My readers often tell me that they find it challenging to keep up with their budget and still put healthy low glycemic meals on the table. Since this subject keeps coming up, I decided to write a series of articles about different ways you can eat healthy without spending more money.
I have been living in Toronto for many years
and don’t even get me started on how expensive Toronto is, and I’ve learned a few tricks on how to cut my grocery bill to bring my monthly grocery bill down to a reasonable amount.
Let’s kick-start the Low GI on a Budget series with this list of 6 healthy budget-friendly low-glycemic foods that are versatile and super easy to prepare.
Green and red cabbage are very inexpensive and available all year round. It’s absolutely perfect for salads, and you can make a big batch for just a dollar or two.
Another advantage of cabbage salads is that they keep very well in the fridge for a few days and become tastier as cabbage ferments a bit.
When preparing a cabbage salad, make sure to massage the shredded cabbage with a little bit of sugar and olive oil. This will help to break down the fibers and make the cabbage easier to chew and digest.
When you do your best to stick to the low glycemic diet, cauliflower can be a real lifesaver.
Thanks to the mild taste, cauliflower work as a great substitute for rice and potatoes in many dishes. You can make a cauliflower “mashed potatoes,” cauliflower “fried rice,” cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower breakfast muffins, and even cauliflower alfredo sauce.
Although cauliflower isn’t always super-cheap, it’s still pretty affordable most of the time.
Everyone knows about the wonderful health benefits of oats.
The different forms of oats include the low glycemic oats such as steel-cut oats, rolled oats, oat bran, oat groats, and oat flour, and the high glycemic form such as instant oatmeal.
I would like to emphasize that instant oatmeal, especially sweetened instant oatmeal is a very high glycemic form of oats, and there is nothing healthy about it. Regular rolled oats don’t take a long time to cook either and can be used in any recipe that calls for instant oats.
Barley is a cereal grain with a chewy consistency and a distinct flavor. Containing both soluble and insoluble fiber, it helps the body to get rid of toxins.
Pearl barley is a bit more processed than pot barley and will also cook a bit faster. Barley is wonderful in soups and stews, as it makes them creamy.
Barley flour is very inexpensive and can be used as a substitute for white or whole wheat flour.
Beans are loaded with awesome nutrients. They contain more protein than any other plant-derived food and are full of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, which helps to normalize blood sugar.
There is a wide variety of beans to choose from. I suggest you try different kinds to find out what you like. In my family, we use a lot of black and red beans, chickpeas, and yellow peas.
It’s better to use dried beans, but they have to be soaked for at least 8 to 12 hours in advance, and I have to admit that I am not always that well-organized, so I often use canned beans and chickpeas.
Lentils come in a variety of colors with red, brown, and green lentils being the most common in North America. Lentils do not need to be pre-soaked and cook very quickly. Cooked lentils become quite soft and make excellent bases for purees and soups.
You can also find various soup mixes that are based on different types of legumes and grains. They are also very budget-friendly and can be used in soups and stews.
As you can see, there are quite a few budget-friendly low glycemic foods that are readily available in grocery stores. They are also quite easy to cook and can be included in a variety of dishes which helps to bring the costs per meal down. If you have a favorite low glycemic food that isn’t included in this list, please share it with us below.
Kristen Marie Jackson
Sunday 10th of January 2016
This is perfectly timed for me, thank you! I am just starting my low gi journey and this is very helpful. I am a big fan of cabbage, I'll have to pick some up and add some to my menu this week now. Mmm.
Wednesday 13th of January 2016
So glad you found this article helpful :)