Shopping for healthy food - affordably! - in Berlin

Cacao vs. cocoa? What to look for in vanilla extract? Refined vs. virgin coconut oil?

Over the years, I’ve spent countless hours researching ingredients. 

So I know how overwhelming, frustrating and just plain time-consuming it is to find even the “normal” ingredients, let alone the “exotic” ones. It’s enough to make you throw up your hands in despair before you’ve even started cooking more healthy foods!

But don’t give up yet! Take a peek into our pantry via the lists below and start “rebuilding” yours WITHOUT any desperate moments 🙂

Supermarkets

If you're new (or just not native) to Berlin, the wide array of different supermarkets can be confusing, especially since no single store tends to have everything you need! Here's an overview of various supermarkets / drug stores and what each one is particularly "good" at.

Shopping List

Here's a categorized "shopping list" containing most of what is in our pantry. I do a combination of on- and offline shopping, so you'll find some links (see disclosure below) and some items with a store name next to them.

Kitchen Tools

Here are a few of my favorite kitchen appliances and tools that we have invested in over the past six years.






Supplements

Even though we try to eat a balanced diet, we've found it helpful to take a few select nutritional supplements. Tom is continually researching the best available products - that's why we buy from several different companies.

Supermarkets

If you're new (or just not native) to Berlin, the wide array of different supermarkets can be confusing, especially since no single store tends to have everything you need! Here's an overview of various supermarkets / drug stores and what each one is particularly "good" at.

Shopping List

Here's a categorized "shopping list" containing most of what is in our pantry. I do a combination of on- and offline shopping, so you'll find some links (see disclosure below) and some items with a store name next to them.

Kitchen Tools

Here are a few of my favorite kitchen appliances and tools that we have invested in over the past six years.

Supplements

Even though we try to eat a balanced diet, we've found it helpful to take a few select nutritional supplements. Tom is continually researching the best available products - that's why we buy from several different companies.

Supermarkets / Shops in Berlin

Aldi (a discounter supermarket) has a good selection of organic fruit, vegetables, eggs, poultry, beef and even salmon. I also get our (non-organic) raw nuts here.

I’ve found that Aldi stores tend to be a bit more spacious and pleasant to shop in than Lidl, but it depends on the specific store.

Note: Discounters tend to get a bad rap. I know. And you might be wondering: are their organic products really organic? Are they as good as the products at organic supermarkets? While it’s hard to answer that question definitively, I have done some research (check out this Greenpeace article or this taz article) and come to the conclusion that their organic products are actually quite good. Of course, organic supermarkets with the higher price tags have bigger selections and offer more regional, fair trade and sustainable prodcuts. But if you have to choose between no organic and Aldi/Lidl organic, go for Aldi & Lidl!

Asia Mekong is an Asian supermarket near Hackescher Market (Henriette-Herz-Platz 1, 10178 Berlin), and actually the best one in Berlin according to my half-Taiwanese friend. I get tofu, ghee, tempeh, curry paste and a few other random items here.

BIO COMPANY is a fairly pricey but well stocked organic supermarket. I mostly go to denn’s for my “random” items since it’s closer to our apartment (see “denn’s” for more info).

denn’s is another all-organic supermarket. As it’s quite pricey, I only shop here occasionally and for very specific items like grade C maple syrup, low-salt tamari, and “exotic” or regional vegetables/fruit (fresh turmeric, turnips, etc.).

dm is technically more of a drugstore but their “dm bio” brand offers quite a good selection of inexpensive non-perishable organic items (flax seeds, quinoa, coconut milk, etc.).

Lidl is another discounter supermarket that also has a good selection of organic fruit, vegetables, eggs and minced beef (no organic poultry, fish or other cuts of beef). In October 2018 they signed a deal with bioland (a premium organic brand) and have started carrying bioland’s premium organic products (see this article for more info).

Rossmann is another drugstore, but they carry the organic brand “alnatura” which has a range of inexpensive non-perishable organic items.

Shopping List

I do my best to balance quality (organic, fair trade, etc.) with price and practicality, so I can’t guarantee that these are always the absolute cheapest – or most sustainable, organic, etc. – option.

Butter (Irish) – Aldi/Lidl/Edeka/Rewe

Cacao butter

Coconut butter

Coconut oil

Coconut oil, refined

Coconut cream

Ghee – also at Asia Mekong

MCT oil

Sesame oil, toasted – other brands also at Asia Mekong, bio company, denn’s, Edeka, Rewe

Olive oil (premium – for salads, etc.) – for 10% off your first order, use the “Gutschein” code “20118” (without quotes)

Olive oil (basic – for cooking, baking etc.)

