This year, spring cleaning isn’t just scrubbing the counters and going through your closet. It means deep cleaning the heart of your kitchen–your pantry! Out with the bad, in with the pure, whole food goodness!
Feeling daunted by the task at hand? Start by scanning your pantry for these 5 easy-to-spot ingredients. Check the labels on any store-bought, packaged food for these ingredients, and consider replacing them with some better-for-you swaps. We promise your body will thank you!
1. Canola Oil. Here’s a not-so-fun fact: Canola oil is both genetically modified and partially hydrogenated, which means that it has trans fat. No. Thank. You.
Spring Swap: We simply don’t use it. For sauteing and frying, organic, cold-pressed avocado oil is a good substitution. But our favorite is coconut oil! From disease prevention to improved complexion, the benefits of this pantry staple are seemingly endless—and tasty! Use it in baked goods, with veggies, or in smoothies. Just be sure you only stock up on the certified organic brands.
2. Wheat. People often think choosing wheat over white is healthier, when it’s actually just as harmful. Not only does wheat bread often contain enriched flour that’s void of nutritional value, it also contains phytates. Phytates can prevent your body from fully absorbing key minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc.
Spring Swap: Craving carbs? Try our tasty Almond Protein and Sea Crackers. These wheat-free crackers are naturally gluten-free, meaning we don’t add the processed bad stuff that is so often packaged and sold as “good” stuff.
3. Soy Protein Isolate. Soy? Protein? Must be healthy, right? Wrong. Soybeans are among the most genetically modified crops, surpassing both corn and cotton. Soy protein isolate is often found in so-called “energy” bars, which don’t really feed your muscles because your body doesn’t use soy as efficiently as other sources of protein.
Spring Swap: Try our favorite plant-based protein: sprouted almonds. They’re easier to digest AND one serving of sprouted almonds has 4g of fiber and 7g of protein. What’s more, you can turn this awesome source of protein into a savory snack OR a sweet treat. When cravings strike, reach for something like our Cacao Almond Truffles–your blood sugar isn’t likely to go crazy, and you’ll actually get nutrients from your food. Who knew?!
4. Tapioca Starch. A simple Google search for this trendy wheat replacement puts it alongside the likes of potato flour and cornstarch (um, we’ll pass…). Tapioca starch is merely a filler used to create a chewy consistency in many gluten-free cookie and bread products. Have a bunch of gluten-free products in your pantry? Double check their labels and say “thanks but no thanks” to this sketchy ingredient.
Spring Swap: Snacks with dried fruit, like our popular Nut Bars. Dried fruit keeps these bars chewy, delicious, and nutritious!
5. Cane Sugar. Sugar is sugar is sugar. Did we mention that it’s sugar? Though not all sugar is bad, cane sugar, specifically, is heavily processed and thus devoid of natural nutrients.
Spring Swap: Fruit! It’s packed with fiber, which helps us feel full and slows the absorption of sugar into our bloodstream. This means most of us can enjoy the sweetness of fruit without the bitter aftermath refined sugar so kindly provides. (Sugar hangovers = not so fun.)
Ready to make these pantry swaps? Stock up now so you can relax later.
BONUS: Turn up the fun on your spring cleaning by getting Pinterest-level creative with these ideas.