Eating clean is all about eating food in its most natural, unprocessed state without additives or preservatives.
Here is a list of Clean Eating Ingredients that we use in our home and that I can recommend to other families. This is not a complete list of all the clean eating foods available, but rather an ever growing list of what we eat on a regular basis in our family.
I’m always happy to find out about new ingredients that works well for your family, so please let me know if you have anything else that you think I should to add to this list.
1) Healthy fats.
We should all be eating healthy fats as an everyday part of our diet. We need fat for our bodies and brain to function effectively. Many essential vitamins require fat in order to be absorbed by our body. Here are some of the fats that I use every day in my baking and cooking.
- Olive oil
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Organic unsalted butter (preferably grass-fed)
- Sunflower oil
- Grape seed oil
- Natural or organic unsalted nut and seed butters
Choosing a clean flour can be a bit confusing because in their essence most flours are essentially ‘clean’ and consist of only one ingredient. The nutrient value of different flours, however, can vary greatly as parts of the flour are often removed to refine it for commercial use. Because flour makes up an important ingredient in my cooking, I opt for these Organic wheat flour options:
- Whole grain Flour
- White flour
- Pasty Flour
I sometimes use alternative flours such as:
- Coconut flour
- Almond flour
3) Bread, Cereal and grains.
As more people are becoming aware of the quality of the food they are feeding their families, Supermarkets are responding to the need and stocking a growing range of breads, cereals and grains suitable to a clean eating plan. Check the ingredients and try to choose 100% whole grain varieties of these without additives or preservatives.
- Wholegrain Bread
- Wholegrain Tortillas
- Wholegrain Pastas
- Rice – Brown Rice, Brown Basmati Rice
- 100% Popped Rice or Wheat
- Ancient Grains such as quinoa
- Soba noodles
- Wholegrain Bread crumbs (or panko)
Choose full-fat organic options (from grass-fed animals where possible).
- Plain yogurt
- Greek yogurt
- Sour cream
- Cottage cheese
- Cream cheese
- Cheese (goat, Parmesan, ricotta, etc.)
- Unsweetened plain Almond Milk (We love this).
- Soy milk
- Rice milk
- Coconut milk (made without additives)
5) Fruit and Vegetables.
If you are not growing your own, then Organic vegetables can be expensive if you are trying to feed a family. The EWG releases a list of fruits and vegetables which contain the majority of pesticides (The Dirty Dozen). By purchasing Organic varieties of the produce from this list, you will eliminate up to 80% of pesticide residue from your families diet.
- Fresh Fruit and Vegetables (Look out for what’s in Season to save money and also to provide your family with a seasonal variety)
- Frozen Fruit and Vegetables
- Canned Fruit and Vegetables (no additives) eg: fruits and tomato
- Beans (fresh, Canned or dried)
- Unsweetened shredded coconut
- Unsweetened dried berries or fruit
- Apple Sauce
6) Nuts and Seeds
Any Raw unsalted nuts and seeds. Common nuts that we keep in our pantry are:
- Sesame Seeds
- Sunflower Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
7) Meats and Seafood
Choose hormone and antibiotic free organic meats whenever possible (and grass-fed if your budget allows). We like to eat what we call ‘Happy Meat’. A big part of clean eating is being aware of where you food comes from. Its important to us that we know where our meat comes from and that it had a happy life before it landed on our plate. To keep costs low, try to choose recipes that use cheaper cuts or purchase in bulk.
- Free Range Chicken or Turkey
- Lean red meats
- All-natural/organic bacon or sausages
- Uncured, all-natural nitrite free deli meats like ham or sliced chicken.
Sustainable fish and shellfish (See seafoodwatch.org for a list of best choices available).
8) Salts and Herbs
Using herbs and salt in your cooking takes it to a whole new taste level. Herbs should be free of additives and artificial ingredients. I grow quite a few herbs in pots in my garden. They are really easy and always available for when you need them in a recipe.
- Fresh herbs
- Dried herbs
- Sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
- Ground Black Pepper
9) Sugar and Sweeteners
We try to limit added sugar as much as possible, but we don’t cut it out completely. A big part of being a kid is enjoying treats including cake and biscuits. Just because we eat Clean does not mean that my children (or myself) are deprived of all the ‘good things’. We just don’t overindulge and choose healthier, unprocessed sugar options whenever possible.
- Raw honey
- Pure 100% maple syrup
- Organic evaporated cane juice
- Coconut Sugar
- Brown Rice Syrup
We don’t drink too many juices on a daily basis. I always have a large bottle of water readily available. If we do make a juice then it is homemade fruit juices made from 100% fruit or vegetables (not from concentrate). But since this takes a bit of effort, we usually just grab a water with a squeeze of lemon.
11) Salad Dressing and Sauces
Its really easy to make your own homemade salad dressings however, if you find a healthy store bought option, I say go for it. Time is precious, and family life is busy. Take the shortcuts where you can. Always read the label to ensure the product contains no sneaky additives or preservatives.
- Hot sauce (Tobasco is always in our pantry)
- Vinegars (red wine vinegar, balsamic, apple cider)
- Dijon mustard. The Wholegrain Dijon variety is delicious.
- Reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari.
- Tomato Ketchup (you can make this, but I purchase this brand because, well, it’s easier)
12) Miscellaneous Pantry Ingredients
- Unsalted tomato paste and tomato puree
- Reduced Salt chicken or vegetable stock (there are some good organic options available)
- Pasta Sauce – Check that all ingredients are clean and recognizable as food. No chemicals, numbers or additives.
- Dark chocolate – at least 70% (Everyone needs a little chocolate :)
- Pure vanilla extract
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Organic Mayonnaise (This is a pain in the *** to make, only because I always worry about the use by date when using raw egg)