Açaí Puree

Dates (Rewe’s ja! brand is cheaper but not organic)

Organic fruit – Aldi/Lidl/Edeka/Rewe

Buckwheat

Cacao powder*

Chia seeds

Cocoa nibs

Cocoa powder*

Flax seeds, shredded (or dm bio)

Hemp seeds

Macadamia nuts, roasted/salted – Aldi, Lidl

Psyllium husks

Quinoa

Raw nuts (almond, cashew, hazelnut, pecan, pistachio, walnut) – Aldi, Lidl, Rewe (ja!)

Vanilla extract

Vanilla bean powder

*Cacao is minimally processed (typically raw), whereas cocoa powder has been heated and processed. Cocoa powder has a smoother, more chocolatey flavor and is more likely to be used for baking than cacao powder.

Beef (organic) – Aldi

Chicken (organic) – Aldi

Eggs (organic) – Aldi/Lidl

Salmon (organic) – Aldi

 

Bee pollen

Coconut (shredded)

Coconut chips/flakes

Coconut milk – or dm/Rossmann

Coconut water

Nutritional yeast

Tempeh – Asia Mekong, bio company, denn’s

Tofu – Asia Mekong (see link for brand)

Silken tofu – or Asia Mekong

 

Mirin – Asia Mekong, bio company, denn’s

Tamari – Asia Mekong, bio company, denn’s

 

Kitchen Tools - more coming soon

Thermomix

Thermomix

I use my Thermomix multiple times a day and love it. It's incredibly helpful, but it does come with a steep price tag. They last for decades, though, and help you save money by enabling you to do things like make your own almond butter.
You can also find used ones on ebay etc.

Nutribullet

When we got this as a gift, I initially thought we would never use it - we had the Thermomix, after all. But I was wrong! We use it every day (usually multiple times!) for smoothies, sauces, and even pureeing baby food!

Electric Citrus Press

Definitely not essential, but if you have the counter space and are making lots of smoothies, cocktails 😉 or sauces, it's actually nice to have! We have the "Philips HR2752/90 Essential Zitruspresse."

Supplements

When I’m otherwise healthy, I just take a multivitamin & omega 3 every day. We also sometimes add a scoop of this high-quality protein powder (unlike any I’ve ever tried!) to smoothies.

Multi Vital Forte Aktiv*

WHC UnoCardio x2 Omega 3 (check on idealo.de to find the best price)

A’min (protein powder)** 

 

*For 10% off, send me a note with your email address and the subject “Bonusan 10%” and I can send you a link to register and get 10% off all future orders on bonusan. Unfortunately there is no quicker way to do it, but I’ll do it as soon as I get your message!

**For 10% off your first order, use the “Gutschein” code “20118” (without quotes)

 

We give our daughters (2.5 years old and 6 months) vitamin D/K2 drops, omega 3 oil and probiotics (almost) every day. We mix all three together with a little almond milk, cinnamon and vanilla and then let the probiotics “activate” for 15 minutes.

Both girls love it. Our oldest drinks it out of a cup, but we use a plastic “syringe” that we got with children’s liquid ibuprofen for our baby, since she doesn’t really drink out of a bottle yet.

VITAMIN D3 + K2 MK7 Vegan BABY/KIND: 200 IE+15µg

Omega-3 Kids

Darmocare Infantis*

 

*For 10% off, send me a note with your email address and the subject “Bonusan 10%” and I can send you a link to register and get 10% off all future orders on bonusan. Unfortunately there is no quicker way to do it, but I’ll do it as soon as I get your message!

 

Both while pregnant and nursing I took this prenatal multivitamin instead of the Multi Vital Forte Aktiv. I also took the omega 3 capsules and protein powder. Part way through both pregnancies my iron levels were low, so I also took an iron supplement.

Multi Natal Aktiv*

Haematonyl* (iron supplement)

*For 10% off, send me a note with your email address and the subject “Bonusan 10%” and I can send you a link to register and get 10% off all future orders on bonusan. Unfortunately there is no quicker way to do it, but I’ll do it as soon as I get your message!

*Disclosure: As an Amazon-Partner, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. This comes at no extra cost to you and supports the time I invest in both research and maintaining this website. All recommendations are my own – I have not been contacted by any of the suppliers whose products I list here. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me here!