Sunday, 2 November 2014

What's in your shopping cart?

I have a dirty secret. I am obsessed with looking at other people's shopping carts at the grocery check-out. I find it absolutely fascinating to see what people buy, or don’t buy for that matter, when shopping for food. I honestly believe some people have no idea what they are buying, and what damage this ‘food’ is doing to their bodies.  To help demystify the shopping process and give you a snapshot of my shopping experience, below if a list of foods I bought at Fiesta Farms this weekend. One of my favourite grocery stores in Toronot, this independent store has a huge selection of organic and non-organic produce, and also stocks several specialty items. Think of it like the No Frills of Whole Foods, and parking is free!

This will give you a quick run down of what I tend to buy on a weekly basis and what some of my staples are. 

If you're wondering why certain fruits and vegetables are organic and others are not, I base decision on clean fifteen and the dirty dozen list

Organic Apples
Organic bananas
Organic lemon
Organic grapes

I tend to avoid citrus fruits because they don’t sit well with my stomach and I rotate which fruits I buy depending on what is on sale

Organic boxed spinach
Organic mushrooms
Organic cucumbers
Organic kale
Sweet potatoes
Butternut and acorn squash

Meat department
Whole organic chicken
Antibiotic- and Hormone-free ground beef
Wild salmon

Unsweetened almond milk
Free-range eggs

Pantry staples
organic coconut oil
almond flour
chia seeds
flax seeds
hemp hearts
dried figs
raw cacao powder
canned organic black beans
canned organic pumpkin
canned organic tomatoes
organic unsweetened applesauce
gluten-free rolled oats

So what did I do with all this food?
For a yummy and high energy treat, I made some fig cacao protein fudge using the following recipe and a warming butternut squash and pear soup, perfect for a chilly Toronto day! The pear adds a touch of sweetness, allowing this recipes to be made without any processed sugars.

Curried Butternut Squash and Pear Soup (vegan, gluten-free, paleo friendly)

1 (2 pound) butternut squash cut into 1 inch cubes
1 onion, cut into halves
1 tsp himaylayn pink sea salt

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon curry powder
4 cups organic chicken or vegetable broth
1-2 organic barlett pears, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 can organic coconut milk
¼ chopped cilantro (optional)

1.  Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F 

2.  Peel and cut squash into 1 inch cubes. Place squash and onion halves on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sea salt. Roast in preheated oven until very soft, about 25-30 minutes, tossing halfway through. Let cool.
3.  Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, ginger and curry powder cooking for a few minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil. Stir in the pear(s) and the squash and onions, and simmer until pears are very soft, about 30 minutes. Stir in coconut milk.
4.  Pour the soup into a a high-powered blender (read: Vita-mix) and carefully blend in small batches until smooth-the blender shouldn’t be more than half way full for each batch.  Top with cilantro and enjoy!

Do you feel lost when shopping at the grocery store? Don't know how to read food labels? Send me a message and I'd be happy to help 

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