Stock up on dried fruits, organic teas & healthy snacks
During winter and all year around, staying healthy is the ultimate goal for us all. Once you fall ill with a nasty bug or cold however, it can be hard to get back on your feet and start to feel like your old self again. To stay healthy, we need to fill our bodies with a range of natural vitamins and minerals that it needs to soldier on, with fresh fruit and vegetables back at the top of the shopping list. Another way is to eat more raw and organic natural foods which have no preservatives, additives or chemicals - and there are many venues around Canberra which sell these natural foods in bulk, so you can buy as little or as much as you like.
The following are my personal favourite venues around the Canberra to stock up on health foods and snacks for the home pantry and school lunch box. Where is your favourite place to shop? If your favourite bulk food store isn't mentioned, please leave a comment at the bottom of this article and share your locals tip. When it comes to delicious food and healthy snacks, you can never try too many!
The Source Bulk Foods is a new addition to the bulk foods scene in Canberra and is expected to open in Dickson on 1st September 2017 - see here for the latest details. Their website shows a long list of locations all across Australia, with a Dickson outlet on the way!
Naked Foods - Organic Health Foods is a bulk food store on the busy Lonsdale Street in Braddon. This bright and airy store sells everything organic and has rows of choices available. When you first walk in, take a pencil and paper bag and then scoop out the product that you want to buy and then write the item code on the bag. You will be surprised by what you can buy by the weight, with a wide range of flours, rice, cooking ingredients, chilli, spices, dried fruit, granola, nuts, dried fruit, yoghurt-covered bars, chocolate and even whey protein for smoothies! It can be hard to work out how much things cost, as everything is priced "per kilo", however everything is reasonably priced. For a full article on Naked Foods, see here.
Food Co Op is an environmentally-friendly, vegan outlet in the CBD, just a short walk from the Australian National University. From the outside it looks like a new, sleek modern building, however when you walk inside it is full of colour, vibrancy and personality. One half of the room is dedicated to organic vegetables and bulk foods, with a wide range of dried fruits, spices, teas, nuts, cooking ingredients and even washing liquids and cleaning products! They encourage you bring your own bags or jars, or you can buy a small paper bag for 25 cents, or a larger one for 50 cents. If you enjoy the experience, you can sign up to be a member of the Co-Op and pay members prices, or you can just visit and pay regular prices on the day. Whilst there, ensure you stay for a coffee and vegan meal in their café, with $8 vegan lunches on weekdays. See here for details.
Mountain Creek Wholefoods is located in Griffith, just a short drive south of the city. When you walk into this health food shop there is a real old-fashioned quality about it, with friendly staff positioned behind an old wooden counter - which looks like it has been there for decades. Behind the counter they have a wide range of bulk products and they encourage shoppers to bring their own containers, to use less paper bags. The options along the wall include organic teas, condiments, organic chocolate, carob, snacks, dried fruit, nuts, grains, seeds, flours, rice, lentils, beans, honey, spreads and oils. Whilst there, ensure you stop at the Organic Kitchen afterwards, for a vitamin-boosting lunch. See here for the full list of bulk items available.
Bulk foods behind the counter at Mountain Creek Wholefoods. Source: Mountain Creek Wholefoods Facebook
Let's Be Natural is a health food shop located in Mawson, 20 minutes south of the city. This popular store has been open for almost three years and is locally-owned and operated. They have a wide range of vitamins, certified organic fruit and vegetables, beauty products, "make your own peanut butter" and other natural products lining the shelves. One whole wall is dedicated to bulk foods, with organic flours, nuts, dried fruit, chocolate covered nuts and fruit, pasta, grains, seeds and beans. Most of the range is organic cooking ingredients. See here for details.
Mediterranean Delights R Us is located just across the mall from Let's Be Natural above, so it is handy to combine the two in one shopping trip. Although it isn't a health food shop, they have a huge range of nuts to buy by the kilo - as well as hot nuts under a warmer at the front of the store. They also have a small but tasty range of dried fruits with pineapple, paw paw, pear, apricots and berries. As this is a supermarket, not a health food shop, the bags are plastic and you don't take your own containers. If you are gluten-free, they also have a wide range of gluten-free supermarket products in a section down the aisle. See here for details.
With so many to choose from, where will you be shopping this weekend?
Let's Be Natural in Mawson. Source: Let's Be Natural Facebook