Salad Greens (purslane and dandelion greens)
Approximate price $2.19 per pound of purslane, varies for dandelion greens
Calories 7 per cup of raw purslane, 25 per cup of raw dandelion greens
Fat 0.5 gram, 0 g
Why Buy Them OK, they’re not so great for your lawn, but these weeds are really good for you. So skip those pricey clamshell containers of fancy baby lettuce every once in awhile and try weed greens. Dandelion greens have high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin A, as well as vitamin K, needed for proper blood clotting. Purslane is high in omega-3 fatty acids and a variety of minerals.
Pro TIP If you’re new to purslane and dandelion greens, combining them with other foods is a good way to start eating them because they tend to be strong-tasting and tangy or bitter. Adds finely chopped weed greens and seasonings to organic ground turkey or chicken for burgers, and serves additional uncooked greens on top instead of lettuce.
Approximate price Varies
Calories Like most vegetables, they have few calories.
Fat 0 grams
Why Buy Them Anthocyanins, the pigments that are responsible for the color in purple produce, have lots of health benefits. They help prevent cancer, and several recent studies have found that people who eat loads of purple vegetables and fruit have significantly lower blood pressure than those who don’t’ if supermarket staples like red cabbage and eggplant don’t tempt you, try purple cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, or sweet peppers, often found in gourmet stores and at farmers markets. They have higher levels of anthocyanins than their paler cousins do, but they taste the same.
Pro Tip Purple-tinged vegetables can lose a bit of their color – and some of their beneficial antioxidants – when they’re boiled or overcooked, so keep cooking times to a minimum. You can add them raw to salads, too.
Dry-roasted soy nuts
Approximate price $2.99 to $10.99 per 1-pound bag
Calories 195 per ¼ cup
Fat 9 grams
Why Buy Them Tofu not for you? Try getting a soy fix with roasted soy nuts – crunchy little legumes (they’re not actually nuts) that have a pleasing toasted flavor. Soy nuts are highly nutritious: A serving has about half the fat and twice the protein of the same amount of peanuts. To keep calorie sin check, measure a few ¼- cup portions into snack-sized bags for a high-protein pick-me-up. They’re also a yummy addition to your favorite trail-mix combo.
Pro Tip Seasoned soy nuts can be a little pricey, so try making your own. Experts recommend lightly toasting unsalted, plain soy nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat just until they’re hot, then tossing them with a small amount of oil and a flavorful combo of spices. A couple of mixes to try: cayenne pepper, cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and sugar to taste; and smoked paprika, cumin, and sea salt.