The 6 Best Costco Summer Items Right Now, According To Dietitians – Eat This Not That
It’s almost summer and that means spending time outdoors with family and friends. What better way to spend time together than to eat well together? It’s time to bring the grill out of hibernation and prepare some delicious dishes for all the upcoming barbecues, pool parties and other picnics in the sun. With over 100 million members worldwide, Costco is a go-to for all things bulk, including warm-weather staples.
We asked two registered dietitians to provide us with the best summer foods to buy at Costco: Erin Palinski-Wade, New Jersey-based registered dietitian and author of Belly Fat Diet For Dummies; and Kristian Morey, clinical dietitian in the Nutrition and Diabetes Education Program at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. Here are their picks.
PER ½ CUP (DRAINED): 15 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 200 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrates (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 1 g protein
You can’t go wrong with green beans as a side dish, and this box has 12 cans for less than $14. You’ll always have some in your pantry to add to your meals and take to the next gathering.
“I love these canned green beans because they’re an affordable and convenient way to boost your daily vegetable intake. There’s no reason to avoid canned vegetables, which contain as much fiber as fresh vegetables. or frozen,” Palinski-Wade says before adding a tip: “If you’re concerned about sodium, simply rinse them before serving to help reduce added salt.”
PER ½ CUP (Black Beans)Calories: 90, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 460 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrate (6 g fiber, > 1 g sugar), 7 g protein
PER ½ CUP (CHICKPEAS): 110 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 320 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrates (4 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 6 g protein
Stock your pantry with Goya black beans and chickpeas sold at Costco to add nutritional value to your dishes. Add it to salads, make hummus or serve it as a side dish.
“I’m a big fan of adding beans to your plate and these black beans and chickpeas are both great options and an easy way to add fiber and plant-based protein to your plate. Canned varieties make it even more convenient without needing to soak the dried beans beforehand,” advises Palinski-Wade.
PER 1 BAR (STRAWBERRY): 60 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 15 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrates (2 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 0 g protein
This assortment of fruit bars offers a convenient and nutritious way to snack. The $16.99 bag contains 24 bars in three different flavors: strawberry, mango, and blueberry. Plus, there are only two ingredients in each bar.
“I love That’s It bars because the only ingredients are fruit. These bars are convenient, portable, and satisfy a sweet craving with no added sugar,” says Palinski-Wade.
“I would recommend this as a great option for summer travel to keep in your bag without the mess that a whole piece of fruit can be,” adds Morey.
PER 1 CUP: 70 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium, 16 g carbohydrates (1 g fiber, 14 g sugar), > 1 g protein
This pack from Costco has 16 cups of Dole tangerines for under $10 and is dietitian-approved. Store them in your pantry or refrigerator if you like them cold on a hot summer day. They keep longer than fresh oranges, and they’re super convenient. Mix it in your packed lunch to enjoy with your lunch.
“Nice and hydrating and low in sugar compared to cups with syrup – it would be a good hydrating choice on a hot day,” notes Morey.
PER 1 BAG (SEA SALT): 100 calories, 3.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 160 mg sodium, 15 g carbohydrates (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 1 g protein
This summer, replace regular potato chips with this option from Costco. The variety pack includes 30 single-serve bags of Popchips potato chips. Flavors include sea salt, barbecue, sour cream and onion, so there’s something everyone will love. Each bag contains only 100 calories.
“The PopChips Variety Pack is my favorite on the list of chips because they are baked and not fried, which means they are about 50% less fat than many chip brands and since they are gluten free, they can meet a variety of dietary needs,” says Palinski-Wade.
“A great lower calorie option than regular potato chips – I think this would be a great option for snacking at home or at work, while traveling or at a BBQ,” notes Morey.
FOR 1 CAKE: 380 calories, 30 g fat (11 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 100 mg sodium, 0 g carbohydrates (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 26 g protein
Last, but not least, Kirkland’s Signature Grass-Fed Beef Patties. Grill this 15-pack and you can feed the whole family this summer on the cheap. Each patty contains ⅓ pound of 80% lean, 20% fat beef and costs about $1.97 each.
“When selecting ground beef, choose the leanest percentage available (85% or more if possible). Ground ground beef allows you to “extend” the meat by adding beans or mashed vegetables in everything from burgers with meatloaf to help increase fiber while If you choose patties, I recommend grass-fed beef, as 100% grass-fed beef often contains a more favorable fat profile for improved health overall,” recommends Palinski-Wade.
Before your next barbecue, brainstorm dishes everyone will love with the 60 Best Healthy Memorial Day Recipes.