The 12 Must-Have Cleanse Foods
Lentil, Cannelloni and Quinoa Soup
Word out on the street has it that some of our Cleanse Challenge peeps are running out of ideas for things to eat. Not to worry. You’ve come to the right post.
Having done The Cleanse, as Sara and I call it, now three times, I have lots of ideas for you. If you’re still stuck, contact me for more help!
NOTE: For the Cedar Valley yocals: you can find the products mentioned below at Hy-Vee, Roots Market and Super Target.
- Beans and legumes
This is the very foundation of a vegan lifestyle – and they’re so easy to find and use in practically any meal. My personal favorites are: edamame, black beans, lentils, garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and cannelloni beans. I buy canned beans because they’re cooked and ready to go – with the exception of edamame, which I buy frozen. An easy meal is to make a bean burrito using Amy’s refried black beans rolled up in a corn tortilla and topped with fresh guacamole and salsa! I have a great recipe for Sloppy Joesthat will fill up even the huskiest of vegans.
Veggie soups are a fantastic and filling meal option on the cleanse. Here are some of my personal favorite recipes: Cheesy Cauliflower, Coconut Curry Soup, Lentil Stew, Spicy Peanut Soup and
- Stir fries
Stir fry, served with brown rice and/or a gluten-free noodle (like soba) make a wonderful dinner option. Or, go nuts and serve it with quinoa, affectionately known at my house as “curly rice.” On top of that, you can serve your stir fry with my special awesome peanut sauce, which is also cleanse-friendly. TIP: go easy on the oil and stir fry very lightly – don’t overcook the veggies or you’ll cook the nutrients right out of ‘em.
- Nuts and nut butters
Although raw nuts are best, you can eat literally any kind of nut on the cleanse. Even better, peanut butter makes the list! If you want to truly go crazy, try experimenting with different nut butters like almond, hazelnut and cashew. Yum! For the Cedar Valley yocals: you can find all sorts of nut butters at Super Target, Roots Market and Hy-Vee.
Get creative with your salad fixings and make sure you use a vegan dressing. Lemon juice works nicely if you’re super hard-core on your cleanse, otherwise, I love any of the Annie’s Natural vegan dressings.
Hummus is a cleanse-friendly dip and spread that you can use in a variety of ways. For a snack, you can slather it on top of a brown rice cake. Whip up a batch and serve it with Nut Thins crackers and fresh veggies. Or, use it to make your very own nori roll.
- Carob and chocolate
Life sucks without chocolate, no getting around that. So don’t even try. I keep an organic dark chocolatewith no-dairy on hand at all times. Plus, I stock a carob and spirulina treat I found at Roots Market that is 100% cleanse-friendly. I have a hard time keeping my daughter out of it!
Carob and Spirulina Squares from Roots Market
- Gluten-free crackers, etc.
I love all of the wonderful gluten-free snacks we have available to us these days! Some of my favorites include: Nut Thins, Rice Chips and Pop Corners.
- Roasted and grilled veggies
You can roast or grill veggies to your heart’s content, and they can be very flavorful. You can even throw garbanzo beans in with your veggies for added protein.
- Chips and salsa
Sara and I have deemed these cleanse-friendly. You can easily go out to a Mexican restaurant and indulge in these, plus a huge plate of veggie fajitas, just top with lots more salsa and guac.
There are some really delicious vegan smoothie recipes out there — blend one up and you’ll feel like you’re really indulging, I promise.
- Dried fruit
Dried fruit has a higher natural sugar content and gives you a nice little sugar fix when you need it. If you want a sugar high, try eating a dried fig!