I’m so glad so many of you loved my blog post on healthiest foods to buy at Trader Joe’s! (If you missed it, you can still see it here! Today, I’m continuing the series with Kroger. I’m constantly trying to rotate grocery stores so I know what’s available where my clients shop, but if left to my own devices, I do most of my shopping at Kroger.
I’ve had clients complain about the quality of produce, but honestly, I find it good enough for me! It may be that I cook most of my food the day I buy it (see my tips on meal planning and food prep here!), or that I’m not as picky as some, or that I’m prioritizing value (because, let’s face it, while I certainly don’t skimp on groceries, my wallet would be a lot thinner if I did all my shopping at Central Market, which has the best quality produce in my opinion!).
Kroger has a little bit of everything (so I can still get my husband’s Goldfish – yes, Goldfish, like the kids’ food, as well as the things I want for myself), has frequent sales on things I like, and is very rarely out of the things I’m looking for. Overall, a win!
I hope you enjoy reading my picks for the top 20 healthiest foods to buy at Kroger!
- Fresh produce. Again, fresh produce ranks at the top of my list – I hope you’re not shocked! The organic section of Kroger is fairly robust (among my favorites there are the organic zucchini, organic 50/50 blend, bags of organic apples – far cheaper than individual apples!, organic kale, and organic celery). I always start here, then fill in the gaps with other conventional produce.
- Pre-cut produce. YES, I could rice my own cauliflower in the food processor, make my own veggie noodles with the spiralizer I own, and peel and chop jicama, and YES, it would be cheaper, but these are a few of the things I choose to pay a bit extra for in the interest of time. And Kroger doesn’t charge an arm and a leg for these options, with the exception of the veggie noodles, which are expensive. When I want butternut squash noodles, I fork over the extra dollars, but with zucchini noodles, I almost always make my own (it’s very easy to spiralize and the texture is often better when it is freshly cut. That said, these were on sale for $1.87, so I bought them! If you want to get into spiralized veggies, check out this blog post of my top 20 favorite recipes!
- Hummus Kroger’s healthy store brand (Simple Truth) makes great organic hummus that I buy regularly. I also love the Lantanta Carrot Sriracha hummus and Lantana edamame hummus. I usually measure out the appropriate portion, because I tend to overeat hummus when I’m eating my veggie packs!
- Tessemae’s dressing. My favorite pre-made dressing brand, hands down. I like the quality of their ingredients, and they taste great! The Green Goddess is my most frequent purchase, but I also like the Honey Poppyseed, Lemon Garlic, and Balsamic Vinaigrette.
- Pumpkin seeds. I keep these in my car at almost all times. They’re the perfect snack for when I’m hungry in transition, and provide a great balance of fiber, healthy fat, and a little protein to satiate me until I can get to my next meal or healthy snack.
- Garden Lites Veggie Cakes. Honestly, I don’t buy these personally, because I’d rather make my own egg muffins, but if that’s not (yet!) in your routine, these frozen ones are great to have on hand. They’re a tasty way to fit in some protein and veggies in the morning, and many of my clients’ kids even love them!
- Applegate Farms frozen sausages and Hip Chick Farms organic chicken meatballs. I love having Applegate savory turkey sausages on hand to add to a quick on-the-go breakfast. They’re tasty and satiating, and I appreciate that there are no hormones or antibiotics used. While the Hip Chick Farms meatballs are new to me, the quality of ingredients is also high. It’s nice to have some frozen protein options on hand at all times!
- Cedar Lane Paleo Bowls. Again, I don’t personally buy these (I keep a stock of frozen soups and chilis that I have made!), but if you just “have to” have frozen meals, I think these are on the healthier side! I like that these are antibiotic-free, have a healthy amount of vegetables, and relatively clean ingredients!
