I’m so glad to hear that you all have been enjoying my healthy find roundups – if you’ve missed previous posts, check out Trader Joe’s here and Kroger here! Today I’ll feature a bargain hunter’s dream – Costco! While at first glance, Costco might not seem like the healthiest place to do grocery shopping, I have to say that I found plenty of healthy items there! It was hard to pick just 20 for the post below! The crowds were certainly overwhelming, and I spent far more than I would on an average grocery shopping trip, but I do believe what I bought was a great value, and the bulk items would be especially great if you’re feeding a family. I may not personally make Costco a part of my weekly routine, but if you go there regularly, I hope this helps you select some healthy items!
- Fresh produce. I always believe in filling my cart FIRST with fresh produce, so this ranks at the top of the list again! The produce is (obviously) packaged in large quantities here, so it wouldn’t work for me personally to buy all of my produce from here. While I chow down 10+ servings of veggies per day, I like to have variety in what I eat, so the bulk sizes don’t always work. But if you’re buying for a family of four or more, the deals can’t be beat! I bought a big tub of organic spring mix, which I’ll use for salads for the week, and toss any extra into smoothies – here are 20 of my favorite smoothie recipes! I also bought some avocados, because the price can’t be beat here, and some celery, because I can use that quickly.
- Sprouted pumpkin seeds and hemp hearts, chia seeds, nutritional yeast. I put these all in one category, which in my mind is called “healthy things to sprinkle on top of other stuff” 😊. I love these sprouted pumpkin seeds (only ingredients: organic sprouted pumpkin seeds, sea salt) and hemp hearts for added protein and healthy fat on top of salads or smoothies. I like using chia seeds in smoothies, and adding nutritional yeast as a vegan, vitamin-packed, cheesy flavor to soups, eggs, and casseroles. All of these were great values at Costco!
- Nuts. Even some of the pricier nuts like macadamia nuts and pistachios are cheaper in bulk at Costco. Be careful that you’re just getting nuts (and optional salt). I prefer not to get nuts roasted in palm oil or other low-quality oils, and I don’t like to see sugar, artificial sweeteners, colorings, or other chemicalized ingredients on the list. Just nuts and salt, please!
- Orgain or Vega protein. Orgain is one of my favorite protein powders (my most frequently purchased is Vega Protein and Greens, which I get from Amazon). I prefer plant-based protein powders for most people, to preserve gut lining integrity, and don’t like added sugar or chemical preservatives. While the ingredient lists even in Vega and Orgain look long, I can identify these ingredients and understand a purpose for each one.
- Apple cider vinegar. I’ve been drinking apple cider vinegar every morning for many years, so I can’t even imagine how many bottles I’ve gone through! It’s not uncommon to find one large bottle of Bragg’s for $7.99 at Whole Foods, but these three bottles of organic apple cider vinegar (with “the mother,” which is important!) were less than $8 together!
- Pre-cooked beets. I’m all about chopping my own vegetables for the most part, but there are a few things (beets, butternut squash, and jicama) that I almost always buy pre-cut. It’s worth the extra dollar or two to save me the frustration! I love that these beets come in vacuum-sealed, shelf-stable packets, and the only ingredient is “Beets” … as it should be! They taste delicious on top of salads with snap peas, water chestnuts, baked chicken, hemp hearts, avocado, and Tessemae’s Honey Poppyseed dressing!
- Organic chicken bone broth. There are a host of benefits to drinking bone broth (very similar to the benefits of collagen, which I describe here). And while I generally prefer making my own, the convenience of having pre-made bone broth in the pantry is a nice backup! The ingredients here are organic chicken, carrot, celery, and onion, plus organic lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, rosemary, and turmeric. The only thing I don’t love is the “natural flavors” – not an ideal ingredient, but I’m willing to overlook it for the benefits of the bone broth!
- Olive oil, avocado oil, and avocado oil spray. Believe it or not, Kirkland (the Costco store brand) is one of the few brands of olive oil that repeatedly passes quality tests. Most American-made olive oil is cut with poor-quality, inexpensive, and less-healthy oils, but the Kirkland brand is a healthy, safe, and delicious option. I always love Chosen Foods avocado oil for high heat, and the price here can’t be beat (see this post to determine which oil to use!)
- Tuna and salmon. Safe Catch is my favorite brand of tuna because they test every single fish for mercury content, use wild caught tuna, and include only tuna and salt in the can. The Kirkland Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon also made the cut because there are very few wild caught salmon cans on the market, and they did not use any additional ingredients – a good thing!
