Thursday, July 23, 2009

7 layers of mouthwatering goodness

As I posted earlier today, I skipped working out because I am incredibly sore from a killer sculpting class on Tuesday.

With the extra time on my hands, I snacked on some gratefruit

and a plum,

and then headed off to run some errands!
Because I had extra time today, I thought it would be interesting to price check at both Jewel and Whole Foods and then to do a comparison chart. I was basically just doing this out of curiosity since Jewel, despite having the reputation for being the "discount grocery store", seems to have VERY high prices, in my opinion. Annoyingly, the Jewel in downtown Chicago that I go to seems to be marked up considerably compared to other Jewels, such as the ones in the Chicago suburbs.

Once I started making my list, I thought that you guys might be interested in my findings, as well (I tried to make an organized chart but blogger wouldn't let me copy and paste it - any ideas how to do this?):

* Lindt dark choc. bar: $2.79 Jewel, $2.69 WF

* 1 lb. dates: $6.90 Jewel nonorganic, $4.99 WF organic

* 8 oz. baking chocolate: $2.99 Jewel, $1.99 WF

* 16 oz. walnuts: $7.49 Jewel, $6.99 WF (or $7.99 for raw organic)

* 16 oz. pecans: $11.49 (damn!!!!!!!!!!!!), $7.99 WF or $9.99 raw organic

* 8 oz. cocoa powder: $3.49 Jewel, 10 oz. carob powder $4.69: about the same

* Yogi tea: $4.99 at each store

* Nori, 10 sheets: $1.99 Jewel, $3.99 Whole Foods (I was just shocked that Jewel carried nori in the first place!)

* Agave nectar: 11.75 oz. $4.89 Jewel, 23.5 oz. $4.99 WF and is raw

* 14 oz. Coconut oil: $8.99 Jewel, 29 oz. $17.99 WF

* Larabar: $1.25 each Jewel, $1.39 WF but if you buy the case you get a discount, so they are about the same

* 1/2 Gallon Almond Breeze almond milk: $4.99 Jewel, my WF does not carry the larger size so no price comparison - I did request that they start carrying the larger size though!

* 1 lb. organic spinach: $6.99 Jewel, $5.99 WF (I have to also mention as an FYI that the huge, 1 lb. box of spinach lasts A LOT longer than the bagged spinach!!!)

* 10 lb. carrots: $4.99 Jewel, $3.99 for 15 lbs. WF and they are organic!!

* Avocados: $1.79 each Jewel, $2.00 WF - but I have to mention that the ones at Jewel were bumpy and weird and the quality looked far better at WF

* 16 oz. celery; $1.79 Jewel, $0.99 at WF and it is organic

* Red Cabbage, one head: $0.99 Jewel, more at Whole Foods (they only carry organic red cabbage... and I don't have the exact price because I didn't bother to weight it... I was starting to get funny looks from the WF staff since I kept weighing produce and then putting it back!)

* Bananas: 79 cents at each store

* Gold kiwi: 4 for $2.00 at each store

* Bag of 8 lemons: $4.49 Jewel, approximately $6 at WF (I did the math in my head)

* Red peppers: 2 for $3.00 at each store

* Coconut: I didn't catch the price at Jewel specifically, but I know from experience that it is about $3.99 for a tiny bag of pre-sweetened (for no more than 8oz. worth), versus WF just started carrying it in bulk for $1.99 per pound, and it is unsweetened!!

Basically, the results were:

Jewel had best prices for: 4 items
WF had best prices for: 11 items
Tie: 7

Wow!!!! I was pretty shocked by these results. I haven't shopped much at Whole Foods since I stopped having my employee discount (I worked there for a summer during grad school), assuming that it was pricery than the other stores due to its reputation as "Whole Paycheck". Well, I have been hearing recently that they have come down in their prices to match the competition, and obviously this is true!

I was definitely wrong about WF being the pricier grocery store! Unfortunately, I wasted a TON of money getting stuff at Jewel today - which was my first stop - assuming that it would be cheaper. Some of the items that I found to be markedly cheaper at WF were their nuts - and not only were they cheaper per ounce, but the WF brand's were raw and organic, which is not something I am nitpicky about, but if I have the option I definitely prefer the organic.
I also did a bit of birthday shopping for friends with upcoming birthdays (how come almost everyone I know has a late summer/fall birthday?!?) and then by the time I got back to my car it was 11:30.

I was starved, and munched on some dates: so exciting that these didn't have pits :)

Back at home, I went to work making some fabulous raw cookies. I modified a recipe for "Congo bars" from Sarma's cookbook.
I tweaked the recipe a bit, but basically you make a layer of ground walnuts, ground pecans, coconut flakes, chocolate sauce, and coconut oil. The chocolate sauce is FABULOUS - basically just cocoa powder, agave, and a bit of coconut oil. Don't you wish you could reach through your screen to have a bite of this???

You chill the first layer....

And then make a vanilla coconut topping. Basically these are a raw, veganized version of the ever-s0-popular 7 layer cookies. I haven't made the top layer, but so far the first layer is sooooooooooo good that I have had about 30 nibbles of it.
Now I'm off to finish the rest! :)


  1. thanks for the comparison - the price of coconut oil is astounding!!!

  2. interesting, what about fresh fruit and veg.? I know that Jewel has weekly sales, does WF?

  3. Thea, actually I did compare 9 different fruits and veggies, and even with Jewel's "sale" prices Whole Foods still came out as the winner :)

  4. thanks for sharing! i normally shop at dominicks instead of jewel...i wonder how those price comparisons would turn out. i normally can get a lot of stuff at WF for a low price by buying their 365 brand. still, certain brand names i can find cheaper elsewhere

  5. It's so interesting to see that WF was actually cheaper with more of the comparisons! I have never heard of Jewel before.

    Those 7 layer cookies look so good! I'm glad you are enjoying the raw & vegan desserts!