When I was reading Beth’s article on Costco vs. Target, I immediately thought “I can’t live without Target!” but then my next thought was remembering all of the clean eating staples I buy at Costco. I could definitely live without my Target Starbucks, extra clothing no one needs, and extra paper products (which are the cutest, but usually sit in a drawer), but I can’t live without nourishing foods.
Clean eating in our house means avoiding processed foods. Cereals, crackers, most anything boxed. Our goal is lean meats, fruits & vegetables. We eat a ton of eggs and nuts. I buy some crackers for the girls and sprouted grain bread and I bake with almond flour, coconut flour & oat flour.
During the process of learning what foods are healthiest, I’ve used an app called Fooducate. It is a great app to use at the store to find the healthiest food in a category. You can scan the item and it suggests the best brand in that category. Let’s say you want BBQ sauce, you scan the one you usually buy and it suggests the healthiest version and tells you why it’s healthier. This version likely has less chemicals, less sugar and less of something that you don’t want in your body.
At Costco, the top 10 MUST HAVE Clean Eating Items:
- Oils– Avocado oil, coconut oil & olive oil. Avocado oil is perfect for roasted veggies in the oven, it has a high cooking temperature, up to 500 degrees. I love roasting broccoli, green beans, brussel sprouts and cauliflower, then we can save them for the rest of the week. Coconut oil is great in protein shakes, cooking up almond flour pancakes or just a small spoonful helps tummies (my girls love it).
- Organic Quinoa– A quick go-to dinner in our house is a quinoa bowl: quinoa, roasted vegetables, left over chicken, avocado & usually sriracha. A dash of toasted sesame oil is a great add in.
- Avocado Mayo – A favorite that I just found. When I was using Fooducate, I scanned the usual mayo I bought and apparently it had more than 1 known carcinogenic so I stopped buying it. Then one day I was walking through Costco and they were sampling this amazing mayo made from avocado. All of the ingredients are real ingredients: avocado, eggs, salt, rosemary, etc. It works perfectly in egg salad and tuna salad.
- Marinara Sauce – One of my mom-friends has very specific dietary requirements, she is grain free, dairy free & soy free. She told me about the Victoria brand marinara sauce with all real ingredients: tomatoes, olive oil and spices. Not to mention, it’s delicious! It comes in a 2 pack of large jars and it tastes great on turkey meatballs and zucchini noodles.
- Nuts, nuts & more nuts – I love the shelled pistachios, I eat them by the handful all day long. My other favorite is the unsalted roasted cashews, they are delicious as a snack or to make cashew butter in the blender with a little avocado oil.
- Nut butters – They sell natural peanut butter, almond butter and a couple of other mixed nut butters. I use nut butters to make a grain free “nut brownies.” The ingredients are nut butter, baking soda, egg & honey. They are a perfect filling breakfast or snack for the girls.
- Gluten free crackers – Costco carries a couple of options, I like the Crunchmaster ones, but they have another brand too that is crunchier.
- Meats – I love Costco’s filet, shrimp, salmon and tons of other meats. They sell a lot of organic meats now including organic chicken breasts & organic ground turkey.
- Organic Produce– Costco sells organic berries, salads and green vegetables all ready to go. It’s not always the cheapest price (sprouts sometimes beats it), but as far as quality, it’s top notch.
- Rotisserie Chicken – Seriously my most favorite dinner ever!! Let’s be honest because I don’t have to make it!! My daughters have said “this is the most delicious chicken ever!”
Total Bonus: Wine – I’m totally including this because I love my Pinot Noir (mostly because by 5 pm it’s necessary). I love the Cameron Hughes brand, they create their wines from top wineries that have extra wine and they keep the vineyards confidential since they are basically selling high end wines for a huge discount. The Cameron Hughes Pinot Noir is the best!!
Charlie Allred is a Phoenix native, married her husband, Kent, in 2008 (also a Phoenix native). She is mom to twin daughters Ceci & Edi and a Scottsdale Real Estate Broker. She loves helping families find their dream home so they can grow and thrive! She lives in Old Town Scottsdale and loves all things vintage, trying new restaurants, exercising on the greenbelt and finding fun activities for the whole family. She can be reached at [email protected]