9 Budget-Friendly Superfoods: Recipe Ideas & More

Aug 30 2019
Think all superfoods are super expensive? Not these nine! Read on for mega-healthy foods that won't cost you a fortune. Pssst... Click on the photos for recipe ideas!

Canned Pumpkin

1/2 cup: 45 calories, 0g total fat (0g sat fat), 5mg sodium, 9.5g carbs, 4.5g fiber, 4g sugars, 1.5g protein -- FreestyleSmartPoints® value 0*

Pumpkin is high in fiber, low in calories, and full of potassium and vitamins. It also packs both alpha-carotene and beta-carotene for major illness-fighting perks -- they protect against cancer, heart disease, and cataracts. Stock up on canned pumpkin whenever there's a sale... It’s shelf stable and stays fresh for a loooooong time.

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Frozen Spinach

1/2 cup: 40 calories, 0g total fat (0g sat fat), 200mg sodium, 3g carbs, 1g fiber, 1g sugars, 2g protein -- FreestyleSmartPoints® value 0*

Let's hear it for the greens! Spinach is loaded with lutein, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, folate, and vitamins A, B6, C, E, and K. All that, plus it's great for your heart and has been cited for both cancer prevention and optimum eye health. The frozen kind is just as nutritious as fresh, and the cost can't be beat.

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Plain Fat-Free Yogurt

1 cup: 115 calories, 0g total fat (0g sat fat), 177mg sodium, 17g carbs, 0g fiber, 15.5g sugars, 11.5g protein -- FreestyleSmartPoints® value 0*

We love Greek yogurt, but the traditional kind is a steal in more ways than one. Look for real-deal yogurt with live active cultures -- those cultures aid in the absorption of minerals, and they benefit your gut health and immune system. And while Greek yogurt boasts more protein, this unstrained yogurt is higher in calcium and often less expensive... especially store-brand varieties.

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Canned Beans

1/2 cup, drained and rinsed, average: 110 calories, 0.5g total fat (0g sat fat), 231mg sodium, 19.5g carbs, 6g fiber, 1.5g sugars, 7g protein -- FreestyleSmartPoints® value 0*

Beans are soooo healthy. With protein and fiber, they're energizing powerhouses that stabilize your blood sugar and keep you feeling satiated. Factor in the folate, B vitamins, iron, and disease-fighting properties, and what have you got? SUPERFOOD. Canned beans are cheap and convenient. Just rinse 'em thoroughly to get rid of excess sodium.

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Apples

1 medium apple: 95 calories, <0.5g total fat (0g sat fat), 2mg sodium, 25g carbs, 4.5g fiber, 19g sugars, 0.5g protein -- FreestyleSmartPoints® value 0*

Apples have earned their reputation for keeping the doctor away. They're not as flashy as some other superfoods, but they're full of fiber, vitamin C, and polyphenols. And unlike fruits with short growing seasons, apples are abundant (thus inexpensive) year round. Keep that skin on -- loads of antioxidants found there. P.S. Fuji apples (our faves) have one of the highest flavonoid contents of any apple.

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Old-Fashioned Oats

1/2 cup, uncooked: 150 calories, 2.5g total fat (0.5g sat fat), 0mg sodium, 27g carbs, 4g fiber, 1g sugars, 5.5g protein -- FreestyleSmartPoints® value 4*

Oats are one of the most identifiably heart-healthy foods out there, noted for their ability to help lower cholesterol levels. Full of protein, magnesium, potassium, zinc, etc., they're super satisfying and low in fat. Bonus: They're cheap. You can buy them in bulk, and they last a long time in your pantry.

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Canned Tomatoes

1/2 cup, average: 35 calories, 0g total fat (0g sat fat), 262mg sodium, 7g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 4g sugars, 1g protein -- FreestyleSmartPoints® value 0*

Tomatoes are special... They've got lycopene out the wazoo (or would, if tomatoes had wazoos), which has both cancer-fighting and antioxidant properties. Plus, with alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, lutein, and vitamin C, they're fantastic for your skin and heart. Canned kinds are budget friendly, and there are so many varieties: crushed (sauce swap), diced (recipe ready), stewed (so good in this slow-cooker dish), and more.

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Broccoli

1 cup: 30 calories, <0.5g total fat (0g sat fat), 30mg sodium, 6g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 1.5g sugars, 2.5g protein -- FreestyleSmartPoints® value 0*

By now, you know that fiber (like the kind in broccoli) is good for you. You know that nutrients like folate, calcium, and vitamin C will help your general health and boost your immune system. But did you know that the sulforaphane found in broccoli is particularly effective at preventing lung disease? Yup. Broccoli also contains phytochemicals with cancer-fighting properties. And much like apples, broccoli is budget friendly because it's pretty much always in season...

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Frozen Blueberries

1 cup: 75 calories, 0.5g total fat (0g sat fat), 1mg sodium, 19g carbs, 3.5g fiber, 13.5g sugars, 0.5g protein -- FreestyleSmartPoints® value 0*

It's all about the antioxidants. Those found in the indigo berries aid in preventing cell mutation and help your body perform at top condition. Plus, although the findings aren't completely conclusive, studies have found connections between eating blueberries and reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Buy the delicious blue fruit frozen (versus fresh) to save some green. Just make sure no sugar has been added…

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Labor Day Must-Listen… BBQ Survival & Beyond!

On this week’s cookout-themed episode of Hungry Girl: Chew the Right Thing!, Lisa & the gang share their tried-and-true tricks for a healthy & delicious Labor Day weekend. Tune in for…

⭑ the best foods to bring to a BBQ
⭑ easy hacks to save you calories
⭑ Lisa’s personal tips & tricks

Plus, Breaking Chews! We sent those giant meat sticks from Costco to the lab to see if the calorie count is accurate. The results are SHOCKING.

Click to listen!
HG Heads-Up: There will be no email this Monday, 9/2, in honor of Labor Day. We’ll be back on Tuesday with a lunch recipe you’ll flip over!

Chew on this:

It's August 30th, National Toasted Marshmallow Day! If you still haven't made these Personal S'mores Pies, the time is now…

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We may have received free samples of food, which in no way influences whether these products are reviewed favorably, unfavorably, mentioned with indifference, or mentioned at all. Click for more about our editorial and advertising policies.

SmartPoints® value* not what you expected? We follow the same method as WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) when calculating the value of a recipe: We add up the SmartPoints® values* of the individual ingredients using the Recipe Builder, not the calculator. (Many foods have a value of zero and remain zero in recipes.)

*The SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by WW International, Inc., the owner of the SmartPoints® trademark.