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25 Jun Tuesdays With Jeff: Insights Into Your Health: The 10 Healthiest Packaged Foods. Plus a Spice Giveaway!

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The 10 Healthiest Packaged Foods

©Jeff Novick, MS, RD

The healthiest foods are the foods that come straight out of the garden and are consumed in their natural form or as simply prepared as possible. These foods are fresh fruits, vegetables, starchy vegetables, legumes, and intact whole grains and should be the focus of any healthy diet.

Packaged and processed foods are usually loaded with fats, free oils, salt, refined sugars/sweeteners and refined carbohydrates/grains, They are also almost always calorie dense.

However, there are some packaged and processed foods that can be included as part of a healthy diet. And in fact, keeping some of them around and on hand, can actually make following a healthy diet, easier.

Everyone always wants to know what foods I personally eat and/or recommend. So, I went around my house and looked around to see what packaged and processed foods I had in my house and would recommend to you, and why.

Here they are.


1) Frozen Vegetables

Vegetables are the most nutrient dense food there is and including more of them in your diet is a key to improving the nutritional quality of your diet. Unlike many canned vegetables, plain frozen individual vegetables usually have no other added ingredients. Frozen peas and beans may have some added salt, but they usually make my 1:1 sodium/calorie guideline. Frozen vegetables can easily be thawed and including as part of a healthy recipe and/or meal. These are one of the main ingredients in my Basic Recipes

Caution: Be careful of all the new fancy frozen vegetable mixes as many come with added sauces that can be high in salt, sugar and or fat. Look for the plain bags of single individual vegetables of vegetable blends.

2) Frozen Fruits


The same reasoning for frozen vegetables also applies to frozen fruits. Look for the ones that contain just frozen fruit and avoid the ones with added sugars/sweeteners. Frozen berries are one of my favorites to keep on hand. Fresh berries are very seasonal, and they also often mold and rot quickly and easily. Frozen berries do not and are available year round. In addition, you can often find wild berries, including blueberries and strawberries, which are often sweeter and more nutrient dense.




3) Quick Cooking Brown Rice


My favorite kind of rice, is basmati brown rice. I love the taste and the aroma, especially when it is cooking. It smells like popcorn popping. However, I do not always have the 40 minutes to prepare the basmati brown rice from scratch. Nor do I always have some cooked up ahead of time. The solution, is anyone of the varieties available of “quick cooking” brown rice. While I do not usually like to promote a specific brand, one brand that I do prefer is Success Quick Cooking Brown Rice.  This brand and variety has to be the simplest and easiest version of quick cooking brown rice ever invented. Many other versions require the measurement of water and rice (which can be troublesome for some). 🙂 However, with this version all you do is place a pre-measured bag in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes and wah-lah! perfect brown rice. For those of you who want to avoid using the plastic bag, just remove the rice from it and cook in boiling water.  You can now also get frozen pre-cooked whole grain brown rice that is quick and simple to prepare.

4) No Salt Added Shelf-Stable Beans

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Next to green leafy veggies and vegetables, beans may be one of the most nutrient rich foods there is. They are rich in nutrients and fiber, very filling and relatively low in calorie density. The problem with beans for many of us is that most beans can take hours to cook and most canned beans are extremely high in sodium. So, for those in a hurry, the solution is to buy no salt added shelf-stable beans.  One of my favorites is Eden Foods No Salt Added Canned Beans. There are about 12 varieties of beans available from them, including Kidney, Black, Garbanzo, Pinto,  Adzuki, etc. Not only are they available online, and in health food stores, I also find most local grocery stores are now carrying them. Just open a can and add them to your favorite dish, recipe or meal. These are one of the main ingredients in my Basic Recipes. Again, while I do not like to promote a specific brand, Eden Foods canned beans are one of the best out there and they are also the only canned bean that is BPA free.  There are also now a few varieties of no-salt added, organic beans that are packed in an aseptic shelf-stable container that are sold by Fig Foods and by Whole Foods.

5) No Salt Added Shelf-Stable Tomato Products


images (45)Tomatoes make a great base for many dressings, sauces, soups and meals (i.e., stews, chili’s, etc). However, good fresh tomatoes are not always available year round and some of the one that are available in the off-season are literally tasteless. In addition, while there are some canned varieties that are salt free, most canned tomato products are extremely high in sodium and contain BPA.  However, one brand I prefer is POMI brand tomato products as they are both salt free, shelf stable and BPA free. While these tomato product could never substitute for a fresh “in season” tomato on a salad, they can help make excellent soups, sauces, and meals when fresh tomatoes are out of season or when you are in a pinch. These are one of the main ingredients in my Basic Recipes. If you can’t find POMI Tomatoes, look for any brand of no salt added canned tomatoes.

6) Intact Whole Grains (Buckwheat, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, etc)

Whole grains that are consumed in their “intact” form are low in calorie density, high in satiety, nutrient rich and shelf stable. They are easy to cook (just add water) and can be the base of many healthy meals and dishes. They also make great additions to soups and salads. Oatmeal, buckwheat, and barley all make a great breakfast and a great way to start the day. Brown rice, cracked wheat, quinoa, and/or millet mixed with vegetables make a great meal, side dish and or salad. My favorites are the ones that I can cook from start to end in 10 minutes. These include oats, buckwheat, quinoa and millet.

7) Whole Grain Pasta

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The problem with many whole grain processed products (like bread, dry cereals, bagels, crackers and tortilla’s) is that even though they are whole grain, they are still calorie dense. The only exception is whole grain pasta. The reason is, when you cook whole grain pasta, it absorbs some of the water it is cooked in, which is absorbed into the structure of the pasta, lowering its calorie density. Foods with high water content, are lower in calorie density and generally higher in satiety.

So, unlike most processed whole grains, which have a calorie density of 1200-1800 calories per pound, the calorie density of most cooked whole grain pasta is the same as most intact whole grains and starchy vegetables, which is around 500-600 calories per pound. It is also very quick and easy to cook and can be ready in around 10 minutes. Mix in some fresh or frozen vegetables, some no salt added tomatoes and some fresh spices and you have a healthy, nutritious and filling meal.

8) Dried Fruit


Dried fruit is natures candy. Unlike fresh fruit, it is shelf stable and will not spoil easily. Adding small amounts of dried fruit to dishes can add both nutrition and sweetness. A few raisins or dates can really sweeten up a bowl of fruit and they also go great in a bowl of whole grain cereal like oatmeal or as part of a dessert like baked apples. In addition, they make great additions by adding a little sweetness to a large vegetables salad, or even some cooked dishes like stews and rice.

However, due their high calorie density, go easy on them and think of them more as a condiment.  Dried fruit is around 1200 calorie per pound where is most fresh fruit is under 300 calories per pound

Grapes 300 cal/lbs

Raisins 1357 cal/lb

Plumes 200 cal/lb

Prunes 1100 cal/lb

9) Unsalted Raw Nuts/Seeds and Nut/Seed Butter


Raw nuts and seeds, and the “butters” made from them, are rich in nutrients especially minerals. A few of them, like walnuts and flax seeds are also excellent sources of the omega 3 essential fat. They are also shelf stable and will not spoil easily. They can add creaminess and texture to some home made dressings and dips/spreads and/or soups. I sometimes make a salad dressing that is made from a little tahini (sesame seed butter) mixed with lemon and water. I also add a small amount of tahini to blended garbanzo beans to add some texture to my homemade hummus.

However, due to their extremely high calorie density, go very easy on them especially if weight is an issue for you. In general, I recommend consuming no more than 1-2 oz a day at most. If you are struggling with your weight, I recommend either eliminating them or limiting them even more, to no more than 1oz, 2-5x a week. And, when you do use them, make sure you mix them with something low in calorie density, like vegetables or fruits.

10) Salt Free Spices/Seasonings/Herbs


As you decrease the amount of salt, sugar and oil in your diet, you will begin to appreciate the wonderful natural flavors of food. However, some people still like to add a little “spice” to their life. Fortunately, there are many salt-free spices, seasonings and blends available. Probably the most popular one is Mrs. Dash, which has many varieties available. In addition, for those of you who are not a chef and not familiar with the different flavor combination’s of spices, you can now buy many salt free blends that can help. There are pre-mixed blends of salt-free Italian, Mexican, Indian, Southern and many other blends available.

