We’ve all got our favorite foods- staples we keep in the fridge and an extra in the pantry.

Almond Butter and Hummus are two of ours.

It’s Day One of the Daniel Fast for staff and volunteers at Elevation Church.

We’re paring down to the simplest foods as part of our efforts to draw closer to God.

Simple, whole foods are less expensive, easier to prepare, and so much better for you.  So it was an easy decision for us to join in.  But for my family, it’s really less about what we eat, and more about what we do with the time we have “left over” because we’re cooking less, and cleaning up less.

One of our favorite nutritious, simple foods is almond butter.  I added it to my oatmeal this morning for a flavor and protein boost, made Cooper an almond butter and jam sandwich… Sean smeared some on a banana for lunch for himself and Asher.  Tasty, versatile, easy, good for you.  It’s higher in good fat than peanut butter, there’s no added sugar or salt, and it doesn’t carry the peanut’s allergy threat.

Here’s the rub.  It’s more expensive.  Sometimes a LOT more expensive.

A friend found it at Bloom for almost $11.  I’ve seen it at Harris Teeter for $8.  Home Economist, $9.

The best price I’ve found is at Trader Joe’s.  It’s under $5 there.

And how about Hummus?  A low-fat, protein-packed mediterranean blend of mashed chickpeas (garbanzo beans), tahini, lemon, salt, and garlic.  It’s a great dip for fresh vegetables.  Here’s a recipe.