Clean Eats: Make or Buy

Peanut Butter

I love peanut butter and I was surprised to find that some brands contain sugar and an assortment of other unnecessary ingredients.  A clean jar of peanut butter will contain just one ingredient:  peanuts.  Clean peanut butter may separate more than its unclean counterpart, but a good stir will have it good to go.  If you have a food processor, you can also make your own.  I like to add a little honey to mine to give it some extra sweetness.

Make or Buy:  Both.

Salad Dressing

Some salad dressings contain processed ingredients including high fructose corn syrup and sugar.  However, there are many that are almost as healthy as homemade.  Check the ingredients to be sure what you are eating is clean.  It is also very easy to make your own clean and tasty salad dressing.  Mixing olive oil and vinegar is a quick and easy salad topper.

Make or Buy:  Both.

Soup

Canned soups contain ingredients such as sugar, MSG, processed pastas, and other processed ingredients designed to prolong shelf life and improve flavor.  Homemade soup is not only healthy; it is also very easy to make.  Soup is also versatile; you can exchange ingredients with what you have one hand.  Soup also makes a perfect freezer meal that can be thawed and reheated.

Make or Buy:  Make.

Yogurt

Yogurt has many health benefits and is very good for you.  You can mix it in smoothies, pancakes, salads, and of course, it makes a tasty snack by itself.  Making yogurt can be a time consuming and tedious process.   The ingredients are simple:  milk and a culture.  However, you must heat the milk to a specific temperature, then cool it to a specific temperature before adding the culture.  The yogurt then needs to incubate.  While some may find this an enjoyable process, it is much easier to check the ingredients on yogurt at the store and purchase it.

Make or Buy:  Buy.

Bread

This is a tricky one.  Most store bought breads are highly processed and even the ones claiming to be healthy contain sugar.  Even though homemade bread takes only a few simple ingredients, I have found that I am not very good at baking bread.  It takes a lot of practice to become good at baking bread and I am not there yet.  One day I will be proficient at making bread, but until then most of the bread I eat goes toward my 20% of unhealthy choices.  I have recently discovered a sandwich bread (pictured above) that uses whole grains and cane syrup and while it is more expensive than other brands, it is the cleanest bread I have found.

Make or Buy:  Make, if you can.

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