There you go. My favorite 10 packaged staple foods that are not only good for you and can be included as part of a healthy diet. And in fact, keeping some of them around and on hand, can actually make following a healthy diet, easier.


In Health


PS, shortly after writing the original version of this article, I saw a discussion of dehydrated foods. I would now include these in my list as that can be a valuable addition to keep around. However, I want to keep my list at 10 🙂 Maybe I will add it into the Dried Fruit point and change it to Dried and dehydrated fruits, vegetables and other foods.

Leave a comment and tell us what your favorite plant-strong packaged food is and you will be entered to win the entire collection of Mrs. Dash salt free spice blends!

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Jeff Novick
Jeff Novick

Jeff Novick, MS, RD, LD, LN is truly a unique dietitian and nutritionist. With over 24 years of experience in nutrition, health, fitness and natural living, he offers expert health advice distilled into powerful, easy-to-understand language on a variety of current topics.Novick’s insightful and humorous approach to nutrition and health has helped thousands worldwide make the transition to healthy living. He holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Indiana State University in nutrition, with a minor in exercise science.Novick serves as Vice President for Executive Health Exams International and lectures at the McDougall Program in Santa Rosa, California and at the Engine 2 Immersion program in Austin, Texas. He is also the Director of Nutrition for the Meals for Health program, which is helping empower low-income families to achieve optimal health.For almost a decade, Novick served as the Director of Nutrition at the Pritikin Center in Aventura, Florida, and as Vice President of the Board of the Directors for the National Health Association (NHA). He also served as the Director of Health Education for the NHA and as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Health Sciences for Kaplan University.Novick has taught nutrition classes at Indiana State University, Indiana University Medical School, the University of Miami Medical School and the Florida Academy of Family Physicians. He regularly lectures at medical conferences across the country. While in Indiana, he created and taught the Nutrition Education Initiative, a preventive medicine curriculum for medical doctors, residents and medical students. In recognition of this groundbreaking project, Indiana’s governor awarded Novick the Indiana State Public Health Excellence in Health Science Award and Indiana State University awarded him the Graduate-of-the-Last-Decade Award.He has been interviewed by Newsday, Parade, Men’s Health, Shape, Women’s World and has appeared on Fox News, Discovery Health, the Today Show and other media outlets nationwide. He recently appeared in the documentary Processed People and the movie Fatboy, which won the Best Documentary award at the Fort Lauderdale and Queens Film Festivals.

  • Kyle Plattner
    Posted at 06:41h, 25 June

    The best packaged food is the old fashioned tub of oats! How do you beat that to begin each day with?

  • healthygirlskitchen
    Posted at 06:55h, 25 June

    I would also want to add prewashed and precut greens like kale, collard, swiss chard, turnip, etc. These have become the mainstay of my diet lately and it couldn’t be easier or healthier to pop open a bag of greens and cook them!

  • Stephanie
    Posted at 08:03h, 25 June

    Old fashioned rolled oats!

  • Eleanor Hendrix
    Posted at 08:05h, 25 June

    Frozen fruits are awesome! Love to have several packages in my freezer so I can whip up a quick vegan fruit smoothie for a snack or even breakfast!

  • Michelle
    Posted at 08:05h, 25 June

    I love the frozen stir fry veggies, they are super quick & easy to sautee & throw on a bowl of rice for a super quick meal…and it saves soo much time from having to chop/dice all of those different vegetables.

  • Shari Crouch Kosel
    Posted at 08:06h, 25 June

    I love Gardein’s. All of it. Easy and so good!

  • MelodyAsbury
    Posted at 08:06h, 25 June

    This is a really great list – thanks for putting it out there for us! I have to agree with you that canned beans are among my favorite packaged foods to keep on hand, closely followed by tomatoes!

  • Heather Greene
    Posted at 08:07h, 25 June

    I always have cans of lentils, black beans, and garbanzo beans in my cupboard. Can’t be a better staple to make just about any kind of meal.

  • Linda Goudelock
    Posted at 08:10h, 25 June

    oddly enough my herb/spice rack is used daily to flavor my foods. Not sure I could cook without herbs and spices. I gave up salt many years ago and discovered fresh herbs

  • Leisa
    Posted at 08:10h, 25 June

    I use the brown rice from Trader Joe’s, and the Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy is my favorite seasoning. It is also sugar free, which is good as a lot of seasonings have hidden sugars.

  • tnlibrarygal
    Posted at 08:11h, 25 June

    I alway have on hand a can of Garbanzo beans, commonly referred to as chickpeas..

  • Sara Moss
    Posted at 08:11h, 25 June

    I love the Village Harvest frozen red quinoa and brown rice medley. It’s so easy to throw in the microwave and have with some stir-fried veggies. It’s my go-to meal when I don’t really feel like cooking 🙂

    • Deb Baker
      Posted at 10:21h, 25 June

      Where do you find this?

  • Linda Schiltz
    Posted at 08:14h, 25 June

    I’ve just started the Engine 2 diet last week so I don’t have any favorites yet! This is a fantastic list though and I appreciate the help!

  • Cory Talbot
    Posted at 08:14h, 25 June

    I love all the info….Love bagged frozen vegetables…All types..

  • Carol Schrader Warnock
    Posted at 08:14h, 25 June

    Dried herbs and spices — just by changing the spices/herbs you change the whole recipe!

  • Darlene
    Posted at 08:14h, 25 June

    Daily use all kinds of spices to jazz up our meals!

  • Mary Ellen
    Posted at 08:15h, 25 June

    I use canned (no salt/sugar) tomatoes almost daily. Love the convenience!

  • Kim
    Posted at 08:15h, 25 June

    I love keeping frozen veggies & frozen brown rice in the freezer at all times!

  • Linda Davolt
    Posted at 08:15h, 25 June

    Black beans are best. Cilantro too

  • Jean Hayes
    Posted at 08:16h, 25 June

    My favorite packaged food since we switched to a plant based diet is most definitely Pomi tomatoes.They taste SOOO fresh! If I don’t have Pomi, then any salt free canned tomatoes will do. Tomatoes make any dish better in my book!

  • KristySiddel
    Posted at 08:16h, 25 June

    I like the ease of using pre packaged and cut kale to make kale chips and use nutritional yeast to season the kale.

  • cablank
    Posted at 08:17h, 25 June

    This is a great list of healthy and quick foods to keep me on track as I seem to always to hurrying through each day. Thanks

  • Lisa
    Posted at 08:17h, 25 June

    All of these are in my pantry except the quick cooking rice. I have always wondered, if it’s quick cooking isn’t it processed in some way? I use my pressure cooker so rice cooks in 15 minutes. Thanks for the list!

    • Deb Baker
      Posted at 10:19h, 25 June

      Would you mind posting instructions for this including ratios and timing depending on amount you’re cooking? I bought a pressure cooker but am afraid to use it.

  • Eric A Tisaj Sr.
    Posted at 08:18h, 25 June

    Beans, beans, and more beans…oh yea and sweet potatoes!!

  • Rileen
    Posted at 08:24h, 25 June

    Beans, oats and spices.

  • Tonya
    Posted at 08:37h, 25 June

    My favorite convenience food is leftovers. I love making big batches of bean burgers (they freeze really well), roasted potatoes, veggies and cooked beans to have on hand throughout the week. I can turn that into everything from a quick salad for lunch to a company-ready meal of burgers, fries and salad.

  • Ellen Morshedi
    Posted at 08:50h, 25 June

    FF refried beans, quick burritos!

  • Megan Cox
    Posted at 08:50h, 25 June

    Great list!

  • Lindsay
    Posted at 08:55h, 25 June

    I really like fresh fruits, pre-cleaned and cut up, ready to eat. Especially in the heat of the summer. I keep raisins in my desk drawer for days when I need a little extra food, and to keep from using the vending machine.

  • Chasity Dix
    Posted at 08:58h, 25 June

    My favorite plant-strong packaged food is the Engine 2 crackers with the fennel seeds. I LOVE THEM!

  • Abha
    Posted at 09:10h, 25 June

    Love my morning bowl of Bob’s Red Mill gluten free old fashioned rolled oats.

