Saturday, March 23, 2013

Paleo Grocery Finds - What I Buy, Where: WalMart

If there's one thing that I learned long term from my years as a dedicated couponer, it is the mental exercise of skimming my grocers' shelves for price points on my regular paleo staples, and new-to-me paleo-friendly items. Even in few grocery store aisles that I shop every week, I find my eyes spontaneously flicking across each shelf, line by line, searching for novel information to plug into my brain's "product/price point" database.

Our WalMart has an
ever-improving gluten-free
section. Not necessarily
paleo, and I don't use it all the
time, but it's nice to have
there for certain occasions.

I recently realized how useful it might be to put my price points information out there - I have often been grateful to find out about paleo-friendly products at various stores from fellow real food enthusiasts, so perhaps my grocery lists will give those reading ideas about new things to look for as they're doing their grocery shopping errands. As you'll see, there are a lot of "in house" and conventional items that we buy right alongside more premium organic staples. Of course, most WalMarts with grocery sections and Super WalMarts carry a vast and varying selection of produce, eggs, meats, and fish, so your trip to WalMart may not necessarily look like ours below. But, hopefully, there will be an item or two we buy regularly that you haven't thought to check out at your own WalMart...and odds are that when you do find it, it will be very price competitive!

Prices subject to fluctuation seasonally and regionally; once you hear of something I've found, double check your own locations' stock and prices. I've put a bold  GF for "gluten free" where the product in question has been specifically marked as "gluten free".

My WalMart is not so good with its coconut milk selection. It used to carry Golden Star, which is just coconut milk and water, and comes in a green can. It wasn't always in stock, so I always grabbed a bunch when it was there. Even after I'd politely talked to a couple of managers about keeping it in stock more regularly, I mourned deeply when they instead stopped carrying it and replaced it with Imperial Dragon, whose ingredient list includes a couple of preservatives. Coconut milk is consumed so regularly at our house, including by my 3 year old daughter who has gut health issues, so finding a short ingredient list is very important to us. Now when I am in a pinch at WalMart I'll pick up Thai Kitchen's coconut milk, which still has guar gum in it, but if I plan ahead I can keep stocked with a BPA-free no-additive coconut milk via

Imperial Dragon:
This is a coconut milk I avoid;
look at the ingredient list!

Goya: Another coconut milk to avoid
because of added preservative.

My Typical WalMart Shopping List
Label for WalMart's
in-house organic milk.
No, really!?

    Besides bulk meat purchases from local farmers, WalMart and Wegmans roughly tie for getting my most grocery dollars month in, month out. Here are the things I regularly buy for our family at WalMart.
    • Organic Eggs: $4.18/doz.
    • Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk: $3.18/half gal. GF
      (I like this brand because it does not have carrageenan)
    • Organic Stonyfield whole milk (in-house): $3.58/half gal
    • 1 lb. Earthbound Farm Organic Baby Carrots: $1.94/ea. (We usually buy several pounds each visit! They go in almost every lunch we pack.)
    • Mariani honey bars: ~$4.99/5 pack - these are nuts, dried fruit, and honey  GF
      Mariani's Honey Bars. I find these by the produce section.
      I love their simple ingredient lists of nuts, fruits, and honey.
      My 6 year old daughter loves that they look like granola bars.
    • Pistachios, 32 oz.: $10.99
      VERY nice prices
      on Thai Kitchen's
      red curry paste and
      green curry paste.
    • Fischer nuts - walnuts, pecans, etc. Allergen info says processed in a plant with tree nuts but says nothing about wheat. Prices vary across sizes.
    • Bananas: $0.47/lb.
    • Blood oranges, around 8 in a 3 lb. bag: $3.88
    • 6 ct. Marketplace single serve guacamole (WalMart's in-house version of Wholly Guacamole): ~$3.88 GF
      (These are also a lunchbox staple of ours! I sometimes stick a short straw in an opened one for my 3 year old to build her oral motor muscle tone as she sucks it up like a milkshake.)
    • Wyman's frozen wild blueberries (these are teeny berries and thus great for baking): ~$0.20/oz, depending on the size bought.
    • Mezzetta Pitted Greek Kalamata Olives, 9.5 oz.: $4.72/ea. GF
    • Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste and Green Curry Paste: $2.30/jar GF
      (This is at least a dollar cheaper than almost anywhere else!)
    • Pace Salsas: ~$2.50/jar  GF
    • Local raw honey: $8.99/35 oz. jar
    • Hormel Natural preservative-free ham, turkey, and salamis: ~$2.50/pack  GF
    • Love me some olives!

    • Zico 1 L coconut water: $4.48 GF

      WalMart has fair prices on coconut water. Zico is my favorite
      brand available at our WalMart as far as taste goes.
    What paleo-friendly finds have you scouted out at WalMart?

    This post contains an affiliate link. Shopping Amazon through this link results in a tiny percentage of the purchase price being given to Primal Kitchen, at no added cost to you, so thank you for supporting Primal Kitchen!

    Sunday, March 3, 2013

    Sixty Second Frosting - A Paleo-ish Dairy Free, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Refined Sugar Free Option

    My daughter's birthday party was this weekend. I created this frosting for her gluten free egg free dairy free nut free cupcakes - it is so simple, I couldn't believe how easy it was! You won't believe how easy it is, either. This recipe makes a buttercream-y fruit-flavored frosting that isn't shockingly, cloyingly sweet, but instead gently sweet.

    I baked these cupcakes in unbleached parchment liners, and then transfered them to colorful liners after they had cooled.

    Sixty Second Frosting
    Makes enough to frost 3 dozen standard size cupcakes

    One 10 oz. jar of St. Dalfour jam, flavor of choice (I used raspberry)
        -> You can substitute 10 oz. of any no-refined-sugar-added jam
    1.5 cups of Spectrum organic palm shortening
    1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, preferably one without corn syrup as an ingredient
    1/4 tsp. ground sea salt

    Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, and whip at high speed until very smooth (about 30 seconds at the highest speed if use my stand mixer).

    If desired, use a cake-decorating tip to pipe the frosting out onto the cupcakes.

    For special touches, add fresh fruit, colorful cupcake wrappers, or other cupcake toppers.


    Just for kicks, let's compare ingredients. Frosting from a can, a "rich and creamy white" flavor, from a popular national brand:

    Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oil, High Maltose Corn Syrup, Water, Corn Starch, Salt, Distilled Monoglycerides, Polysorbate 60, Color Added, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Citric Acid, Freshness Preserved by Potassium Sorbate. Also may contain milk ingredients. 
    But hey, look, it's gluten free!

    Here is the ingredient list for the above sixty-second frosting:

    Red raspberries, concentrated grape juice, fruit pectin, organic expeller pressed palm oil, organic vanilla extract, ground sea salt.

    I by no means classify frosting of any sort - paleo-fied or not - as a health food, or a weight loss food. But, birthdays are meant to be celebrated, so when you are celebrating one and baking your loved one some cupcakes or a cake, isn't it nice to know that you can make a frosting using 6 ingredients that you can recognize - in less than 60 seconds?

    What do you like to do to decorate your cupcakes for birthday celebrations?

    This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Shopping Amazon through Primal Kitchen affiliate links supports Primal Kitchen at no additional cost to you, so thank you!!
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