25 Clean-Eating Foods That Taste Like It’s Cheat Day

As society is becoming more health conscious, more people are starting to take control of their health, which is fantastic news. But at the same time, more people are becoming frustrated with the bland and restrictive regimes that keep them healthy. And we all know that once that frustration gets to a certain point, the previously clean-eater is headed straight for binge-town.

It might be hard to fathom for someone who snacks on raw carrots and celery all day, but clean foods don’t have to be so boring. The general rule when it comes to eating clean is that you’re mindful of how those ingredients arrived on your plate and choosing dishes that are whole, unprocessed and as close to their natural form as possible. That actually gives you a lot of leeways when it comes to choosing yummy things to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

We’ve done the work for you and collected the most divine clean dishes out there. These foods are clean, but they don’t taste like it.

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25 Chocolate Cashew Cream Cupcakes


Sweet tooths rejoice! These chocolate cashew cream cupcakes are an egg, dairy, and flour-free alternative to the classic chocolate cupcake.

And though they taste a little different, they’re just as good!

Cacao butter is a major ingredient, which is found online or in health food stores, along with cacao powder, agave nectar, vanilla bean powder, cashews and coconut oil. They’re super easy to make, and according to Greatist, the most difficult part of the process is waiting for them to set in the freezer!

24 Healthy Kung Pao Chicken


Who said you have to give up delicious Asian food when you’re eating clean? This kung pao chicken has all the taste of the regular kind, without all the preservatives.

All you need for this recipe is chicken breast, garlic, sesame oil, green beans, coconut aminos, sriracha, chili paste, honey and sesame seeds. To add a bit of crunch, you can also toss in some peanuts or cashews. This dish is simple to make and works perfectly for a quiet dinner.

23 Greek Yogurt With Cinnamon, Honey, And Banana


Eating clean can be tricky in the morning when you wake up craving sugary cereal for breakfast. Greek yogurt flavored with cinnamon, honey and banana is a sweet alternative, without all the refined sugar.

When shopping for Greek yogurt, make sure you look for a natural brand that isn’t hiding any sugars or preservatives within.

Authentic Greek yogurt will taste more sour than sweet, but you can make it scrumptious by adding in age-old natural sweeteners like honey and banana.

22 Zoodles With A Twist


Carb-lovers often lament the fact that they can’t indulge in white bread and pasta once they decide to eat clean, but the zoodle (zucchini shredded into noodles) offers some relief.

You might have seen them served with pasta sauce in the place of traditional spaghetti, and they’re great that way, but you can also have zoodles in the morning in the place of regular bread. The latest craze to hit the internet is zoodles topped with eggs, salt, and pepper.

21 Plain Dark Chocolate


Yes, it’s plain and yes, you’ve heard it before, but dark chocolate really is a yummy alternative to milk and white chocolate. It may take a while to get used to it in terms of satisfying your cravings.

A few squares that are at least 70% dark taste quite bitter compared to milk chocolate, but many people consider dark chocolate to be the ultimate indulgence. Not only does it taste heavenly, but the cacao beans have an extremely high concentration of antioxidants.

20 Sweet Potato Tofu Curry


Many westernized curries are made with full-fat dairy products and preservatives, but this sweet potato and tofu option provides all the taste without all the nasties.

There are several variations of the recipe available online, but most are made with coconut milk, which adds health benefits and a creamy, sweet taste.

To make sure the tofu you’re buying isn’t overly processed, look for a brand that has less than three ingredients. This curry is great over brown rice or simply on its own.

19 Vegan Olive Dip


If you’re looking for a little something to serve to guests, you should think about a vegan olive dip. You can buy them already made from most supermarkets, but some brands secretly pack in a lot of unnecessary preservatives and other artificial ingredients.

There’s no harm in learning how to make your own!

Mix up things like pitted Kalamata olives, garlic and garlic powder, raw tahini paste, lemon juice, nutritional yeast flakes, soaked raw cashews, and salt to make a heavenly concoction.