  • Lauren Stewart
    Posted at 09:13h, 25 June

    Oh gosh, do I have to pick just one?! My huge tub of rolled oats is probably number one… closely followed by frozen veggies, salt-free spices (Mrs. Dash, in fact!), and whole grain macaroni!

  • Sharon
    Posted at 09:14h, 25 June

    Very informative list. Although I usually have all of them available (except the instant rice which I will now get), my favorite go-to item is the canned tomatoes. I usually stock up on them when there is a sale so that I never run out.

  • Jon Rife
    Posted at 09:15h, 25 June

    Oats and frozen blueberries

  • Veronika
    Posted at 09:17h, 25 June

    Frozen berries! So great to make a quick dessert or put on top of oatmeal.

  • Heather
    Posted at 09:17h, 25 June

    I LOVE the salt-free mrs. dash table blend. It adds great flavor to my vegan parmesan, vegan cheese sauce, vegan chickpea salad, and steamed veggies! YUM!

  • Marti Miller Hall
    Posted at 09:47h, 25 June

    I LOVE packages of grains; rice, quinoa, barley, polenta, etc. Can’t find it in bulk around here or I’d buy it that way to save a little!

  • Fawn Simpson
    Posted at 10:03h, 25 June

    I love the POMI tomatoes. I wait until they are on sale and really stock up my pantry. Frozen fruits are way up on my list of things I must keep on hand. Great post. Thank you so much for keeping us healthy!

  • Christy Nather
    Posted at 10:04h, 25 June

    we like frozen berries because they are so easy to use for smoothies

  • Ellen
    Posted at 10:04h, 25 June

    My favorite is Trader Joe’s Quick Cook Organic Basmati Rice! It takes 12 minutes to cook and each grain is separate.

  • Raven Hannah
    Posted at 10:09h, 25 June

    All of these items are staples in my house . . . thanks for sharing this, Jeff! 🙂

  • Michelle
    Posted at 10:16h, 25 June

    Precooking dried beans and brown rice, storing in the freezer in single use portions. A major $ and time savor.

  • Robb Yurisko
    Posted at 10:22h, 25 June

    I enjoy Luna Burgers which are E2 approved and amazing 🙂 I am new to making my own plant based foods and cooking in general as I have been eating out my entire life. I would love the opportunity to experiment with all of these salt free and healthy /safe spices! Thanks Engine 2 for blazing this trail for us.

  • christy
    Posted at 10:23h, 25 June

    Frozen berries take # 1 spot for me! I use them in smoothies, oatmeal and thawed for snacking in the winter. I also love hemp and chia seeds for packaged foods.

  • Ellery
    Posted at 10:24h, 25 June

    My favorite plant strong packaged food is frozen veggies. Great time saver when I do not have the time or energy to chop up fresh ones!

  • Penny Nickels Harrison
    Posted at 10:25h, 25 June

    I have Jeff’s DVDs on cooking and Love the Mrs. Dash garlic blends. Jeff’s recipes are the BEST!

  • Sandy Wimmer Yanke
    Posted at 10:26h, 25 June

    My favorite go to is the brown rice. Love all of the suggestions and use many of these already. I am getting ready to start the E2 diet and love all of the tips.

  • Tiana D
    Posted at 10:28h, 25 June

    No salt brand and tomatos are my fav. Great for a start to a quick plant strong meal.

  • pamwertz
    Posted at 10:29h, 25 June

    Baby spinach!

  • Lea
    Posted at 10:33h, 25 June

    Spices, Beans, Rice, and RAW nuts! I love drying my own fruit and raw veggies. Can’t live without spices, love mixing things up a bit.

  • Michele
    Posted at 10:33h, 25 June

    Canned beans are my favorite thing to stock up on!

  • Alissa Sherman
    Posted at 10:34h, 25 June

    Pre-washed spinach and kale from Trader Joes.

  • Florence Renault
    Posted at 10:34h, 25 June

    I like to keep the Pomi tomatoes stocked in my pantry. You can do so many things with those and they’ve saved me when in a pinch. I tried the Success rice long ago, but find it easier to cook large batches of grains and freeze them. I don’t enjoy cooking, so the more I have on hand, the easier it is to come up with ideas for a decent meal!

  • Michelle P
    Posted at 10:35h, 25 June

    I love the many flavors of Mrs Dash. My favorite has to be the frozen fruit though to make a quick and easy smoothie. My son even asks me to make them now!

  • Phil Elliott
    Posted at 10:39h, 25 June

    I have recently been using a lot of beans in my meals.

  • Spe Matt Spewak
    Posted at 10:41h, 25 June

    Another healthy “fast food” tip: Wash and rinse your fresh vegetables when you get them and store them in glass jars for individually sized portions. Too often we let veggies go unused because we get too busy during the week to go through the hassle of washing, chopping, etc. So if you prep your veggies ahead of time, you’ll be much more likely to throw them in whatever you’re making 😀

  • Julie
    Posted at 10:44h, 25 June

    Sprouted Wheat Breads & Bagels from Alvarado Street Bakery are my favorite, and on the approved Engine 2 food list!

  • Wendy
    Posted at 10:45h, 25 June

    Have watched 3 of your DVD’s and follow guidelines for cooking and shopping. I ‘m 1yr. Vegan and have more energy and feel and look better since I switched. I’ve tried a couple of Mrs. Dash spices and am quite pleased with the way they flavor the food.

  • Cece
    Posted at 10:46h, 25 June

    Quinoa interchangeable with rice in stir fry and stuffed bellpeppers, yummy!

  • Pam
    Posted at 10:50h, 25 June

    My favorites are the big tubs of organic baby greens – there are so many varieties, and they are a great base for a meal.

  • Becky
    Posted at 10:52h, 25 June

    I think my favorite plant strong packaged food has to be frozen strawberries, the organic frozen ones are cheaper than the fresh ones, great for smoothies or oatmeal etc. Same with blueberries which are great to munch on in the summer 🙂 I would love to try more Mrs. Dash flavors!

  • Gina
    Posted at 10:53h, 25 June

    Muir Glen claims (not on the can, but I wrote to them and asked) that their tomatoes are BPA free. I love their no salt added fire roasted diced organic tomato.

  • Matt Lichlyter
    Posted at 10:55h, 25 June

    Got to admit, Chick-pea’s are more versitile than I thought!

  • Anastasia
    Posted at 10:57h, 25 June

    Gotta love oats. *pick me pick me*

  • Pam
    Posted at 11:00h, 25 June

    Organic non-GMO black beans! I never ate them before starting the Engine2 eating plan a couple of months ago. Who knew I really liked black beans! LOL

    • Jane
      Posted at 11:29h, 25 June

      Me too!!!

  • Todd VanKirk
    Posted at 11:01h, 25 June

    I actually use a lot of Mrs. Dash products. My wife and I are always trying new flavor combos to add something different to our meals. From out homemade bean burgers to roasted potatoes to veggies. The entire line is good on just about everything.

  • Marilyn
    Posted at 11:03h, 25 June

    Greens ready to eat in the big plastic tubs, marked organic, at most grocery stores! So handy & delicious for busy people on the go wanting to eat healthy.

  • Amy
    Posted at 11:10h, 25 June

    Low salt diet here… Big mrs dash fan already!

  • Laura Renauld
    Posted at 11:11h, 25 June

    Love Bear Naked Granola! Yummy whole-grain goodness.

  • Victoria Gonzalez
    Posted at 11:18h, 25 June

    Frozen Fruit – is my favorite – I can use them in deserts, smoothies, and real vitamin water ;o}

  • Susan
    Posted at 11:23h, 25 June

    Whole wheat soba and udon noodles – nothing in them but wheat and water and they are so filling and wonderful in Asian dishes. Yum!

  • christy
    Posted at 11:25h, 25 June

    Frozen fruit especially berries are the mots used packaged food, I use the in oatmeal, smoothies & salads!

  • Karen Williams Zielke
    Posted at 11:26h, 25 June

    Thanks Jeff! The quick cooking brown rice makes it easy to throw together your veggie burgers. They have become a favorite at our house.

