We know that consuming wholesome, unprocessed foods — a.k.a clean eating — is good for us. But let’s be real: Sometimes junk food can be really, really tempting, and when a craving hits, it’s hard to say no to your favourite battered, fried or chocolatey treats.
Instead of indulging in your junk food cravings, which can leave you with a sore stomach and a guilty conscience, why not tuck into a junk-like, but clean-eating snack that is actually good for you? (Or at the very least, is healthier than the bad stuff?)
Next time you have a hankering for something oh-so-junky, try throwing together one of these following clean eating snack recipes to satisfy your junk-food cravings.
Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
Wings are all about the saucy-messy goodness. These cauliflower bites are baked instead of fried and have all the same saucy and delicious flavours that buffalo wings do. You’ll hardly be able to notice the difference!
- 1 head of cauliflower
- ½ cup whole wheat or spelt flour
- 3/4 cup water (add more as needed)
- ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
- ¼ teaspoon dried onion (I use Tastefully Simple’s Onion Onion)
- ¼ cup buffalo wing sauce
- 3 Tablespoons salted butter or coconut oil, melted
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray or brush with oil
- Wash cauliflower and cut into bite-size pieces
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, water, dash of wing sauce, garlic salt and dried onion
- Pour cauliflower pieces into bowl with batter and mix around until all pieces are coated. Spread on to the baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, mix together the buffalo sauce, melted butter and salt. Set aside.
- Bake for about 15 minutes until the batter starts to harden.
- Remove from the oven and brush with the buffalo sauce. Bake for about 10 more minutes until the cauliflower is crisp.
- Serve with dip of choice, yogurt, blue cheese or ranch.
Nothing will ever be a potato chip, and to pretend that these are the same thing isn’t However, kale chips do have something so potato-like about them and the flavour possibilities are endless. Plus, you can eat a ton without feeling to guilty. Kale is packed with fibre, is low in fat and loaded with crucial vitamins and nutrients. Feel free to top with whatever you may like; onion salt, parmesan cheese and dill are all delicious as toppings. The best part, you can eat the whole batch!
- 1 head of kale, chopped and stems removed
- ½ a lemon juiced or about 2 Tbsp.
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ tsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a large mixing bowl using your hands, mix the kale, lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt together.
- Lay kale out in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Check to see how they’re doing. If they’re still soft, continue baking, checking every 5 minutes until crispy.
- Allow to cool and then enjoy! (Kale chip are best to be consumed the day they are made but will keep for an extra day or two on the counter in an air-tight container)
Popcorn is low in calories and full of fibre, which makes it a healthy and satisfying snack. Instead of reaching for the microwave kind that is often chemical and fat-laden, make some on your own, and top with a little butter or coconut oil and Himalayan sea salt. Other delicious toppings include nutritional yeast or a bit of cayenne. Invest in an air popper or pop kernels on the stove as follows:
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 2/3 cup popcorn kernels
- In a large pot or dutch oven, add coconut oil and 3 kernels. Cover and cook on medium high heat until all three kernels pop
- Take the three popped kernels out of the pot, pour the rest in, cover and remove from heat.
- After about 30 seconds, put back on the heat and shake occasionally until popping has slowed down.
- Top with whatever your heart desires!
Avocados are creamy, rich and loaded with healthy fats. They make a perfect base to this creamy pudding that won’t leave you feeling guilty or give you a sugar high. The high (good!) fat content will help keep your blood sugar levels stable and fill you up, making you less likely to over-snack.
- 2 medium ripe avocadoes
- 4-6 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 tbsp. pure maple syrup or 6 dates (pitted and soaked)
- 1 tsp vanilla.
- Pinch sea salt.
Place all ingredients in a food processor and process on high until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. If pudding is too thick, add a few tbsp. of dairy or non-dairy milk of choice until desired consistency is reached.
Banana Soft Serve
Sometimes there is nothing as satisfying as a creamy cone or bowl of soft-serve. Most soft serve ice creams are full of artificial flavours and unhealthy oils. Processed or blended bananas make a great alternative and the result is a creamy, whipped treat that rivals the real thing (only this is actually real!).
- 2-3 frozen bananas
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- pinch seat salt
Blend frozen bananas in a food processer. At first it will seem like it may not be working but over time they will break down into a delicious whipped creamy treat. Add a tablespoon of peanut butter or some cocoa powder to change it up.