Buying items in bulk is great for getting as little or as much as you want of an item. I also appreciate how it cuts down on packaging for sustainability reasons. I find that when I shop in the bulk bins I save money on items in each section, but particularly on beans, whole grains, and spices. When bought by the bag, beans can cost $2-$3 per pound, whereas I find them in the bulk bin around $0.50-$1 per pound. Grains are about the same ratio in price differences as beans. Spices are often where the biggest difference is. Some tiny spice jars can cost $4-$8 depending on what you are getting, but in the bulk section can be a quarter of those prices or less.
Some of my favorite items from each section that are staples in our house are as follows (because I love making lists!):
- Dried beans/legumes: pinto beans, small red beans, garbanzo beans, black beans, black eyed peas, brown lentils, red lentils, yellow and green split peas
- Whole grains: rolled oats, steel cut oats, brown rice varieties, wild rice, pearl barley, millet, quinoa
- Flours: whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, chickpea flour, almond flour, smelt flour
- Nuts and Seeds: (all raw) cashews, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, hemp hearts, and ground flaxseeds
- Spices: cumin, coriander, chili powder, cayenne pepper, dried basil, dried parsley, dried thyme, dried rosemary, dried oregano, dried ginger, dry mustard, onion powder, garlic powder
Last time I loaded up in the bulk bin section, I thought I would try something new and decided to get poppy seeds. I thought a sweeter poppy seed dressing sounded wonderful and remembered that I had froze some raspberries and blackberries a week ago when they were on sale at the produce market.
Berry Poppy Seed Dressing
Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1 cup unsweetened plant-based milk
1/2 cup raw cashews
4 pitted dates
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp ground dried ginger
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1.) In a high-powered blender, blend together all of the ingredients except the poppy seeds.
2.) Blend until smooth and creamy, adding additional plant-based milk to reach desired consistency.
3.) Add in the poppy seeds and blend on low to mix.
4.) Serve chilled over a salad or as a sweet, tangy dip.
In my recipe I used a mixture of frozen raspberries and blackberries. You could also use blueberries, huckleberries, strawberries, or any mixture of your favorite berries. I also used unsweetened soy milk, but feel free to use whatever plant-based milk you like best. Because of the sweeter nature and the acidic ingredients in the recipe it has a slight yogurt-tangy flavor.
For my pictured salad below, I served the berry poppy seed dressing over a bed of green lettuce (from my neighbor's garden, score!), shaved carrots, fresh strawberries, sliced radishes, diced avocado, hemp hearts, and ground flaxseed. Yum!
Health and Happiness,