  • Dawn Martin
    Posted at 11:26h, 25 June

    honestly, my favorite packaged plant strong food is in fact, Mrs Dash!! I put those on all of our fresh veggies, in soups, pastas, pretty much anything I can think of to use it in, it goes in!!! I use it more than the garlic & onion powders, etc….

  • Allyson
    Posted at 11:27h, 25 June

    Great list! Frozen fruit and prewashed organic kale from Trader Joes are must haves for smoothies!

  • Jane
    Posted at 11:29h, 25 June

    I like the Simply brand of organic beans you can get at Kroger.

  • rachel
    Posted at 11:29h, 25 June

    love Jeff Novick wisdom. spices jazz up everything

  • Jamie Burns Pejo
    Posted at 11:30h, 25 June

    I need to get those beans!!

  • Nadine Deanie Turnbow
    Posted at 11:30h, 25 June

    I must find shelf-stable beans and tomatoes! Thanks for the great info!

  • Emily
    Posted at 11:31h, 25 June

    I am a big fan of frozen fruits and pre-washed, packaged spinach for morning smoothies! I love Mrs. Dash spice blends 🙂

  • Odaisy
    Posted at 11:32h, 25 June

    love frozen mango and pineapple, delicious!

  • Danielle Lombardo
    Posted at 11:33h, 25 June

    I’ll have to look for those beans! Hope I win that collection of Mrs. Dash spices!!

  • Nathan
    Posted at 11:34h, 25 June

    I love frozen blueberries and blackberries!

  • Dierdre Golladay
    Posted at 11:34h, 25 June


  • Jessca @ Dairy Free Betty
    Posted at 11:34h, 25 June

    I don’t know if Nutritional Yeast counts, but I really enjoy it on many things! Adds salty and cheesy flavor to most things – love it!

  • Sheryl
    Posted at 11:35h, 25 June

    I would have to say that frozen berries are my favorite – put over oatmeal in the morning – YUM!

  • Candyce Loescher
    Posted at 11:35h, 25 June

    Beans – especially black beans and chick peas. (Love our preesure cooker for fast beans!)

  • Dutch
    Posted at 11:36h, 25 June

    As someone who is just starting a plant based diet – this is GREAT stuff!!!

  • Marsha
    Posted at 11:36h, 25 June

    I love using black salt in tofu scrambles.

  • Andy4us
    Posted at 11:36h, 25 June

    Frozen fruit for smoothies are great !

  • Nisha
    Posted at 11:37h, 25 June

    I always have frozen fruit on hand! They’re a perfect addition to oatmeal or a quick, light dessert.

  • goobygirl
    Posted at 11:38h, 25 June

    We always have organic frozen veggies and fruit on hand. I won’t buy Eden anymore even though they are based in my own state because they want to prevent their female employees from obtaining birth control. I vote with my food dollars!!

  • Deborah Gilbert
    Posted at 11:38h, 25 June

    I keep most of this in my house, all the time. SInce I have gone plant based (and lost 121 pounds as a result), I try to always have healthy stuff available!

  • Katie Dawson
    Posted at 11:39h, 25 June

    Packaged tomatoes are my favorite for when tomatoes aren’t in season. I will have to look for that brand!

  • Tammy McIntyre
    Posted at 11:39h, 25 June

    I love no-salt beans, and also keep packages of dried beans and lentils on hand (I don’t mind the extra work). Different types of beans can be combined to make new and interesting dishes, and experimenting with various spices can make it into an entirely different and exciting dish!

  • Sue Marsden
    Posted at 11:41h, 25 June

    I love the frozen veggies!! I was buying fresh and hate it when I can’t get them all used up!! Frozen are always ready and waiting !!

    • Marsha Alexander Fischer
      Posted at 16:56h, 25 June

      Me too

  • Melissa
    Posted at 11:42h, 25 June


  • Mary P
    Posted at 11:42h, 25 June

    Great list, gotta get some of those Mrs. Dash!!

  • mommacline
    Posted at 11:43h, 25 June

    love quinoa! Thanks for the list.

  • Sharrie
    Posted at 11:44h, 25 June

    Pre-cut fresh fruits and veggies are great when I’m short on time.

  • TADinator
    Posted at 11:45h, 25 June

    Great list…and wouldn’t mind trying some of the other Mrs. Dash flavors!!! 🙂

  • Michelle Neilson
    Posted at 11:46h, 25 June

    I always keep canned beans and chickpeas on hand because I can toss them into just about anything.

  • Jessica Easterling
    Posted at 11:46h, 25 June

    Great list of information!

  • Jesslyn
    Posted at 11:47h, 25 June

    LOVE frozen fruit, and often use all of these things.

  • Elisabeth Conley
    Posted at 11:48h, 25 June

    Trader Joe’s Brown rice is one of my go-to staples.

  • Kimberly Ann Shipley
    Posted at 11:48h, 25 June

    Love the frozen veggies and fruits and thanks for the tips on the other shelf stable products

  • Dora Garraton
    Posted at 11:51h, 25 June

    Thanks for the list. This is a good one to pass on!

  • Adia
    Posted at 11:51h, 25 June

    It’s good to know frozen veggies and fruits are good. I was worried they wouldn’t be as healthy as fresh veggies and fruits. I’ll just have to look out for added sweeteners and sauces.

  • enmommy
    Posted at 11:53h, 25 June

    Right now it is frozen fruit for smoothies. My kids don’t like berries because they get “mushy” so it is a great way for me to add them in to the day.

  • Guest
    Posted at 11:56h, 25 June

    It’s good to know frozen veggies and fruits are good. I was worried they wouldn’t be as healthy as fresh veggies and fruits. I’ll just have to look out for added sweeteners and sauces.

  • Deb Hollimon
    Posted at 11:56h, 25 June

    I use very little salt – Mrs Dash is my go to seasoning

  • Adia
    Posted at 11:57h, 25 June

    It’s nice to know frozen veggies and fruits are good. I was worried they wouldn’t be as healthy as fresh veggies and fruits. I’ll just have to look out for added sweeteners and sauces.

  • PMA 119
    Posted at 12:01h, 25 June

    Love Mrs. Dash seasonings. Very helpful list. Thank you!

  • Susan H
    Posted at 12:01h, 25 June

    I really like them all! I eat lots of beans but cook my own from dried. Pinto beans and black beans are my favorites.

  • bklynsam
    Posted at 12:02h, 25 June

    With the exception of dried fruit, which I don’t usually eat much of, if at all, or ‘quick cooking’ brown rice, I use every other thing on this list. I’ve been off salt for decades. Ms. Dash has been a godsend and constant staple in my house.

  • Kelly G.
    Posted at 12:03h, 25 June

    Frozen veggies are a lifesaver during the winter months.

  • Ginger E Finley
    Posted at 12:09h, 25 June

    I use many of the Mrs Dash seasonings. My favorite is the Fiesta Lime! I could use that on anything!

  • Wendi
    Posted at 12:10h, 25 June

    My favorite plant strong packaged food is frozen fruit. I love it because I don’t have to worry so much if the fruit that I want is in season and many times it’s cheaper than fresh. I also love Ms. Dash to use for my seasonings.

  • Bobbi Tazbin
    Posted at 12:11h, 25 June

    Trader Joe’s sells single serving packages of raw nuts that are great to throw in your bag, for those just in case moments when you are out and about and need something to hold you over til your next healthy mealtime. That way you only get a single portion and avoid over-doing the nuts. I also throw in a small box of organic raisins which complement the nuts for a healthy and satisfying snack.

  • Vanessa Gray
    Posted at 12:11h, 25 June

    Frozen pepper and onion mix! Cheaper than buying fresh peppers usually!

  • Rachel Hassett
    Posted at 12:12h, 25 June

    I have all of those packaged foods in my kitchen! If I have nothing planned for lunch, I just throw some lettuce/greens or rice/quinoa in a bowl, and top with a frozen veggie burger, and frozen mixed vegetables. I can top with salsa, or dressing, or an avocado. Voila! Super simple and delicious!

  • Kathleen Chapin
    Posted at 12:12h, 25 June

    Especially liked learning about some of the salt free brands, such as those tomatoes and the canned beans. I will be looking for them, as the brand names are not familiar in my area. We use a lot of frozen veggies and fruit during the winter months. Favorite frozen fruit are huckle berries, yum!