18 Cake Batter Chia Pudding


Now, doesn’t this sound delightful? To create the illusion of real cake batter, variations of this recipe use almond butter, dates and oats. The chia seeds can have a gelatinous texture, but when you feel like you’re eating mouthfuls of cake batter, do you really care?

This is a great dish to have in the morning.

The thought of tasting it will stop you from hitting snooze, but can also work as a dessert if you get a sweet craving after dinner.

17 Slow-Cooked Salsa Chicken


When a dish is slow-cooked, you can almost guarantee that it’s going to taste amazing. There are a couple of different ways to do this, so find the recipe that best suits your taste.

You can make your salsa from scratch or buy a premade one, as long as you double check the ingredient list. Not only does the slow cooker allow meat to get so tender that it melts on your tongue, but it also means fewer dishes to clean up.

16 Turkey Lettuce Wraps


Lean turkey meat is a favorite among health-food junkies.

There are endless ways to have it prepared.

Wrapping up the ground meat in an iceberg or Romain lettuce allows you the opportunity to stuff in as many veggies and herbs as you like, increasing the nutritional value and the flavor.

You can throw in onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, tomato sauce and even organic chicken broth into your meat, and even add tomato and avocado to the final product.

15 Omelette Packed With Lentils And Veggies


Okay, so you might have said goodbye to the type of omelet you grew up with (cheddar cheese stuffed, that is), but you don’t have to be done with omelets altogether when eating clean.

Eggs provide protein and vitamin B12, which help to regulate the metabolism and the nervous system, so they’re a great ingredient. Pack into your omelet lentils, kale, tomatoes, zucchini and whatever spices you like for a breakfast that’s going to fill you up and satisfy your savory cravings.

14 Poached Eggs With Smashed Avocado


For the perfect breakfast that keeps you full and energized and also tastes so good that you’ll actually get out of bed smiling, you can’t go wrong with poached eggs and smashed avocado.

Grab two slices of whole wheat or rye bread, and top it with as much smashed avocado as you like.

You can even add on herbs like parsley, thyme or basil, and can serve it with quartered grilled tomatoes. We’re partial to poached eggs, but prepare them how you see fit.

13 Oatmeal With Amaranth, Coconut, And Maple Sautéed Apples


Another breakfast that obeys the rules of clean eating and still tastes like a dream is oatmeal with amaranth (a type of grain), coconut and maple sautéed apples, which according to Greatist, was created by a professional chef.

This is simply a case of cooking the oats in water or homemade almond milk if you’re feeling crafty and incorporating the other ingredients. The result is something that tastes like the soft filling of apple pie and will leave you wanting more.

12 A New Kind Of Banana Ice Cream


Ice cream is another guilty pleasure you probably thought you had to give up for good in order to stay healthy, but that’s not exactly true.

The only thing you’ll need for this banana soft serve is four ripe bananas!

Freeze one-inch pieces of the banana until they’re solid, and process them until they’re creamy. That’s it! The texture is basically ice cream. If you want to add another dimension, you can top it with raw almonds, cocoa powder or even cardamom.

11 Quinoa Buddha Bowl


This quinoa Buddha bowl is the perfect way to get in those veggies that you might feel reluctant about eating on their own. This simple bowl of health and prosperity contains quinoa, lentils, brussels sprouts, avocado, and kale.

And you can definitely bet all those greens have plenty of positive effects on the person eating them!

You can get creative with the recipe, and add in whichever veggies you want to increase the nutritional value or play with the flavor.

10 Berry And Coconut Cream Cake


This sounds heavenly, and it is. The cake crust in this recipe calls for dates and cacao, which is then topped with lavish coconut cream and yogurt. The berry on top (see what we did there) is the delicious in-season display of fresh berries.

Berries not only provide a hint of sweetness but also act as a good place to get fiber and anthocyanins, which battle against heart disease, inflammation, and even cancer. That is one powerful cake to try out this summer!

9 Apple And Arugula Salad


Forget about the same old boring chicken breast salads that are (metaphorically) shoved down your throat.

If you’re looking for a fresh salad with a twist, opt for this apple and arugula combo that is tasty, filling and healthy, all at the same time.

