This week I wanted to talk about some of the cool things you can get at the good ‘ol Bulk Barn.
Do you remember that place? I used to love going in for little snacks (Gummies! Sours! Party Mix!).
These days I go there for very different things and you might be surprised to know what you can find there when you’re trying to eat a well on a budget.
First I wanted to say that one of the main reasons I want to make the Bulk Barn a regular food stop is because I can use my own bags and containers.
I couple years ago, I bought reusable bags for my bulk items and produce (these ones are so cute!) and this year I’m really going to make more of an effort to buy more bulk and less in packaging because the plastic on this earth is really getting out of control. (Also watch this piece on Marketplace – fantastic and horrifying!)
I went to Bulk Barn recently and was amazed at what is available there now. You can see my photo montage of Bulk Barn finds on Instagram here, but I’ll give you the top five here first!
And I’m not talking about just regular old pasta. There are so many types of pasta now that you can be eating a different type of pasta every week!
Cauliflower fusilli! Green lentil and beet penne! Black bean rotini! Chickpea rotini! Honestly, there are about 10 different kinds at the Bulk Barn now, which I think is fantastic because it gives us variety to our nutrition and we don’t have to rely on boring old durum wheat semolina anymore.
2. Grains and Cereal.
When it comes to grains, I typically buy brown rice – kind of boring! Last week I discovered ‘forbidden rice’ which is black rice. I also got some jasmine rice which isn’t really new for a lot of people, but it’s a bit of a treat for me. So delicious. You can also get your quinoa in bulk, and regular rice of course, but there are also wild rice, basmati, oats, spelt, kasha, farro, and buckwheat groats (which is technically a seed, but acts like a grain).
You can also get quinoa puffs which can be used as cereal or as a replacement for puffed rice in a rice crispy bar.
There are so many options for flours at Bulk Barn. I was so happy to see coconut flour, quinoa flour, brown rice flour, millet flour along with other typical flours of course. You can also get baking powder.
One thing to note about getting flour in bulk is that you need a proper bag that will hold flour. Most of my bags have little holes which won’t hold the flour (it will make a mess!) so if you’re going to get flour make sure you have the right bags or just bring your clean containers into the store.
4. Super Foods.
I’m still on the fence about getting certain foods at the Bulk Barn (because of concerns with source of the product and product turnover), but I really love that the company is bringing them into the store.
Last week I saw grass-fed collagen (great for hair, nails and joints!), vegan protein powders, maca (an adaptogen that helps regulate your hormones), and even pink Himalayan salt!
You can also bring in glass containers to get things like coconut oil and honey. I’ve recently been buying my coconut oil from Farm Boy because it comes in glass containers which are small and easy to handle. I have plans to bring the empty jars to Bulk Barn to get more oil.
5. Beans and Lentils.
Don’t forget beans and lentils! You will save so much money getting your beans and lentils from Bulk Barn! Ok you will have to make them yourself, but I promise it’s not that hard:
Chickpeas can be made in the slow cooker in as little as 2.5 hours (on the high setting). Rinse them first, put them in the slow cooker and cover with filtered water. Note that 1 cup of dry chickpeas will give you about 3-4 cups of cooked chickpeas so make sure to put enough water!
Lentils can be made the same way or on the stovetop in about 25 minutes. Just boil the lentils for about 2 mins and then let them simmer for 23 minutes or so.
The best part is that lentils, chickpeas, and other beans can be frozen! I’ve made big batches of lentils and chickpeas and frozen them in small mason jars (500 ml) which are about the same size as one store-bought can.
TEA! You have to be really careful about tea because of the way it’s processed (pesticides and added fake flavours and sugars, ack!), but I did notice there is an organic green tea and also organic matcha available at Bulk Barn. So bring a little mason jar and fill it up and you’ll never have to buy boxed tea again! Other items you can get are dates and unsweetened coconut.
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