  • Joanie Surface Hively
    Posted at 12:12h, 25 June

    I love to keep frozen fruit on hand for my Homemade Smoothies. Especially berries, like Blueberries, (YUM!) Strawberries, Cherries, Peaches, etc. The frozen fruit is always ready to go – all that I have to do is add my choice of Fresh Greens, and if desired, any good brand of Organic Green Powder. Soooo easy and simple, filling, delicious, and soooo NUTRITIOUS!!

  • Anne
    Posted at 12:12h, 25 June

    I started buying frozen rice to combine with beans, frozen veggies and salsa. I resisted for a while preferring to just make extra rice. I had to toss old rice too many times. So now the frozen is the way to go for a quick meal. Thanks for all of the great tips and information!

  • stacy
    Posted at 12:13h, 25 June

    Loved this info..thanks

  • Brenda Rowe
    Posted at 12:14h, 25 June

    I live in a remote area in Maine. I find Frozen vegetables are most often better than the fresh and they cost less. I love Mrs. dash and use it as often as I can. It is expensive for me to buy but it adds so much flavor to all of my cooking needs. I have never tried Millet I can seem to find it around here.

  • Melly
    Posted at 12:14h, 25 June

    No Salt Added Pinto beans. Sometimes I mash them, add nutritional yeast and water until I have a mock refri-and then i dish it over tortillas or homemade baked chips. i also leave them plain and use them in soups, over salads, with rice and hot sauce. They leave me satisfied and they are uber easy.

  • Miguel Jr. Sotelo
    Posted at 12:15h, 25 June

    I like frozen fruits and veggies the most. They are a quick way to make a healthy snack that will fill me up.

  • Stacy
    Posted at 12:18h, 25 June

    Great list and advice, as always! I have been plant based for a year now and love the way I look and feel. Thank you! The one item that I haven’t tried yet is the quick cooking brown rice. Thank you for including the brand, I plan to pick some up to try soon!

  • Laurapcat
    Posted at 12:18h, 25 June

    I like Whole Foods baba ganoush. It’s oil free ( does have tahini) and makes a great substitution for mayo in potato salad & sandwiches.

  • Chrissy
    Posted at 12:19h, 25 June

    Frozen vegetables….I even make smoothies out of them to add to my dogs’ dinners. My whole house is making healthy choices (the dogs just don’t know it). 😀

  • Sara
    Posted at 12:21h, 25 June

    I love the same exact brown rice pasta that you have pictured in this article. I get it at my Sprouts and love to add all kinds of veggies to it along with some oil-free marinara sauce.

  • Jessica
    Posted at 12:22h, 25 June

    Although I cook up big batches of beans and freeze them use later, I love having canned beans on hand for quick food prep.

  • Paige Brendle Timer
    Posted at 12:24h, 25 June

    Awesome list! I can’t wait to see if my health foods store (which carries Eden canned beans) is carrying the new shelf-stable products. Thanks for all you do! 🙂

  • Mary Krebs-Watson
    Posted at 12:24h, 25 June

    Love the frozen fruit right now! We use so much fruit the fresh just doesn’t have the shelf life.

  • rebecca
    Posted at 12:25h, 25 June

    I like Dr. McDougall’s Vegan soups. They can be added to rice, potatoes, or pasta to give your vegan dish an extra kick of flavor.

  • Shelia
    Posted at 12:27h, 25 June

    I love nuts and beans. They are good to add to your diet.

  • BYOL
    Posted at 12:27h, 25 June

    Without doubt, 365 frozen mixed greens!

  • Ann
    Posted at 12:30h, 25 June

    I don’t enjoy cooking and what keeps me on track are the recipes from your Burgers and Fries and Fast Foods DVDs. So, your top 10 are my top 10.
    Thank you for all you do Jeff.

  • Cheryl Segda
    Posted at 12:32h, 25 June

    Thank you for all the info. Loving this site. Mrs Dash is my thing so happy to hear this news.

  • Lisa
    Posted at 12:36h, 25 June

    This goes to show that ANYBODY can prepare and eat a quick, delicious, cheap plant-strong meal!

  • Pete
    Posted at 12:36h, 25 June

    Frozen raspberries!

  • Nancy Johnson Standlee
    Posted at 12:37h, 25 June

    Thanks for all the good info.

  • Melissa
    Posted at 12:37h, 25 June

    For people in Canada, I regularly buy cooked cans of beans that are salt-free (they’re stored in calcium chloride instead), same for cans of tomatoes, that are President’s Choice Blue Menu brand. I think that they still contain BPA though, which is really unfortunate. There are no other shelf-stable beans, though, and I can’t cook dry beans from scratch (for various reasons), so this is what I’m stuck with. Better than BPA AND high sodium though!

    Also I had no idea about whole wheat pasta being less calorie dense than regular pasta, good to know. And I’ve been wanting to try Mrs. Dash for forever but it’s just too expensive. I sprinkle minimal salt on my foods and don’t cook with added salt, I save it to the end, so the only salt I eat is what my tongue directly touches (requiring much less salt to get the same taste as if the food was cooked in it).

  • Deb B.
    Posted at 12:39h, 25 June

    Frozen fruit for smoothies. Very refreshing in the summer.

  • Alison L.
    Posted at 12:39h, 25 June

    I love getting frozen organic veggies and fruits any time of the year…it makes life so much easier! I have also recently discovered the shelf stable, no salt-added beans at Whole Foods…great find!

  • Shannon Kalmarzi
    Posted at 12:40h, 25 June

    Frozen fruit makes an excellent cooling treat

  • Dave Heffernan
    Posted at 12:41h, 25 June

    Good article Rip! Thanks for sharing!

  • Sara M
    Posted at 12:42h, 25 June

    Frozen veggies! I heat them up as a snack and often without any spices!

  • Claire
    Posted at 12:42h, 25 June

    I stock up on frozen fruits and veggies every few weeks so I know I always have the makings of a quick plant based meal- even on busy evenings! 🙂

  • Techmom
    Posted at 12:43h, 25 June

    Frozen veggies! Great alone or add it to a frozen prepared meal to add fiber and goodness.

  • Misty Hays Turner
    Posted at 12:44h, 25 June

    My favorite plant strong packaged food is the ENGINE 2 GRAIN MEDLEYS – FIESTA BLEND!!! I love this and it’s quick and easy!! I always keep some packages on hand for a quick meal or snack. I can’t imagine eating any other way!

  • Niftyfifty
    Posted at 12:48h, 25 June

    I use a lot of frozen fruit and veggies since I cook for one, therefore, no waste! That’s another issue I wish would be addressed and that is the wasting of food in this system. It’s appalling….thanks so much for the tips!!!!

  • Sherisse Hartley
    Posted at 12:50h, 25 June

    I love Mrs. Dash Seasonings! I use them to make salt free veggie broth for my soups, and add it to rice, potatoes, pasta, curries, yams, salads, sandwiches and so much more 🙂

  • Timmo Post
    Posted at 12:50h, 25 June

    My wife and I are fairly new to this but have jumped in with both feet. We are 54 and wish we new about this sooner in life. We’re doing our best to spread the word in our circle of influence and have had some successes.we love eating this way. I’m a reformed Atkins man ( thank goodness it didn’t kill me ) and my wife is a reformed weight watchers woman. I used to take 5 pills a day and now take ZERO! Was tipping the scales around 300ish and now am at 220. My wife has also lost a lot of weight. Granted we lost some of this weight on our previous diets, we feel better and routinely exercise now. PLANT STRONG! Sometimes figuring out what to eat when you need it to be fast and easy and how to do it can be overwhelming. Reading articles like this is a big help in sorting all that out. Thanks!

  • Terri Cole
    Posted at 12:52h, 25 June

    Frozen fruit and veg, and canned beans are high on my list!