Simply add together arugula, apples, cashews and red potatoes in a bowl, and top it with a dressing of tahini. Full of calcium, this healthy meal will spice up your life at any time of the day.

8 Soba Noodles With Greens


Made from buckwheat, soba noodles have a nuttier flavor than traditional egg or rice noodles. But when tossed with a simple Asian-inspired dressing and mixed with veggies, you’ll just feel like you’re eating regular noodles (which is great news if you’re a carb-lover).

Simply shred kale, brussels sprouts and any other greens you’re craving, and combine with a clean dressing of your choosing and soba noodles. This is perfect for when you finish work late and need to whip up something quickly.

7 Banana Bread Cookies


Making clean banana bread cookies is much simpler than it sounds. Some recipes call for only two ingredients (bananas, of course, and oats).

But if you want to really turn up the flavor, you can add a number of other things.

Why not throw in some diced apple, sultanas, cacao nibs, nuts or raw honey to add a little oomph? Grab these for breakfast on the go or munch on them when hunger pangs kick in between meals. They’re simply delicious!

6 Black Bean Brownies

If you ask us, brownies are crucial to our spiritual wellbeing. To look after our physical selves as well, we love substituting the traditional chocolate version with these black bean brownies.

Made with black beans, oats, maple syrup or honey, vanilla extract, coconut oil and dark chocolate chips, these treats will satisfy your inner sweet tooth. Don’t worry: the bean flavor is masked with cacao powder. To score brownie points with your friends (pun intended), serve these at the next dinner party.

5 Farro Salad With Tomatoes And Herbs


With the Mediterranean diet sparking curiosity around the world, it’s safe to say that the Greeks, Spanish, and Italians might be onto something.

Farro is a distant cousin of wheat, and even though it can be time-consuming to cook, it’s pretty easy to make.

When you top this grain with tomatoes and herbs of your choosing (try parsley, oregano or basil), and a sprinkling of olive oil, salt, and pepper, you’ll feel like you’re wandering through the alleys of Santorini.

4 Salted Caramel Tahini Cups


Who in their right mind would give up the flavor of salted caramel? There are surprisingly few ingredients in these vegan salted caramel tahini cups. All they take is melted coconut, raw tahini, pitted dates, sea salt and if you like, pure maple syrup.

They’re stored in a freezer, making them ideal for a party sweet treat that you can make well in advance to avoid any unnecessary stress. Though they’re simple to make, they appear super impressive to guests.

3 Buckwheat Porridge With Figs


If you are looking for a new and creative take on traditional porridge for your breakfast, check out this simple version made with buckwheat and figs.

You have to soak the buckwheat overnight and then top it with figs (or whatever fresh fruit you happen to feel like!) to make this sweet dish.

But it’s definitely worth the organization and preparation it takes.

You can also dollop on some nut butter to increase the protein count and add in some extra healthy fats.

2 Collard Wraps Stuffed With Veggies


Is there a better way to get in multiple nutritionally rich ingredients at once than to wrap them all up together in collard greens? No, there’s not.

Collard wraps can sometimes leave you feeling hungry, but the more you pack into them, the less likely that is to happen. Fill it with whatever fresh vegetables you like, and even throw in some tuna for protein. You can also whip up an easy sauce from miso, avocado, tahini, apple cider vinegar, and lemon.

1 Banoffee Pie (Yes, You Read That Correctly)


Ease those sweet cravings with this clean version of banoffee pie. The crust is raw almonds, raw oats, pure maple syrup, coconut oil, sea salt, and cinnamon.

The caramel toffee is made of pitted dates, almond butter, lemon juice, sea salt, and vanilla bean.

The filling is chilled full fat coconut milk, raw caramel toffee (which you’ve made), ripe bananas and dark chocolate. The result is heaven. As long as you’ve got a food processor on your side, you won’t have any problems.

References: greatist.com, mensjournal.com, changeinseconds.com, chocolatecoveredkatie.com, runningonrealfood.com, ohsheglows.com

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