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Do you have a Kroger in your area?
If so consider yourself fortunate, as Kroger is stepping up their game to improve on their whole food and product selection!
Over the past few years I have become increasingly fond of Kroger due to their expansion of clean eating foods. The store brand, “Simple Truth”, lives up to its’ name, containing only the named product without any additives or preservative ingredients.
The trend with Kroger clean food expansion is one that I hope will only increase, in order to make being on Autoimmune Protocol even easier.
This is not a sponsored post, this list is given as my objective opinion, and as such it will be an honest and fair review. While Kroger does carry many items exclusive to their brand, some items are also available on Amazon, therefore those ones will have corresponding pictures with an affiliate link for you to purchase if there is not a Kroger near you.
There are both a Kroger and a Kroger Market place in my area. As far as these listed items go I believe both locations carry the items listed below, which are often found in similar areas but I warn you it can be a challenge to find them across the board at every location.
1) Everything Unsweetened Coconut
This is one of the few stores in my area that carry Palm Shortening, an extract of Coconut that adds smoothness to dishes with a buttery flavor and consistency. With its’ similarity to butter, it can be used when consuming various sweet potatoes or topped on other Autoimmune Protocol baked goods.As for my own recipes I have used Palm Shortening with my AIP Flounder with Lemon Broth and AIP Grass Fed Bison Bake, both of which resulted in a perfect smoothness due to the shortening.
Kroger has their own extensive brand of Simple Truth Organic products including Unsweetened Coconut Chips, Shreds, Flakes, Flour, and Oil.
Recently Kroger changed the design of their Coconut Flakes which made it difficult finding them and when I did I was over the moon happy because their Coconut Flakes are the prime ingredient for my dishes that serve as AIP Breadcrumbs when blended.
The AIP Breadcrumbs are primarily used in my AIP Meatloaf recipe, ground coarsely with my blender. I prefer to use the Kroger Coconut Chips because the chips are flat with an airier texture to add just the right amount of crunch to the meatiness of the loaf.
All of these coconut items are easily found in the same aisle of the baking section, within seperate parts of the aisle. While they are often not within the immediate vicinity of each other, the items are still pretty easy to find as long as they do not change the design of their packaging again.
2) Fresh and Freeze Dried Herbs
Within the organic section of the Kroger produce area, there are two sections where one can find fresh herbs. They have both organic and non-organic herbs that are fresh, dried, and freeze dried.
The fresh herbs are provided under the Simple Truth brand that are picked in the refrigerated section among the roots and various lettuce leaves. Like many other stores, the fresh picked herb section contains Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, Chives, Tarragon, Sage, Mint, and occasionally other herbs based on the season. Seasonal herbs in the past have been ones such as Spicy Thai Basil.
The fresh herb that is most available in various capacities is traditional Basil, with the largest amount being in a plastic container that is ready to plant at home.
Below those fresh picked herbs are a selection of lightly dried herbs in small containers, however those contain additional preservatives that are not adherent to Autoimmune Protocol.
Kroger is the first place I discovered Lite House brand freeze dried herbs. This item is often found near the salad section next to salad toppings.
Freeze dried herbs easily rehydrate in the cooking process and the texture is most similar to that of being fresh. The selection of herbs offered by the Lite House brand are Oregano, Basil, Cilantro, Parsely, Onion, and Chives.
Regular dried herbs are found commonly in the baking section among the typical spices. There is availability for organic dried spices on the shelves, however when it comes to cooking, fresh is always the best to have the best flavor possible.
As far as herb goes fresh is best, with freeze dried being a close second, and traditional dried herbs being the last resort. Autoimmune Protocol gets a bad rap for being tasteless, or as most would say- too plant based. Using the best quality herbs maximizes the flavor of your Autoimmune Protocol meal to make it easier to maintain your eating regimen.
3) Produce & Roots
Kroger has a variety of fresh produce available in both organic and non-organic. The organic section is comparable to the non-organic produce, most of which are in the inner aisle that is un-refrigerated but still misted throughout the day.
The availability of roots, Kroger comes the closest to the selection one may find at Whole Foods. Available roots are often Taro, Turmeric, Horseradish, Yucca, and Ginger Root with organic options.
Kroger is thus far my favorite place to buy Avocados. Although they are usually pricier they are often fresher and on the verge of being fully ripe.
Other international product that have also seen occasionally are Jack Fruit, Japanese Sweet Potato (aka White Sweet Potato), and bulb onions on occasion. The produce section of Kroger also carries a variety of types of Cauliflower (Orange or Purple) when they are in season.
Kroger has a decent variety of both fruits and vegetables that are organic and belonging mainly to the Simple Truth brand. Those items include varieties of Apples, Avocado, Roots, Herbs and Leafy Greens.
If you have a Kroger near you, it will be easy to navigate their produce section in order to meet your fresh food needs on Autoimmune Protocol.
4) Grass Fed, Organic, and Natural Meats
Within the Simple Truth brand by Kroger, there is an extensive selection of meats that are offered in both raw or cooked.
My favorite cooked item offered by Kroger is the Colossal Organic Chicken. This is an Organic Chicken seasoned only with Sea Salt, cooked on a rotisserie to juicy perfection.
Initially the Simple Truth Colossal Chicken can be found in the warmer, and later in the refrigerated pre-cooked foods section of the Deli.
Finding the Simple Truth Colossal Rotisserie Chicken has become more frequent, especially in the summer months, as most people use them to BBQ to lesson their cook time. If however they are not available you can request with a staff member to have one cooked. This request can be done in person or on the phone, they will request for you to provide your information, and then they will call you or give you an approximate time for when it is ready for pick-up.
In my area the Simple Truth Colossal Rotisserie Chicken is around $10 which is a decent price because I get 3-4 meals from it. One of the recipes that I use for leftover chicken is my AIP/Yeast Chicken Salad, which is a great meal for lunch or dinner.
Currently Grass Fed Beef has different options in a refrigerated section with a small variety of cuts. You pay a premium price for it but they look fresh on the shelf. Oftentimes I will find Ribeye steak at a reasonable price, especially a few days prior to the “Sell By” date on the packaging.
As for Natural meats, Kroger has selections for Lamb, Bison, and Pork. Selecting from among these meats will have to be based on your own Autoimmune Protocol needs, as some fattier meats can be restricted depending on your Autoimmune Disorder. Brewer’s Yeast restricts fatty meat such as pork and if it is consumed under these circumstances by your own volition, it should be done sparingly in moderation.
Kroger has a very large selection when it comes to seafood. Within each store is an open freezer section, closed door freezer, open refrigerated, and glass seafood counter.
In the case of the frozen seafood selection offered you must proceed with caution, although an item is imported from tropical countries and even local areas, a lot of the fish and crustacean are in fact farm raised if you read further on the label. Be sure to read every label there is on the packaging.
On the front of packaging many fish filets and crustacean, many are labeled as Wild Caught with the proper certifications, however the ingredients listed may include preservatives that are not Paleo or Autoimmune Protocol.
The common frozen seafood items that are Wild Caught but contain preservatives ar shrimp, with the exception of salad shrimp. Also many filets have preservatives or are farmed such as Salmon and Tuna Steaks contain artificial smoke which is not AIP. It may take some times but there will be at least one brand among the sections that will be free of additives which are safe to consume on Autoimmune Protocol.
A basic rule of thumb is if the ingredients on the Seafood item list anything else besides the seafood product and salt, do your research on whether or not it is AIP. Some can potentially be safe but often times they are not.
Have you ever shopped at Kroger?
Please leave a comment below!