- Himalayan pink salt. I am not afraid of high-quality salt, and actually consume quite a bit of it! (If this sounds crazy to you, check out this article. Pink Himalayan salt is my personal favorite, and I love grinding it, so this built-in grinder is a favorite!
- Nut butter like Kirkland organic almond butter, Kirkland organic peanut butter, and Nuttzo power fuel. It is important (yet surprisingly difficult) to find nut butter with no sugar added, and I love when I can get organic as well. All three of these are personal favorites in the Lyons household!
- Frozen mixed vegetables. We constantly keep this bag on hand (only ingredients: organic broccoli, organic cauliflower, organic carrots) because it removes any excuse to not have veggies with every meal! They’re super easy to microwave, although I prefer roasting them with some avocado oil and salt for a caramelized, delicious flavor!
- Frozen organic berries. While I do love fresh organic berries, they can be outrageously expensive, especially if you’re looking for organic (which I am!) in the off season. So, I always keep frozen berries on hand for smoothies. These organic wild blueberries are less sweet than some, but are packed with healthy antioxidants!
- Frozen riced cauliflower and frozen avocado chunks for smoothies. Again, great smoothie additions! I always throw ½ – 1 cup of frozen riced cauliflower in my smoothies for extra veggie power (plus a nice, creamy texture!) and I’ve had several clients rave over the frozen avocado chunks tossed into smoothies as well!
- Frozen wild Alaskan sockeye salmon. I prefer wild caught for my salmon, and these individually wrapped filets make it easy to have a delicious salmon meal without going to the store on the same day! There are no added ingredients.
- Spindrift, Waterloo, and La Croix. While I believe that plain, spring water is the healthiest, I love mixing it up with some flavored sparkling water every once in a while! Would I prefer not to have natural flavors? Yes – Waterloo and Spindrift fit the bill. Would I prefer BPA-free cans? Yes – Waterloo fits the bill. Am I all that stressed about it? Well, no.
- Grillo’s pickles and Olive Muffalata. Nice flavor pops that are fun to add to any meal or snack! These Grillo’s pickles were recommended to me and I really enjoyed them! They don’t have sugar, artificial colors, or chemical preservatives, and it’s quite hard to find pickles without. I like them as a tasty and refreshing snack! The olive muffalata is quite flavorful, so a little bit goes a long way! It’s made from olives, cauliflower, peppers, celery, carrots, spices, and soybean oil. Do I wish they used olive oil? Yes, but again, I’m not all that stressed about it in small quantities.
- Organic ground turkey and organic chicken breasts. I love using both chicken breasts and ground turkey in my meal prep (see more here) and it’s nice to have the organic versions on hand! I cut these packages up and freeze most of the meat so it’s ready to go when I need it.
- Buda Juice Remedy + Healer shots. I take turmeric daily (here’s the capsule I take), but I’ll never pass up an extra boost for its immunity and anti-inflammatory properties! With more exercise comes more need for reducing inflammation, so I’ve been taking one of these shots daily. The only ingredients are organic orange and organic turmeric, so even though there is 5g of sugar, I’m OK with it.
- Paleo pancake mix. I always try to finish each list with a treat, and these Birchbenders paleo pancakes fit the bill! They’re made from cassava starch, coconut flour, almond flour, eggs, baking soda, salt, and monk fruit (a healthier, naturally-occuring sweetener). I’ll admit – I’ve had a half-used package of these in my pantry for at least two years, so you’ll understand when I say this is not an everyday treat. But if you’re hankering for pancakes and want to do it in a healthier way, these tasty and easy (just add water!) pancakes could be your answer!
Two bonuses: These products are not exactly “healthy,” but I’ll call them healthiER. They’re new to me, and might be fun to try!
- Egg Thins: I wish there was no canola oil in these, but I appreciate that it’s at least non-GMO canola oil, and the wraps use cage-free eggs and cauliflower! The texture is VERY thin – don’t expect it to hold a heavy burrito filling. But if you’re looking for a gluten-free wrap, these could hold some lettuce and thinly sliced meat, or some hummus and veggies!
- Protein Noodles: I 100% admit that I am rolling my eyes at myself for buying these. They seem very gimmicky and “too good to be true” in the diet-food-culture way. But noodles made from fish and egg whites? I had to try. Of course, I wish there was no sugar, but at 1g per serving, I’m willing to try them. Jury’s still out – I haven’t opened the package yet!
Now it’s your turn … What are your favorite healthy foods to buy at Costco? If you don’t shop at Costco, where do you shop?