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Seven Super Cheap, Healthy Vegan Foods

Categories: Beet Reporter
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When adopting an organic plant-based diet, people fear the expense. But nutrient-rich, disease-preventing, obesity-fighting plant foods will save you money on medical bills in the long run (and make you feel better right away).

Certainly, organic produce is more expensive than the standard type because it's in short supply, more labor intensive, and produced in much smaller volume.

Besides produce, other nutrient-rich plant foods can come at daunting costs. Superfood spirulina sounds like a great idea, until you realize it costs $20 for a small bottle. Maca, raw cacao, hemp protein, and raw vegan convenience foods like kale chips come with price tags that might make any newbie want to run to the nearest McDonald's.

But don't do that! You don't need all that fancy stuff.. Here are ten highly nutritious plant-based foods that come at crazy low prices.

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7. Organic bok choy: $1.29/pound
Also known as "Chinese cabbage," bok choy is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet (it rates 825 out of 1,000 points on the ANDI scale). Its mild taste and aqueous stalk remind me of crunchy - and nutrient-poor - iceberg lettuce, which is why I find its incredible nutrient portfolio so surprising. It's extremely high in vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, and contains B vitamins 1, 5, and 6. It's rich in minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous and iron. And it's loaded with antioxidants that neutralize the free radicals that cause cancer. Oh, and it's full of fiber as well. All this for 13 calories per 100 grams.

So what do you do with it? I love to juice it because it's an inexpensive way to add a super nutrient-rich and inexpensive base to green juices, but I've also shredded it up and made it into a tasty base for salads. Yes, it's good raw!

You can also steam it to lend an authentic Asian flavor to any meal.

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6. Organic millet: $1.69/pound
Everyone knows that brown rice is a relatively cheap way to add a whole grain to your dinner plate. But millet is a delicious alternative to throw into the rotation. Having grown up with parrots in the house, I was first introduced to millet as a main component of bird food. That may not be a great selling point, but this is: the grain contains niacin, phosphorous, manganese and magnesium, which means it provides nutrients to help your body repair tissues, reduce risk of heart attack, fuel brain and nerve function, and, like all whole grains, reduce type-2 diabetes risk.

Millet boils in about 20 minutes, and you can toast the dry kernels first to enhance the flavor. You can stir it up a bunch and add more water to achieve a creamy grits-like consistency, or you can use less water and avoid stirring for a drier, fluffier texture.

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