With a Clean Eating lifestyle, cooking takes center stage. The daily spotlight will be on your kitchen – and how things play out depends on accessibility and being prepared.
Start by doing a pantry/kitchen clear-out. Yes, this means removing as much processed food as you can – and that can sometimes include a lot of the ingredients you use in cooking every day.
So, how do you move forward?
Find clean substitutes for the ingredients that you’re used to using!
Here’s a quick list to get you started:
1. Instead of store-bought salad dressing, try making homemade dressings.
When you think veggies and quick, clean meals, salads easily come to mind. Just take your pick of favorite greens, toss in some crunch, add some proteins, and squeeze in some dressing.Since your store-bought mix has been eliminated from daily rotation, you can start using some real food to make your very own homemade dressing.
You can combine apple cider vinegar, olive oil, season with a bit of sea salt, pepper, and add some fresh chives for a quick vinaigrette like this one: http://cleanfoodcrush.com/grapefruit-vinaigrette/
Want something creamy?
You can still use your basic vinaigrette ingredients, and add some almond milk and organic dijon mustard like in this recipe: http://cleanfoodcrush.com/blackberry-spring-salad/
2. Instead of corn or canola oil, try avocado, olive, or coconut oil.
Avocado, olive, and coconut oil are clean options that are not only heart-healthy, they also give an interesting flavor to your recipes!
Olive oil and avocado oil are great instant additions for your salads and marinades, while coconut oil is awesome for main dishes and even desserts. They are also delicious substitutes in recipes that require baking.
Here are some recipes where these oils add an extra dose of delicious:
Avocado oil in your marinade: http://cleanfoodcrush.com/salmon-avocado-peaches/
Avocado oil in your homemade ranch dressing: http://cleanfoodcrush.com/california-cobb/
(Haven’t tried using avocado oil? Get a free bottle from Thrive and try it out!) http://cleanfoodcrush.com/free-avo-oil
Olive oil in your one-pan dinner: http://cleanfoodcrush.com/balsamic-chicken-and-tomatoes/
Olive oil in your versatile salad: http://cleanfoodcrush.com/ultimate-salad/
Coconut oil for your yummy seafood – http://cleanfoodcrush.com/cilantro-lime-shrimp/
Coconut oil for your dessert – http://cleanfoodcrush.com/grain-free-pumpkin-bread/
(Start with a free jar of coconut oil: http://cleanfoodcrush.com/free-coco)
3. Instead of sour cream or whipped cream, try Greek yogurt.
Creams are a major ingredient in a lot of our favorite comfort foods. Unfortunately, many of the commercially-available ones are riddled with chemical additives – you don’t even know exactly what you’re putting into your meals.
Greek yogurt, with its thick consistency and distinct sour taste, can work wonders in your clean cooking adventures. You can use it to make creamy dressings like the one used here: http://cleanfoodcrush.com/cucumber-strawberry-salad/. It’s also great for appetizers or light lunch ideas like this one: http://cleanfoodcrush.com/chicken-salad-on-apples/.
Despite its rather tart taste, Greek yogurt is also awesome in desserts. Curious how to use it? Here are a couple of mouth-watering ways to enjoy Greek yogurt:
4. Instead of regular milk, try almond milk or coconut milk.
Dairy milk is used in a number of recipes we enjoyed daily – from breakfast, lunch, to snacks, and even dinner, it has been instrumental in many dishes for much of our lives. Unfortunately, preservatives, hormones, and chemicals have found their way into this household favorite. If you want a cleaner, non-dairy way to enjoy it everyday, go for alternatives like almond milk and coconut milk. Hemp milk is another alternative that’s worth trying!
These non-dairy options are not only extra-healthy (almonds are protein-rich and cholesterol-free, and coconuts are vitamin-rich and lactose-free) they’re fantastic for a wide variety of recipes.
Here’s how to have these milk substitutes in your clean menu:
5. Instead of white rice and white bread, try brown rice, quinoa, rolled / steel-cut oats, or sprouted bread.
The best thing about Eating Clean is that you do not miss out on any major food group – including important, healthy carbs. Consuming clean carbs also means that you should be replacing your usual stash of white bread, rice, sugary cereals, and similar food items with good carb sources. http://cleanfoodcrush.com/what-are-good-carbs/
These Clean Eating options offer more health benefits including a lower glycemic index, higher fiber content, and more vitamins and minerals. You can also cook them in many delicious ways!
Here are a few recipes:
6. Instead of soy sauce and powdered seasonings, try coconut or liquid aminos, fresh herbs, and other natural seasonings.
While your cupboards may look sad and lonely without your usual soy sauce, taco seasoning, table salt,and the like – you can easily replace them with the beautiful colors of natural herbs and spices like rosemary, basil, mint, and many others. Their naturally inviting aroma is a definite plus to have in the kitchen too!
Sea salt and liquid aminos will help give that savory flavor to your favorite clean main courses.
Dried, all-natural herbs are fun to play around with, and add to your favorite meals Watch the ingredient labels on the spice blends – if you don’t recognize an ingredient, then stay away!
Find ingredients that bring out flavor without kicking your sodium intake way up.
Here are some recipes that these natural flavors can jazz up:
7. Instead of processed noodles, try spiralized vegetables.
Pasta dishes are a must for most of our dinner tables. But, if you’re committing to a truly Clean Eating lifestyle, those packs of processed noodles have to go.
Don’t you worry, you can still enjoy ‘pasta’ in the form of healthier and more nutritious alternatives like spiralized vegetables! http://cleanfoodcrush.com/spiralizer With homemade sauces or organic options like this one from Thrive, you’re still guaranteed to enjoy your veggie noodles. \
Here are just a few recipes that will show you how spiralized veggies can easily become your new dinner favorites!
A Clean Eating pantry will still give you mouth-watering dishes to fill you up and keep you healthy.
Make a few ingredient swaps today!
Do you have any suggestions on clean options for processed ingredients?
Share them in the comments section below!