  • Jenn
    Posted at 12:53h, 25 June

    Frozen fruit, nuts and seeds. Can use for smoothies, raw desserts, or even make your milks and creamers. Win win win! 🙂

  • Debbie
    Posted at 12:55h, 25 June

    Regarding dehydrated foods, as mentioned in Jeff’s article above, we are going camping for a week in a remote location in Minnesota next we and won’t have access to a grocery store. I found that simple whole foods recipes, like rice and beans, kale, bean burgers, whole grain pasta, dehydrate very nicely. To try out the concept, a couple weeks ago, I sent my husband who has coronary heart disease on his business trip with an array of low-fat plant based dehydrated meals with instructions to boil water in the coffee pot and add to the meals. They were a big hit. He didn’t have to go out to eat and he was able to stay on his diet. When he got home, his cholesterol tested at 101 total, so he was able to keep his numbers good. It was such a huge success, I dehydrated our leftovers for meals for our camping trip. I will be feeding 7 people, all boys but me with these meals. We will be camping with three other families. They are having to pack coolers with make ahead freezer meals that contain meat and dairy. They say they feel sorry for me, that it must be hard for me to plan my meals for this trip, but I feel like I’m in line with those who came before us, the Native American’s that dehydrated their foods ahead of time to survive the harsh midwestern winters. To me, I think it’s much easier to prepare food to go camping this way, and much safer.

  • Lisa Feder
    Posted at 12:56h, 25 June

    Frozen fruits are great and so handy–we always have a bag of strawberries and blueberries in the freezer. We also freeze bananas when they are over-ripe. In the morning, I just grab a handful of berries, a frozen banana and a handful or two of fresh spinach–add water or almond milk and there is my easy very filling shake. If I’m feeling adventurous I’ll add organic cocoa powder, cacao nibs, hemp seeds, celery or avocado–starting with those frozen strawberries, anything goes!

  • Erin Ní Nualláin
    Posted at 12:58h, 25 June

    Frozen fruit is really helpful for blending up a cool and healthy drink on a hot day!

  • Mike Goetz
    Posted at 13:04h, 25 June

    Lately, Ive been tearing up grilled romaine, grilled buffalo style cauliflower and all fruit smoothies! The Mrs. Dash would be great on grilled veggies!

  • Martín
    Posted at 13:04h, 25 June

    I stock my pantry up with the Pomi tomatoes. They’re great, simple, and no sodium added.

  • Peggy Glidden
    Posted at 13:08h, 25 June

    I always have frozen veggies, canned beans and Success Brown rice on hand for days when I want a quick meal. And my favorite Mrs Dash spice is their Table Blend!

  • Tana
    Posted at 13:12h, 25 June

    Frozen fruits, canned beans and dried cranberries are my favorites.

  • Jessi
    Posted at 13:14h, 25 June

    Frozen veggies are the best – I walk 4 miles home from work and am hungry hitting the door. In less than 10 minutes I’m eating hot veggies and then working on a more elaborate plant perfect dinner.

  • jom
    Posted at 13:14h, 25 June

    I’m all about frozen spinach!

  • Jeff Ferrence
    Posted at 13:15h, 25 June

    My favorite Mrs. Dash is the extra spicy or maybe the southwest. It goes great in my oatmeal that also has frozen collards and broccoli. Now thats a breakfast that sticks with you.

  • Christy N
    Posted at 13:17h, 25 June

    I love frozen berries, so easy to pop into anything, especially smoothies

  • Elizabeth
    Posted at 13:17h, 25 June

    I love everything Jeff posts! This is a great one. 🙂

  • WJ
    Posted at 13:24h, 25 June

    Dried fruit and nuts for me! No cooking required!

  • Julie
    Posted at 13:26h, 25 June

    I use frozen veggies in my lunches on a daily basis. I mix in a little tofu, brown rice and a little bit of Thai peanut sauce and I am good to go! Frozen veggies save me a lot of time and money – not throwing away (well, composting actually) fresh vegetables I don’t get to in time.

  • Gail P
    Posted at 13:30h, 25 June

    I was very interested to read about whole grain pasta vs. other whole grain products. Love my whole grain pasta and love Mrs. Dash spicy for seasoning!

  • Bel
    Posted at 13:30h, 25 June

    I love frozen fruit because I can have delicious fruit even when it’s out of season and having cravings! I love using it for smoothies!!

  • Deanna McIntyre
    Posted at 13:34h, 25 June

    Frozen Spinach makes it way into morning smoothies, soups and other dishes effortlessly!

  • WFPB Enthusiast
    Posted at 13:34h, 25 June

    As long as you have these basics on hand you can easily stick to your WFPB program!

  • Kim Norris Tyler
    Posted at 13:45h, 25 June

    i’ve got all of these in my pantry/freeze. Re. beans – i’m a huge proponent of pressure cooker (thx to Happy Herbivore) and while there’s some time involved, they are the tastiest beans ever!

  • Parker
    Posted at 13:47h, 25 June

    Frozen vegetable blends!

  • Dot
    Posted at 13:48h, 25 June

    I enjoy frozen vegetables, especially in winter when fresh is harder to find. Will try frozen fruit, most of these basics are in our pantry!!

  • Richard Beebe
    Posted at 13:49h, 25 June

    I’ve been incorporating many of these suggestions into my diet with great results. I really like what you say about thinking of dried fruits as a condiment. Thanks for the suggestions!

  • karen
    Posted at 13:51h, 25 June

    Soaked overnight: REGULAR & STEEL OATS & FREEKEH. Topped with Frozen berries, ground flax and drizzled with fresh maple syrup. Love the texture of this uncooked breakfast meal. Enjoy 🙂

  • Lois Hill ♥
    Posted at 13:54h, 25 June

    I love Whole Foods 365 brand they’re nutritious and inexpensive and most of your suggestions come in 365 brand. All of these are better than any other “fast food” that you can buy. I love being plant based!!

  • Amanda Dell Hallberg
    Posted at 13:56h, 25 June

    I always have nuts and organic raisins on hand for an easy, on the go snack – great for the kids and survives the bottom of the diaper bag! 🙂

  • shelby
    Posted at 13:58h, 25 June

    Mrs. Dash seems to be heavy on the pepper and for someone who doesn’t use pepper frequently it’s too much. Also the original is very lemony, but if Jeff likes ’em, maybe I’ll give another flavor a try. I just have to find them first

  • Kellie
    Posted at 14:00h, 25 June

    Frozen veggies! I am able to find affordable organic veggies in the freezer section.

  • Carol Ⓥ
    Posted at 14:05h, 25 June

    i buy all of your suggestions! i don’t have but one mrs dash though 🙂

  • Renee DeMan
    Posted at 14:11h, 25 June

    I’ve been on a massive two week road trip and I packed my pomi tomatoes and no salt beans. I have made Novick burgers at each stop!!

  • John Williams
    Posted at 14:23h, 25 June

    frozen veggie and fruits and love the ms dash!

  • Twylla Burgess
    Posted at 14:26h, 25 June

    Great info! There is really lots of food to eat the “healthy” way – people just don’t realize. Great article!

  • Cathy
    Posted at 14:28h, 25 June

    Frozen fruit with oatmeal.

  • Gwendolyn
    Posted at 14:35h, 25 June

    Frozen fruit is a time saver and I am happy that the nutrients are still high. 🙂

  • Leah Short
    Posted at 14:37h, 25 June

    Definitely frozen fruit! Great for smoothies to use instead of ice to get them to the right texture.

  • Amber Keumurian
    Posted at 14:40h, 25 June

    The pre-cut packaged fresh vegetables are my favorite!

  • Becky Mears Cancilla
    Posted at 14:40h, 25 June

    My favorite is my morning oatmeal! I use all the other items mentioned except the dried fruits and the nuts, because I have not yet reached my ideal body weight.

  • Sue Perez
    Posted at 14:40h, 25 June

    My 2 year old son loves golden raisins, as we use them as a substitute for those horrid gummy snacks. He learned them as candy fruit! LOL He loves fresh fruit and veggies.

  • Kathy G
    Posted at 14:40h, 25 June

    My favorite are the Pomi tomatoes. You always have fresh tasting tomatoes at the ready. You can make a quick pasta dish, or add to soups or even pizzas! Since there is no added salt, Mrs. dash would go very nicely to spicing them up!

  • Audrey
    Posted at 14:45h, 25 June

    As a treat, I love the Just Fruit mangoes and mixed fruit.

  • Xanthe
    Posted at 14:52h, 25 June

    Frozen beans/legumes! Black eyed peas, lima beans, garbanzo beans…all wonderful!

  • Theresa Stevens
    Posted at 14:54h, 25 June

    I like having frozen fruit on hand to make smoothies!

  • Katrina
    Posted at 15:06h, 25 June

    Go Mrs.Dash! I always thought she was a healthy gal.

  • JOHN
    Posted at 15:08h, 25 June

    Frozen veges….a meal in 5 mins 🙂

  • Janet
    Posted at 15:08h, 25 June

    My favorite packaged food is frozen berries. I use a Yonanas machine to make delicious banana berry desserts!

  • tammy
    Posted at 15:15h, 25 June

    My favorite prepackaged plant based food item would be the canned tomatoes, sauces, pastes, etc. Next to that is the quick cooking brown rice or the frozen brown rice and then canned beans. I use these items several times a week. Can’t live without them!

  • patty t
    Posted at 15:26h, 25 June

    Always have frozen veggies on hand. I can whip up a meal at the last minute if necessary and know it’s still nutritious!

  • Pam
    Posted at 15:26h, 25 June

    definitely my most used packaged food is frozen veggies. Fortunately my local grocer store sells a large variety. I hate wasting fresh veggies if I don’t have a chance to eat it all, but frozen – I can eat the whole bag – no waste.

  • Anne Wheatley Pyne
    Posted at 15:39h, 25 June

    Thanks for sharing. I think I’m going to start buying more frozen veggies to save on prep time. I also want to try all of the salt free spice blends.

  • Kathryn Polster
    Posted at 15:47h, 25 June

    I’m a little lazy and I’m a big fan of the e2 and cedars no oil hummus.

  • Jennifer Skye
    Posted at 15:47h, 25 June

    Whole wheat pasta! Most of our dinners are served over ww pasta or brown rice, but the pasta is so easy, flexible, and delicious!

  • Gretchen
    Posted at 15:48h, 25 June

    Frozen veggies, so convenient to use anytime!

  • Ben Johnston
    Posted at 15:51h, 25 June

    Love frozen fruit for morning smoothies, and we always have Pomi tomatoes on hand, it’s so nice having both the chopped and strained options for making soups/sauces!

  • Donna
    Posted at 16:14h, 25 June

    I use frozen fruits and vegetables for smoothies and side dishes and desserts. I only have one “flavor” of Mrs. Dash but would LOVE to try more.

  • Marsha Myers
    Posted at 16:18h, 25 June

    My fav is the quick brown rice! I love brown rice but hate waiting for it. Toss some sauteed veggies in (sauteed in broth of course) and it’s a yummy meal! Thanks for all the great tips!

  • Traci Veschak
    Posted at 16:32h, 25 June

    My favorite is the grilled vegetable blend from Walmart. It’s just frozen grilled potatoes, zucchini, peppers, and onions-nothing else. It’s delicious!

  • Cheryl
    Posted at 16:48h, 25 June

    Frozen veggies and beans! Frozen berries. Hard to pick just one.

  • karen
    Posted at 16:55h, 25 June

    Frozen berries. Use them all the time! Great when fresh berries aren’t available locally.

  • Marsha Alexander Fischer
    Posted at 16:55h, 25 June

    Love frozen veggies can’t overbuy and always fresh

  • Pat
    Posted at 17:12h, 25 June

    Love Mrs Dash. Use it as my spice base for different bean stews. Have tried four different flavors.

  • Michael
    Posted at 17:19h, 25 June

    Thanks, Jeff! Frozen vegetables are probably my favorite plant-strong packaged food. Having healthy food that is resistant to spoiling is always a plus for me.

  • Melody
    Posted at 17:20h, 25 June

    Rolled oats are my favorite healthy packaged food. Having a quick-cooking starch on hand helps deal with any hunger emergencies. Thanks, Jeff and the Engine 2 Team.

  • Melissa
    Posted at 17:21h, 25 June

    Frozen fruit is definitely my favorite. My world’s best dessert, especially as it is largely guilt-free. Thanks, Jeff.

  • Bob
    Posted at 17:24h, 25 June

    Salt-free, canned beans are incredible. I often pack a can or two on a trip when I am not sure the local stores may carry them. Frozen, salt-free peas also work in a pinch, although I have picked up one brand in the past that was very high in sodium but did not list any salt in the ingredients. It definitely pays to be vigilant. Thanks for the information and the giveaway.

  • Melissa
    Posted at 17:29h, 25 June

    It is great to hear that Eden cans are BPA free.

  • Karen Harris
    Posted at 17:36h, 25 June

    I love frozen fruit – I call it nature’s candy. When it’s hot out and I want something sweet, I love getting a frozen sweet cherry from the freezer. Yum!

  • Tania Thompson
    Posted at 17:37h, 25 June

    Whole grain pasta rocks! Love quinoa pasta.

  • Yvonne
    Posted at 17:39h, 25 June

    Frozen fruits and veggies.. specifically the Bird’s Eye corn, veggie blends (with just veggies of course – no added sauces) and rice + veggie blends (ditto again on added sauces) as well as the Publix chopped veggies that I use when cooking (diced onions and diced green peppers). I also found washed and packed kale and shredded collards at Publix – those and the pre-washed salad mixes are great as well.

  • Dawn Acero
    Posted at 17:42h, 25 June

    Oh good. I have these in my home. Nice to know we’re on the right track. What I don’t own, and do not have experience with, is Mrs. Dash. Would love to try the line! Thanks for the opportunity.

  • Rebekah Thurston Shearer
    Posted at 17:58h, 25 June

    low salt organic beans are a God send! They have all the benefits and seem to keep me fuller for longer. They’re meal extenders. I also have a NEW one on my list…DATES! Not just the common Madjool dates but the deglets. I make paste and syrup to add to certain cereals or dishes to give it a sweet taste without added processed sugar. LOVE IT!

  • Brenda Osborn
    Posted at 18:12h, 25 June

    I love raw organic walnuts! Great for the brain and a great source of healthy fat! Awesome to toss into salads. I also always keep a bag in my purse for snacks. 🙂

  • Selina
    Posted at 19:06h, 25 June

    I eat Oatmeal almost everyday for breakfast. I always mix it up with add ins so I don’t get bored. Sometimes I have buckwheat groats.

  • karinacocina
    Posted at 19:12h, 25 June

    oatmeal! so versatile and easy to make

  • sandy
    Posted at 19:21h, 25 June

    Here in Tn., I’ve found several brands of Brown Rice. The one I like the most is “Uncle Ben’s”. It cooks up great and doesn’t have a ‘mushy’ texture. The flavor is better than most as well…. I think brand buying is different from coast to coast. Stores in different areas sell different brands that other areas carry. Some of the brands you’ve mentioned, I cannot find. I think it is a very good idea to talk about brands. Thank you! P.S. Thank you, and your dad (Caldwell) for helping me to be healthier than I have ever been. My Cholesterol is good, my triglycerides are good, and my doctor told me I was almost a non-diabetic now. I have also dropped 45 pounds & two sizes! She told me before I started this lifestyle, ( she recommended) I was headed straight for pancreatitis. My cholesterol was very high, triglycerides were high, and I am a type 2 diabetic, with HBP. I am hoping to go off most of my meds by January 2014!

  • DJ
    Posted at 19:49h, 25 June

    Easy yummy – just a few – pumpkin seeds, walnuts or pecans get us through the afternoon!

  • KathyinVA
    Posted at 19:53h, 25 June

    I have been buying most of the top 10 since I watched Jeff’s Shopping School DVD. I really like Whole Foods frozen brown rice and their frozen quinoa. I would love to try the Mrs. Dash line of spices as I am on a salt restricted diet:)

  • Rita Wagstaff
    Posted at 20:14h, 25 June

    I love gluten free steel cut oats which I cook in a slow cooker with apple and almond milk and cinnamon. I eat it eveyday.t

  • Carla W.
    Posted at 20:22h, 25 June

    Salt-free spices are important in my kitchen. I use lots of cumin, cayenne, crushed red pepper, garlic powder, Italian spices, nutmeg and cinnamon.

  • Andrea Franklin
    Posted at 20:40h, 25 June

    My favorite is the canned beans…and frozen veggies or fruit.

