Summer is days away and we’re all getting caught up in the health craze. Those decisions to eat midnight snacks and weekend junk food are going to hunt us all down if we don’t get our acts together. The struggle is painful; we dream of a swimsuit body, but eating clean is both tasteless and as expensive as a Mercedes Benz installment.
Egypt is new to healthy and whole foods and that comes with a price; an expensive one. Most of the food we crave on Instagram is overly-priced, either because it’s ‘trendy’ or imported. We refuse to let go of our body goals because the world and our taste buds decided that coconut milk is a thing. Here are some affordable ready and homemade foods that will take it easy on your budget:
Super high Omega-3 fatty acids and all nine essential amino acids are just two reasons why the chia seeds craze is out of control. Price ranges between EGP 49/250 gm on Souq.com for the imported Sante brand to EGP 75/400 gm at Dakakyn and Abu Auf.
You can simply add them to smoothies, yogurt, salad, cheese, or oatmeal. They’re tasteless, to be honest.
So, here is the thing about Greek yogurt, it is extremely over-priced in Egypt. Imported brands in plastic packs are around EGP 27-30, while some Egyptian brands have a fancier glass jar package and will charge you around EGP 35 per a single box. The only affordable brand is Lactel, which is for EGP 8. It goes without saying the taste and texture are less satisfying, but it is less than half the price after all.
You can make your own Greek yogurt at home and add all your favorite flavors like vanilla and cinnamon. It’s more of a hassle though, but the good news is that there are no hidden artificial additives.
Most health-aware folks or anyone with lactose intolerance opt for almond, coconut, and soy milk, and they are all expensive; a liter box will cost you over EGP 70. The most affordable option is making your own soy milk at home using soybeans; it’s easy and tastes really good. Almond and soy milk tend to coagulate when added to hot drinks. Yet, apparently, if you pour the heated milk gently inside a cup then add coffee, it’s lumpy.
Egypt is quite aware of the gluten-intolerance issue. We currently have many bakeries and stores that sell gluten-free bread, pasta, flour, cookies, desserts with different budgets and recipes. I believe the mommies of Cairo have a great say in this rising trend.
Parents now are more educated and aware when it comes to health and fitness, and many parents struggled to find gluten-free ready-made alternatives that are always available, tasty, and affordable. Parents had the same issue with lactose intolerance and the substitutes are still not satisfying. Let’s not forget about Chef Hamdy Mohamed who makes every-gluten-free-thing you can think of.
Cauliflower rice and pizza base
Ketogenic diet lovers are serious when it comes to cutting out carbs. Two recipes that seem to be fulfilling replacements of rice and bread are cauliflower rice and pizza base. The main ingredient is available everywhere and cheap, and the recipes are a piece of a cake. Don’t be fooled though, it tastes like cauliflower, not bread.
Another Instagram trend is low-carb zucchini replacing pasta; hence the name, Zucchini noodles. The only issue I have is that creating vegetable noodles needs a kitchen machine called a spiralizer. It is available on Souq.com for EGP 50, but I’m just too lazy to buy one. Blame it on the low-carb low-energy diet.
With the rising trend #CeleryJuiceChallenge, we want you all to be on point with your Instagram game and posts. I haven’t tried the celery challenge, but these smoothies are delicious and perfect for a fake and deep third-person Instagram post about ‘living the life’.
Oh, I’m just kidding. There is no budget-friendly alternative in Cairo. Find your antioxidants somewhere else.