In order to eat clean, you have to give up everything you love, right? Wrong! Clean-eating recipes do exclude many common ingredients, but we promise, you can easily replace those ingredients with something even more tasty. To enjoy your fave recipes, you might have to do a little tweaking. Thanks to this list, you’ll be an expert in no time. How? Here are a few tips on how to make any recipe clean.
How to Make Any Recipe Clean
1. Say Goodbye to Sugar
Sugar is a big no-no for a clean eating lifestyle, as are artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, and Equal. That doesn’t mean you have to give up sweets though! If you are looking for a good 1:1 ratio substitute for white sugar, coconut sugar is your best bet. A mixture of honey and maple syrup subs in for brown sugar quite nicely. Other sugar substitutes simply depend on the flavors and textures of the recipe, including honey, maple syrup, raw agave, Stevia, or date sugar. Pureed fruit such as dates, apples, and bananas work beautifully in most recipes as well. You will just have to play around a little bit with the ratios to find what works best for your taste buds.
Check out a four delicious recipes that use natural alternatives to sugar:
- Coconut Banana Paleo Cookies (coconut sugar)
- 3-Ingredient Coconut Mango Ice Cream (honey)
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream (honey)
- Skinny Watermelon Sorbet (fruit)
2. Ditch the White Flour
White flour has been processed in such a way that removes all the nutrients from the entire wheat berry. Instead, use either white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour. It sounds like a huge contradiction, but white whole wheat flour is milled to include the whole wheat berry, as is traditional whole wheat flour. It has a color and texture most similar to white flour and most people can’t tell the difference in their recipes when using it as a substitute.
Our Juicy Faux Fried Chicken is an example of a recipe where we have offered the option of white whole wheat flour. This Honey-Wheat Pizza Crust is another clean recipe where we utilized white whole wheat flour.
3. Ban White Bread
White bread is made from processed and bleached white flour, which as we discussed above is not clean compliant. Even most wheat breads have either sugar or high fructose corn syrup added, along with a long list of preservatives that are not part of a clean eating lifestyle. There are, however, a few brands out there that only use whole grains and other clean compliant ingredients.
If you simply must have bread in your life, you will have to become a label reading fanatic and only choose breads that are made with whole grains and natural ingredients. Sprouted wheat breads are a good option and most can be found in the freezer section due to their lack of preservatives and short shelf life. Once you find a good, clean bread product that you like, you can use it for most any recipe that calls for white or wheat bread. See our Caramel Apple Bread Pudding for a clean dessert recipe idea that utilizes whole wheat bread. You can even make your own croutons and Homemade Bread Crumbs from it!
4. Pass on White Pasta
We hope you are starting to see a trend! Any product made with bleached white flour is not part of a clean eating lifestyle. This is a super easy swap, though. Simply use whole wheat, whole grain, or brown rice pasta in any of your favorite pasta recipes instead of the regular white pasta. Just be sure to read the labels and make sure they are made with only whole grain, whole wheat, or brown rice flours. Try our Skinny Zucchini Pasta for an alternative to pasta.
5. Clean up Your Condiments or Sauces
When a recipe calls for a condiment, such as ketchup, mayonnaise, bbq sauce, or a dressing, you will need to make sure that you have a clean version on-hand. There are a few clean mayo versions available in stores (we recommend this Clean Mayo), but it is very easy to make as well. Alternatively, a natural Greek yogurt makes a fabulous substitute for almost any fatty condiment. Try our Homemade Healthy Ketchup for a quick and easy clean ketchup recipe. We have a great no-sugar SkinnyMs. Barbecue Sauce. We recommend making a big batch of the condiments you use most regularly. That way you don’t have to make them each time a recipe calls for it. Check out this delicious recipe for Skinny Alfredo Sauce at less than 100 calories per serving.
We hope you enjoyed learning about these adjustments you can make to your favorite meals. Delicious! Since you can make any recipe clean, you don’t have to give up the foods you love to live a healthier lifestyle!
For more on clean eating, check out: