Sunday, April 23, 2017

Shopping at Whole Foods: Part II

From Whole Foods - Hot Dogs, Cream Cheese, & Roast Chicken

It was time to make another trek down the hill to shop at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. I picked up the usual culprits at both stores. But, I got a few things at Whole Foods that were relatively new finds.
Nancy's Cultured Cream Cheese
Only 35 mg Sodium per 2 Tablespoons

The first was Nancy’s Cultured Cream Cheese. I discovered it at my local grocery store several years ago and even wrote about it (Click HERE). But, as often happens, they stopped carrying it. “Out of sight; out of mind.” I forgot about it until I was in Whole Foods a couple of days ago and re-discovered it. Only 35 mg sodium for 2 tablespoons. I’m happy to have a new source for this fine product. I'll stock up whenever I shop at WF.

Nature's Rancher Uncured Pork & Beef Hot Dogs
250 mg Sodium for Each Link

I also came home with two packages of Nature’s Rancher Uncured Pork and Beef Hot Dogs. As an experiment, the last time I made the TJ/WF trip, I got a package of Applegate Organic Uncured Beef Hot Dogs (280 mg sodium per link) at TJ and a package of Nature’s Rancher Uncured Pork and Beef Hot Dogs (250 mg sodium per link) at Whole Foods. My husband and I liked both brands. But since that shopping trip, Applegate has changed their formulations and their hot dogs are now 500 mg sodium per link. Such a disappointment! I was happy to find that the Nature’s Rancher links hadn’t changed and are still 250 mg sodium per link, so I got a couple of packages. When I got home, I packaged them up into bundles of 4 links each for freezing. Each bundle is perfect for two days worth of hot dog lunches. Another product to stock up on when I shop at WF.

According to its website, Nature’s Rancher products are exclusive to Whole Foods. However, not all WF stores carry all Nature’s Rancher products. The website advises checking with your local WF market’s meat manager for availability.
Whole Foods "Perfectly Plain" Unsalted Roast Chicken

Finally, I bought a Whole Foods hot, ready-to-eat roast chicken — Perfectly Plain. The chickens are supposed to be free from any salted injections, brines, or seasonings. I was shopping around noon, so by the time I got to the hot food section, most of the seasoned chickens were gone. Not a problem for me, though. I picked up a Perfectly Plain chicken, paid for all my purchases, and headed out to the car.

Even though the chickens were supposed to be salt free, I wanted to make sure for myself. So, once in the car, I opened the package, and tore off a leg. One bite confirmed that the chicken, was, indeed, salt free, and I drove straight home. No need to worry about that day’s lunch.

WF "Perfectly Plain" Unsalted Roast Chicken

Although the roast chicken was fairly small in comparison to the 4-5 pound birds I can get at the grocery store, we didn’t eat all of it in one sitting. The next day, I fixed chicken salad with some leftover breast meat. Plus, I saved the all the bones and skin, combined them with some chicken backs languishing in my freezer, and made broth in my electric pressure cooker. So, I sort of got my money’s worth.

The judgment: The WF salt-free roast chicken tastes fine. However, my husband said he preferred my home-cooked roast chicken. Me too. After all, I season our roast chicken with various herbs and spices. Also, a WF bird is quite expensive. Stands to reason – It’s organic and the work is done for you. I can find salt free Foster Farms whole chickens at all my local grocery stores, and they’re often on sale for 79¢ - 99¢ a pound.

Would I buy one again? Probably only if I found myself in a similar situation –— It’s mealtime, I need to get home, and I don’t want to chance anything from the WF deli/salad bar section or stop at a restaurant on the way home.

For more good products from Whole Foods, click HERE. For a printable shopping list, click HERE.


Barry Cochran said...

Thanks for the helpful posts! I like a lot of Nancy's products (not all low-sodium, alas), but wasn't aware of their cream cheese.

shambo said...

Barry, thanks for your comment. I agree that Nancy's brand has some great products. The cream cheese is exceptional in its taste and lower sodium content. In a pinch, I've also used the cottage cheese. Higher than the salt-free stuff I can get at Safeway but still much lower than other brands.