The bulk bins are a treasure trove of intriguing ingredients that will inspire you to get creative in the kitchen. Since you can buy as much or as little of an ingredient as you need, it's easy and relatively risk-free to get to know new foods and experiment with simple swaps such as red lentils for green or quinoa for couscous.
Now, we asked the experts interviewed in Bulk Buying 101 in the November issue of VT to weigh in as well.
Here's what they recommended:
Ani Phyo, organic foods chef and author of Ani’s 15-Day Fat Blast
Superfoods such as cocoa powder, goji berries, golden berries, carob, and maca root. Lucuma—a fruit from South America that I use as a sweetener. Soy lecithin—for emulsifying.
Carolyn Scott-Hamilton, author of The Healthy Voyager’s Global Kitchen
Nuts, because they are so expensive packaged. Grains, such as quinoa, brown rice, and cornmeal, for everyday cooking. Legumes (black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, adzuki beans).
Ricardo Chavira, marketing director, Co-Opportunity Natural Foods in Santa Monica, Calif.
We are big fans of our Himalayan crystal salt and whole, truly raw almonds from a local California orchard (Yementz Farms). We love our large selection of beans too.
Brian Nunnery, business development manager, In.gredients, Austin, Tex.
Ingredients to make household cleaners and toothpaste such as baking soda and stevia powder (for toothpaste)
HOMEWORK: Try Something New! Now that you've heard from our experts on their favorite bulk buys and shared your own with each other, make it a goal to try one new ingredient in your cooking each week. We want to hear all about your experiments and substitutions. What worked? What didn't work? What new foods you are falling in love with?
Share you experiences below.