As a family trying to do our best to stay health conscious we look forward to the Healthy Shopper Picks each year. It’s quickly become our way of finding healthier organic alternatives to some of our favourite products. The Healthy Shopper encourages Canadians to put healthy and organic options in our shopping baskets by offering up their top choices for things we use every day, like pasta sauce and yogurt.
For 15 years, The Healthy Shopper has become a trusted source for helping families eat healthier and live better. Passionate about the natural health industry, it was founded by Randy Boyer and Andrea Donsky in 1999 to encourage Canadians to pursue and maintain a naturally healthy lifestyle while saving money. Their book “Unjunk Your Junk Food,” has become a very meaningful resource for educating those searching for healthier alternatives to their favourite junk foods. The Healthy Shopper Coupon Book has encouraged consumers to try high-quality natural and organic products at more affordable prices. This past January they opened their online store.
We were sent a selection of this Fall’s choices and we have enjoyed most of the products. There are a few that I will be including in our regular shopping lists from now on. One of those items is Made Good Organic Granola Bars and Granola Minis. The timing on these couldn’t have been more perfect since my daughter is on an elimination diet and finding snacks she can eat while on the go has proven challenging. The granola bars are nut-free, making them a school safe lunchbox essential.
Each bar or package of minis is made with whole grains and a vegetable powder equivalent to the nutrients found in one serving of vegetables. This yummy snack meets a minimum of 20% of an adult’s required daily intake of vitamins A, B1, B6 C, D and E coming from the vegetable sources. I was actually surprised to discover mushrooms as one of the ingredients. You would never know by how good they taste. Made Good Organic Granola Bars and Minis are non-GMO, wheat-free, vegan and Kosher. Flavours include chocolate banana, chocolate chip, strawberry, apple cinnamon, and mixed berry.
Next up is Pamela’s Products and its wheat and gluten-free Sugar Cookie Baking Mix and All-Purpose Flour Artisan Blend. While we haven’t had a chance to try this yet, we are looking forward to a marathon baking session just in time for a Cookie Exchange. It’s nice to be able to offer up a gluten-free alternative that I know will taste as good as the real thing. Pamela’s baking mixes make it easy to make gluten-free treats that are both easy and tasty.
“This season we’re featuring Pamela’s Sugar Cookie Baking Mix because these cookies are a great tasting treat for the entire family. You can roll out the dough and use cookie cutters to create fun shapes and decorate with your favourite frostings and decor,” says Boyer. “Pamela’s wide selection of baking mixes are all free of gluten and suitable for a variety of individuals with multiple food allergies. The All-Purpose Flour Artisan Blend can serve as a one-for-one replacement in any of your recipes and no one will know the difference.”
The Healthy Shopper has also revisited Simply Natural. Their top four best-selling organic Pasta sauces, Tomato and Basil, Tomato and Roasted Garlic, Fra Diavolo and Vodka Cream Pasta Sauce, were chosen because they’re low in sodium, gluten-free, non-GMO and such great value. These sauces are great as a stand alone option or add in your favourite organic veggies for an extra tasty and filling sauce, zucchini being one of my favourite add ins.
“At $3.99 you can’t say that they’re too expensive because they’re organic. They should really be a household staple because they save so much time,” says Donsky.
Last but certainly not least I have to mention Olympic Dairy’s new Chia yogurt. I have been trying to move away from eating bread and part of that has meant switching up what I eat for breakfast. My breakfast of choice has become a little yogurt with Healing Mix and a banana. This morning though I tried it with chia and I was in love! It not only adds a delicious crunch, but i found it to be more filling. Olympic Dairy Chia is the first yogurt on the market with chia seeds already in it. In addition to having chia seeds their yogurt contains pre- and probiotics for an extra immunity boost.
“It’s not only innovative and a “must try,” but it’s delicious,” said Donsky. Adding chia to its yogurt is in keeping with food trends that advocate including chia in all sorts of food,” she adds. The addition of chia seeds makes Olympic yogurt even healthier and completely surpasses other yogurts that contain artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. Chia is also considered a super food and is a source of protein and fiber. It’s the richest plant-source of healthy Omega 3 oil, important for heart and cholesterol health, and is now recognized as a weight-loss helper too.
Flavours include strawberry, vanilla, plain and pandan (I must try this flavour next).
Do you have a favourite organic food product?
Disclosure – I was provided samples to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed are my own.