- Van’s Gluten Free waffles. I eat a waffle with peanut butter before every very long (for me, 2+ hours) workout or race, and this is my preferred option! It’s easy on my stomach, and messed up digestion is the last thing that I want to slow me down, so I’ll always turn to these! The combination of carbohydrates for energy and healthy fat to make it last longer is a winning one, pre-workout.
- Rao’s or Organic Bello marinara sauce. Tomato and marinara sauces are one of the most common culprits for hidden added sugar, and I love that Rao’s and Organic Bello do not include added sugar. Both brands taste delicious and have clean ingredients – Organic Bello is just a bit cheaper.
- Chickpea and lentil pasta. One more thing that I don’t personally use all that often (I prefer spiralized veggies for the most part!), but for my pasta lovers out there, these three brands are made of only chickpeas or lentils – no grains at all! I recommend using these as you transition away from a grain-based diet – you’ll love the boost of fiber and protein, and may not even know the taste is different if you’re using a sauce on top!
- Siete chips. Grain-free chips are the second key to my heart (after chocolate, of course!). I adore these Siete chips as a healthiER option than most traditional chips.
- Vital Farms eggs. Over the past few years, I’ve tried to upgrade the quality of eggs I buy, and Vital Farms makes it easy. Their pasture-raised (better than cage-free!) are better for the chickens, the environment, and YOU – did you know that if you crack one of these next to a traditional egg, the yolk will look more creamy and deeper yellow / orange? This represents extra nutrition!
- Califia Farms coconut almond milk. Yes, I do wish there was no locust bean gum, gellan gum, or sunflower lecithin, but I take better over perfect when it comes to almond milk, and I just adore the taste of this one! I’m glad it has no carrageenan and no sugar, and the creaminess is out of this world!
- Simple Truth ground turkey. I get most of my meat from Butcher Box (my link gets you a special free gift!, which I think has the best quality. But, Butcher Box doesn’t have ground turkey, which I love for stir-fries, soups, and my favorite breakfast casserole. This ground turkey has no antibiotics, no preservatives, no added hormones, and no artificial ingredients, so I buy it regularly.
- Good Culture cottage cheese. While I don’t do well with too much dairy (did you even realize this list is 100% gluten-free, and 95% dairy-free, with this one being the only exception?), I tolerate the Good Culture cottage cheese really well. With added probiotics, no added sugar, and made from organic milk, I love the extra hit of protein as a snack or part of a meal.
- Nourish Snacks. This is a relatively new brand of snacks, and I’m really enjoying them. I pop a few granola bites (which do have 3g added sugar! Again, I’m going for better … in this case, better than a cookie!) when I’m craving a sweet, or some of the ancient grain crisps when I “need” something salty and crunchy.
- Other crunchy snacks. I love the non-GMO dry roasted edamame (only ingredients are the soybeans and salt!) as a crunchy, protein- and fiber-filled snack. The dang coconut chips (be sure to get this variety! Most of them have lots of added sugar, which I try to stay away from) are satiating from all the healthy fat. And those bare carrot chips, while very expensive, are satisfying when I want to eat the whole bag of something. The only ingredients, after all, are carrots and salt, so I’m OK with chowing down!
- Frozen pre-cut veggies. I almost always have frozen cauliflower rice and frozen spinach on hand for smoothies (need more smoothie guidance? Get all my best tips and recipes here!). I often keep the organic mixed vegetables on hand to add to meals that (gasp!) may not otherwise have veggies, or to use when I come in from out of town.
- HealthiER dairy-free ice creams. All healthy food lists should end with sweets, right? I can assure you that most of mine will! 😊 These are 3 brands of non-dairy ice cream that I really enjoy. Three or four Almond Dream bites are generally enough to take away a minor sweet tooth, but if I want to dig in to a (small!) dish, I choose dairy-free Halo Top or no sugar added So Delicious. Enjoy!
Now it’s your turn … What are your favorite healthy foods to buy at Kroger? If you don’t shop at Kroger, where do you shop?