January 31, 2020 at 12:00PM by CWC
When it comes to keeping the fridge stocked with healthy foods, there are two obstacles many people cite: cost, and having no clue what to buy. It’s true that walking into a big supermarket can be overwhelming (So.Many.Aisles.), which is why it helps to take a lap with a dietitian who not only knows the lay of the land, but also is super clued into what’s worth adding to your cart.
Get ready for the next best thing to shopping with a healthy eating pro IRL. Here, registered dietitian Ellie Krieger, RD, reveals her top eight finds at Aldi, the discount supermarket chain popular in the South and Midwest. These are the foods that are staples in her house because they’re all super healthy and versatile enough to enjoy lots of different ways. Oh, and by the way, nothing is over $6. Happy shopping!
Keep reading for an RD’s take on what to buy at Aldi:
1. SIMPLY NATURE CREAMY ALMOND BUTTER, $4.89
“Almond butter is my go-to snack any time of the day,” Krieger says. As a dietitian, she loves it because of the balance of healthy fat and protein, key to staying full between meals. “I admit I sometimes just scoop some out and eat it right off the spoon—no double dipping though!—but I also love to spread it on apple slices or banana, and I often add it to oatmeal or a smoothie at breakfast,” she says.
2. SEASON’S CHOICE PLAIN RICED CAULIFLOWER, $1.89
Cauliflower rice is everywhere, including at Aldi, which has their own store brand. “This pick provides a convenient way to incorporate vegetables while also limiting your intake of refined grains,” Krieger says. She likes to incorporate riced cauliflower into her salads or transform it into a yummy pilaf dish by cooking it with onions and herbs.
3. SIMPLY NATURE ORGANIC QUINOA, $3.99
Of course eating riced cauliflower all the time isn’t all that exciting, so Krieger also likes to buy quinoa, too. “Quinoa cooks just like rice, but it’s actually a seed, making it rich in protein,” she says. “This product also dispels the myth that organic options have to be expensive.” While Kreiger says quinoa is a great side dish as-is, she also likes to add a serving to vegetable soup to make it more nutrient-rich and filling.
4. SIMPLY NATURE ORGANIC CHIA SEEDS, $3.99
Just two tablespoons of chia seeds have over four grams of protein and almost 10 grams of fiber, so this bag should go a long way. “Chia seeds are unique because they absorb liquid and can act as a thickener, which I like to take advantage of in puddings,” Krieger says. “Plus they are very nutritious, loaded with fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals.” Add a serving to yogurt or a smoothie to easily reap the benefits, she says.
5. EARTH GROWN KALE VEGGIE BURGERS, $3.95
There are a lot of plant-based burgers out there, but this is one of Krieger’s faves. “If you’re seeking a meat alternative, these kale veggie burgers are delicious and they’re great for a quick, easy dinner,” she says. “You can serve them in a traditional bun—make it whole grain for maximum fiber—or in a lettuce wrap. Or, you can crumble them into tacos and pile them with a crunchy slaw.”
If you’re hunting for a cheap-but-healthy snack to stash in your gym bag or purse, this is Kreiger’s RD-approved pick. “It’s a perfect way to satisfy a sweet tooth more healthfully,” she says. “The apples are crisp and the caramel or peanut butter gives you just the right touch of sweet dipping fun.” It saves time from making your own sliced apples-and-sauce combos, too.
Aldi’s store-branded organic grass-fed ground beef recently won the Good Housekeeping Nutritionist Approved Emblem, which part of why Kreiger is such a fan of this pick. Her pro tip on keeping your meal healthy: make your meat the side, not the star of your plate. “I serve it with lots of veggies,” she says.
8. SIMPLY NATURE ORGANIC CLASSIC HUMMUS, $2.29
For a plant-based protein option, Kreiger stocks up on hummus, an OG healthy staple. “It’s a no-brainer as a healthy snack with cut-up vegetables, but I also enjoy it with Aldi Simply Nature cauliflower crackers,” she says.
More of a Whole Foods shopper? Watch the video below to see a dietitian’s healthy haul at the healthy food mecca: