With the arrival of spring, many of us now have the perfect opportunity (or reason) to spring clean our homes, our closets and even our diets. The start of a new season is a great time to replace processed and refined foods with real and whole foods, which also tend to be more affordable. Spring is also a great opportunity to try out a bunch of seasonal fruits and vegetables, and doing so will undoubtedly help your local economy. But where do you start? Try out our clean eating recipes to jumpstart your healthy diet this spring!

What is clean eating?

“Clean eating” is based on a principle of choosing whole, nutrient-dense foods as close to their natural form as possible. Doing so also involves eliminating the majority of processed foods and refined foods.

Whole foods are defined as foods that have been left in their natural, unaltered state and include whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, grass-fed and free-range meats, raw nuts, seeds and certain dairy products.

Clean eaters are encouraged to eliminate most processed foods with labels, which indicate the food item required more than one ingredient to make it. With that being said, not all processed foods, such as whole grain pasta or certain dairy products, need to be eliminated. However, the general rule of thumb is to skip it if you can’t pronounce an ingredient on the label.

Many people have found clean eating to be a simple and effective way to lose or maintain a healthy weight, stay satisfied longer and limit junk food cravings.

Clean eating grocery list:

When following a new diet, I encourage my clients to focus on what they can add to their diet rather than what they are subtracting. The same idea goes with clean eating. What’s great about clean eating is that it is not as restrictive as other diets and doesn’t eliminate entire food groups.

Produce:

red tomatoes

 

  • All organic fresh fruits and vegetables

Grains:

  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Rolled oats
  • Sprouted whole grain bread and tortillas

Protein:

  • Wild caught fish
  • Pasture-raised eggs
  • Grass-fed beef

Dairy:

  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Plain cottage cheese
  • Milk
  • Unsweetened non-dairy milks

Condiments:

  • Spices and herbs
  • Olive oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Manuka honey
  • Pure maple syrup
  • Tamari

Pantry:

raw almonds

  • Raw nuts and seeds
  • Dry beans and legumes
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Coconut flour
  • Vegetable broth
  • No sugar added marinara sauce
  • No sugar added nut and seed butters

10 simple and satisfying snacks for clean eating:

 

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When it comes to clean snacking, one thing I encourage my clients to do is pair protein-rich foods with fiber-rich foods to make satisfying snacks. This satiating combination is the lowest calorie way to fuel your body, give it energy and quash hunger pangs all at once.

  • Apples sliced and dipped into no sugar added peanut butter
  • Plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and raw walnuts
  • Homemade hummus and raw veggies
  • Hardboiled egg with sesame seasoning and sliced carrots
  • Popcorn popped with olive oil and topped with nutritional yeast
  • Oven-baked apple chips with cinnamon and walnuts
  • Frozen fruit and Greek yogurt smoothie pop
  • Cinnamon roasted raw pecans with fresh raspberries
  • Apple “nachos” with no sugar added nut butter and chopped raw nuts
  • Oven-roasted spicy chickpeas with olive oil and spicy seasonings

4 clean eating recipes to jumpstart spring:

Spring is a great time to try new foods and switch up your meal routine. Try these breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts recipes to help hit reset on your taste buds and reap the benefits of nutrient-dense, whole foods that nourish your body.

1. Breakfast: Southwestern Breakfast Hash

 

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  • Serves: 1
  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup diced sweet potato
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup black beans, cooked
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/2 medium bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, diced
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cumin

Directions:

  1. Place sweet potato in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil on the stovetop over medium-high heat and reduce to a simmer. Cook until tender, which should be about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes, bell pepper and spices to the skillet. Cook veggies until crisp and tender, which should be about five minutes, and stir in black beans. Transfer to a serving plate.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and crack the egg into the pan. Cook until whites are set, which should be about three to four minutes, and plate over sweet potato black bean mixture.

2. Lunch: Greek Lettuce Cups

 

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  • Serves: 2
  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. ground grass-fed beef
  • 6-8 large butter lettuce cups
  • 1/2 medium tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint, diced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

Directions:

  1. Add oil to a large skillet and place over medium-high heat.
  2. Add beef, oregano, salt and pepper to the skillet and sauté until no longer pink, which should be about five to six minutes. Turn off heat and stir in cucumber and red onion.
  3. Divide mixture among butter lettuce leaves and top with yogurt and mint.

3. Dinner: Baked Lemon Herb Salmon with Cauliflower Rice and Avocado Salsa

Grilled Salmon with Cauliflower Rice

  • Serves: 2
  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

Salmon:

  • 2 4-oz wild salmon filets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, diced

Salsa:

  • 2 large avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 tbsp fresh cilantro, diced
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cauliflower rice:

  • 2 cups riced cauliflower
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. For salmon: Heat oil in a medium skillet and place over medium-high heat. Add salmon skin side up and sear for two minutes. Then flip salmon and sear for another two minutes. Transfer to a lined baking sheet.
  3. Brush salmon with olive oil and top with sliced cilantro and sliced lemon. Bake for six to eight minutes.
  4. For cauliflower rice: In a large skillet, heat oil and place over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion and sauté until cooked and fragrant, which should be about three minutes. Add cauliflower rice and continue cooking for five to six minutes or until tender and slightly crisp. Divide between two serving plates.
  5. Plate salmon over both plates with cauliflower rice.
  6. For salsa: In a large bowl, toss together salsa ingredients until combined and serve over both pieces of salmon.

4. Dessert: Banana-Sweetened Oat Cookies

 

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  • Serves: 12
  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 12 minutes
  • Total time: 27 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Add oats to a food processor and process until ground into flour. Add remaining ingredients to the food processor and process until the batter is smooth.
  4. Scoop one tablespoon of batter at a time and place on the baking sheet until spaced evenly. Batter should make 12-15 cookies.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until tops are golden. Allow cookies to cool before serving.

Conclusion

Spring is a great time to try a new variety of fresh seasonal produce. By choosing the right ingredients, clean eating recipes can nourish your body from the inside out. Use this opportunity to retrain your taste buds to crave real and whole foods by embracing clean eats. 

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