  • K C
    Posted at 20:54h, 25 June

    I love using canned tomatoes, a great base for many dishes all year round.

  • Kathryn Bulver
    Posted at 21:00h, 25 June

    Lovin’ the Pomi tomato products, which I heard about for the first time at the Chicago F2F weekend. They make an awesome base for an Italian tomato soup.

  • Tinkerbell
    Posted at 21:02h, 25 June

    It’s viola! Not wah-lah!

    • Nicola27
      Posted at 08:08h, 26 June

      You typed too fast–I know you meant Voila!

  • Sandi
    Posted at 21:02h, 25 June

    I have been slowly adding more fruits and veggies and have totally eliminated meats from my diet. My biggest problem is adding spices. I find I either have bland or to much of some spice. I keep at it tho and haven’t given up.

  • Grace
    Posted at 21:26h, 25 June

    I didn’t know that Mrs. Dash came in so many varieties!

  • Sherri Williams
    Posted at 21:30h, 25 June

    My favorite is the dried fruit of course. It’s like having instant dessert. I tend to over eat on them though. I am new to eating this way and new to adding spices to dishes for flavor instead of fats, sugars, and processed items so I’m glad you mentioned the Mrs. Dash.

  • Emma
    Posted at 21:39h, 25 June

    It’s nice to have flavored balsamic vinegar around when your palate/brain is asking for a little boost. Tonight, while listening to Jeff’s awesome webcast, I sliced up a green apple with a drizzle of chocolate raspberry infused balsamic vinegar. My snack was simple and a divine experience!

  • TamiNutmegNotebook
    Posted at 21:47h, 25 June

    What a wonderful list of healthy foods to keep in stock. I buy most of the items mentioned in the article with the exception of the rice. I will cook up large batches of brown rice in my rice cooker, portion it out and freeze it for future meals. I make double batches of bean/veggie burgers and freeze those ahead as well. It’s a little extra work to double recipes but having food ready made is so nice on busy days.

  • elsa
    Posted at 21:54h, 25 June

    love instant rice !

  • Ellen Turcotte
    Posted at 22:06h, 25 June

    I love Pomi! Ingredients: tomatoes That’s right, one ingredient. No mas uno? Que padre!

  • Jennika Ella Wasilewsky
    Posted at 23:21h, 25 June

    We freeze bell peppers and fruit when they are on special. For some reason blueberries rarely go on sale, but, they’re worth the price!

  • Doug
    Posted at 00:26h, 26 June

    I really like frozen fruit for smoothies for smoothies

  • anna fox
    Posted at 06:29h, 26 June

    I have been cooking oil free and mostly salt free for about 2 months now. I notice a difference in my palate already. If I eat anything from outside my kitchen I get this weird salty taste in my mouth. Does anyone ever experience that?

  • Walter Hummel
    Posted at 07:22h, 26 June

    I love the new frozen mixes! When you don’t have much time you can cook them fast and they taste amazing too!! I like making my own mixes but I keep a few in the freezer for when I don’t have much time!!i

  • Nicola27
    Posted at 08:09h, 26 June

    Great list! I do have most of these available.
    [Where’s the Mrs Dash giveaway offer?]

  • Carrie
    Posted at 10:47h, 26 June

    I just found another brand that makes BPA free cans of tomatoes: Bionaturae.

  • Karen Marie
    Posted at 11:23h, 26 June

    I have two of the Mrs. Dash Salt free seasonings and love them. I wish more were available in my local stores.

  • Barbara
    Posted at 11:26h, 26 June

    My favorite plant-strong packaged food is Eden Organic Sauerkraut.

  • Denise
    Posted at 11:30h, 26 June

    Frozen fruits and veggies, for sure! Great to have them available year round!

  • Amy V-H
    Posted at 11:55h, 26 June

    I love the packages of frozen brown rice that you quickly microwave.

  • Linda Bryant
    Posted at 13:05h, 26 June

    This was very helpful. I have empty shelves after cleaning house, and it is good to have guidance for shelf-stable goods to buy that will go with all the yummy fruits and vegetables
    that are available. Thanks

  • Barb
    Posted at 13:59h, 26 June

    I like the mixed berries from costco. Really refreshing and natural.

  • Dani
    Posted at 17:24h, 26 June

    I love dehydrated apples. They have the crunch and texture of a savory snack, but are sweet.

  • Kristin Kathleen Creech Lasson
    Posted at 17:57h, 26 June

    Don’t change ‘dry fruit’ to all dehydrated goods – that is too broad of a category. 🙂

  • SLJames
    Posted at 21:01h, 26 June

    Great educational benefit as usual. Thanks for the great article!

  • pannebyron1
    Posted at 07:53h, 27 June

    I’ve been given 90 days to bring my weight down (281 lbs), my blood pressure down (180/110) and my sugar into line (7.5) – so the 90 days starts on July 1st, that’s because I have a 3 month check up with her at the end of September. I’ve been trying to clear out my freezer and pantry of “bad” foods by eating them up – some will go to the food pantry but as a Senior Citizen living on my social security, I can’t afford to waste food or give too much of it away. Beginning of July, there will be nothing bought unless its GOOD and HEALTHY. I will order the book today and begin to copy out recipes to post on my refrigerator to be made in my 90-day. I love some nuts (they must be salt free), absolutely love fresh veggies (although cooking for one is so hard – you cook for four and then, supposedly divide it into four parts and eat one part – yeah come-on who actually does that? I also have to walk – which is SO hard because I have a ruined left knee which causes much pain, my legs swell and I live in a tiny village on the side of a mountain up on the Hudson River – so “everything” is UP and down at a huge slant. But July 1 will begin my journey – I only wish I had someone to share what I’m going to be doing – as doing it alone is hard. AND being a 66-yr old Gramma doing it is even harder – its so easy to slip back. But I’ll try.

    • RickConley
      Posted at 08:18h, 03 July

      Good luck!
      I know it’s hard to give/throw away food, but remember that old food is costing you money at the doctor’s office! Eat right and you’ll get rid of the high blood pressure and diabetes.

    • F Wilson
      Posted at 18:14h, 30 July

      Somebody said the longest journey begins with shortest step.. May I
      suggest you cook/eat more GREENS along with other vegetables in your diet. I
      lost 30 – 40 pounds in a year by exercising, not fretting over my life
      challenges, and focusing on staying active, and artistically &
      constructively busy: cleaning, cooking, gardening, fixing things,
      washing clothes, etc. [No TV!] The artistic side may be whatever challenges &
      rewards your mind & spirit: drawing, coloring, puzzles, cooking
      unique (healthy) recipes, growing veggies, herbs, or flowers wherever
      you can – patio, balcony, yard, etc., and fight to keep your mind from
      ever feeling defeated! There is joy in this journey. Lastly, you are fearfully & wonderfully made..

    • SassyDoxilvr
      Posted at 21:10h, 22 August

      pannebyron1- I hope your doing well, on your journey to good health. I hope you found that eating healthy changes the body drastically, and your on your way to being off of meds. I also hope you found a support system.
      Good Health to you! 🙂

  • trying 2 get it right.
    Posted at 13:26h, 03 July

    I am wondering about fruits and veggies being Organic. I don’t see any mention or emphasis on buying organic. I am reading and seeing so much information about GMO foods and how unhealthy they are yet most soy, wheat, and corn (and I’m not sure how many others) that aren’t organic are GMO. I have read LOTS on the fact that soy isn’t really that healthy for people – maybe because it’s mostly GMO but not much about soy is getting good reports lately.

    I have dried cranberries/cherries/ginger but I notice they all have added sugar.

    I’ve also read that many agave nectar products are toxic because of the way they are processed – can you verify that one way or the other?!

    I have hand tremors and have tried many natural ways to treat this but so far nothing has worked. I also have night sweats that sometimes start with a jolt feeling like a current of energy or something but it’s always localized in a certain area (this area changes each night but – ex: if it’s in the leg area it’s usually in both legs at the same location and same time).

    I’m hoping doing a plant based diet will remedy these annoyances.

  • Miz Su
    Posted at 06:56h, 14 July

    I like cooking with versitile no GMO Tempeh.

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