in almost any recipe where you would use rice, bulgur, couscous or wheat berries like pilafs, tabouili or in soups. You can even make a hot cereal out of it. Quinoa can be pretty bland, so if you want to add flavor, cook it in a quality broth instead of water or toast it in the pan before adding the liquid. I also love Heidi Swanson’s Double Broccoli Quinoa Recipe.
8. Coconut oil (organic, cold-ressed, non-GMO):
If you’ve followed me on Facebook, you’ve heard me sing the praises of this amazing and versatile oil. You can use coconut for so many things besides just cooking! As a cooking oil, it is great because of its antimicrobial, antifungal and anti-bacterial properties. It is a type of saturated fat but it is different than the kind found in animal products and is a great oil to cook with because it can handle the higher heats. Coconut oil is also a great healthy beauty product with so many uses.
9. Hemp oil (cold pressed, organic, non-GMO):
This is actually a newcomer to my home. I’ve been eating ground and shelled hemp seeds for a while but hadn’t encountered hemp seed oil. Well, like happens to everyone at Costco, I saw it on the shelf and though, “Hmm, why not?” (Funny how easily that can happen there!) Turns out hemp oil is pretty amazing stuff: not only does is it a good source of omega 3s and 6s but it also contains vitamins A, C and E, minerals and fiber. According to recent studies, hemp seed oil contains beta-sitosterol and campesterol, which have been linked to lower heart attack risk, reduced LDL cholesterol, lower levels of inflammation and have been shown to slow the progression of atherosclerosis. However, it is not a oil to cook with because it does not handle heat well. This is the kind of oil to use for salad dressings or drizzle on top of soups or grilled vegetables after they have cooked. It has a delicious flavor too!
10. Farmhouse Culture Kraut (raw, organic):
Heard about the health benefits of probiotics? These are the healthy bacteria in our body that help keep our digestive system in balance, our immunity supported and even help keep our moods more stable. Sounds pretty good, right? Fermented foods like sauerkraut are excellent sources of probiotics. Almost all traditional diets include a little fermented food in their diet. Mostly this was because fermentation was a way to preserve food but could it be that our ancestors also knew the health benefits of eating a little each day?
Please note that each Costco is different and not all products are available at every Costco. They try to cater to their local community, so you will find unique foods at each store. These purchases were made at the Costco store in Richmond, California (in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay area). If your particular Costco doesn’t carry one of these products, ask!
Also, I am in no way endorsing Costco nor was I paid by Costco for this blog (or any other, for that matter!). I just know that many of my clients shop at Costco and I want to show you all some of the great foods that can be purchased there!