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5 minimally processed foods you should have in your kitchen

February 29, 2024 - By Alicia Vigeant

Temps de lecture 4 minutes

March is Nutrition Month. One aspect that’s being highlighted for the occasion this year is a return to a more natural dietary balance, containing more unprocessed or minimally processed foods.

Let’s start by defining what a “minimally or unprocessed food” is. Unprocessed foods include fresh foods (fruit, vegetables, eggs, meat, etc.), while minimally processed foods may have undergone a process such as drying, grinding, fermentation or freezing1. These foods have good nutritional value and should be incorporated more regularly into our diet.

So, here are 5 minimally processed foods to discover or rediscover, so that you can easily find a more natural balance in your diet!

1.Frozen edamame

These soybeans are an interesting source of complete protein (containing all the amino acids essential to body function) to keep in your freezer. Simply boil for 5-10 minutes and add to your meal. You’ll find them in the frozen vegetable section of the grocery store, in pods or shelled (note that we don’t usually eat the pods).

You’ve probably already seen them in poké bowls, but that’s not the only way to serve them. As a meal, edamame can be added to salads (pasta, couscous, quinoa), Asian stir-fries, meal bowls and soups. They can also be roasted in the oven until crisp for a snack for nibbling on as an appetizer.

2. Millet

Is rice your “go to” grain product as a side dish to your meals? If you’re looking for variety, millet could be a great addition to your pantry!

Millet is a whole-grain cereal, so it’s a good source of dietary fiber. Its price is comparable to that of rice, which also makes it an economical choice. It cooks in about 25 minutes and can then be used as a base in a meal salad or meal bowl, in croquettes, millet pâté, soup, or simply as a side dish.

3. Eggs

Eggs are already a staple in our refrigerators, but they are often used in the same recipes (for breakfast, in sandwiches or omelettes). They should be a more regular part of your menu, as they are a high-quality source of protein (which means that they contain all nine essential amino acids that can be easily absorbed and used by the body), they are economical and quick to prepare. Expand your possibilities by trying eggs in a Bibimbap (Korean Bowl Meal), Shakshuka (a North African dish of eggs poached in a sauce) or ramen soup!

4. Frozen spinach

Do you occasionally have trouble adding vegetables to your meals? Does your recipe call for spinach, but it doesn’t keep long enough in the fridge? Frozen spinach can change all that!

Frozen spinach is already chopped, and often comes in nugget form. It can’t be used in green salads, but it can be added directly to all kinds of preparations: egg recipes, pasta sauces, curries, smoothies, etc. It’s a simple way to increase your vegetable intake, without breaking the bank!

Please note that if your recipe calls for fresh spinach, you’ll need to divide the quantity by three if you opt for frozen spinach.

5. Buckwheat flakes

You’re probably familiar with oat flakes, but did you know that there are flakes from other plants available on the market? Buckwheat flakes are rich in fiber and, unlike oat flakes, contain complete proteins.

Buckwheat flakes can replace oat flakes in most recipes: toast, crumbles, muffins, pancakes. Their nutty flavor will make your recipes stand out from the rest!

Need a little inspiration? Here are some recipe ideas for incorporating these foods into your meal plans for the week:

Enjoy discovering!


1 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2019).Ultra-processed foods, diet quality, and health using the NOVA classification system.

5 minimally processed foods you should have in your kitchen is a post from Nautilus Plus. The Nautilus Plus blog aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
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