By Stephanie Green
It is not often easy to cook with organic or natural ingredients if you do not know where to look. Organic foods are often wrapped in high prices and clouded in judgment. Many are over-priced, and for what? Lesser, more qualifying ingredients? If you want to sneak some affordable organic foods in your family’s Thanksgiving dinner this holiday, it does not have to be an impossible task.
Fruits and Vegetables
Organic fruits and vegetables do not have to break the bank, although many are worth the few extra pennies per pound. If you are lucky enough to leave near a Trader Joe’s or a Whole Foods (they do seem sparse), the store brands provide a natural – not always organic – produce section that is worth checking out.
Spices and Condiments
An important part of every great feast is in the spices and sauces. Pumpkin pie needs clove, ginger, and nutmeg; mashed potatoes need salt and pepper; sweet potato bake surely needs brown sugar. Store brands like Whole Foods, and Target’s Simply Balanced and Archer Farms, provide affordable, natural seasonings for your Thanksgiving favorites.
Egg Nog and Hot Drinks
Surprisingly, organic and ‘all-natural’ (be sure to read the labels for these claims) coffee, tea, cider, and egg nog cost about the same as your favorite brands. Even Silk, which provides a soy alternative, only runs $2.99 per quart of nog. There is more expensive organic nog, such as almond milk ‘egg’ nog, but it is not something for the typical family meal. Brand to watch out for: Organic Valley.
Cheese and Other Snacks
Many people serve snacks and drinks before their Thanksgiving feast – cheese platter, veggie and dip, or crackers. These appetizers provide another opportunity to slip an all-natural side dish in for your family and friends.
Note: common stores like Kroger and Target both provide a private label organics line. These are affordable and accessible.
The hype would tell an average consumer that organic products are expensive and a waste of both time and money. However, it is natural to want to feed your loved ones foods that you can trace back to a farm, or a sustainable company. Sneak in a few organic apples in your husband’s pie and be comfortable in the fact that you can provide a natural, bountiful feast.