Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Clean Eating Kitchen and Sweet Coconut Flour Green Beans

Hey guys! I hope you are having an awesome day. The other day I had posted a photo on IG of some of the things I keep in my clean eating kitchen.  I was asked if I would go more in depth as to what I keep in my stores, so I decided I would dedicate an entry to it! 

One of the main things you can do in order to stay on track with a clean diet is to make sure you have healthy and clean options around the house. I hear too many people complain that the reason they eat like crap is because other people in the household have unhealthy food. No excuse. Unless you do literally none of your own grocery shopping and/or have no income, then you really have no reason to make such a statement. Get your butt to the store or farmer’s market and get some healthy foods! I used to live in situations where my roommates had really unhealthy foods around and I managed to stick to my guns and eat clean. 

First off and most important are the fresh foods: fruit, veggies, lean meat, eggs, fish. These are all super important in a clean eating diet (if you are like me and not vegan or vegetarian of course). I like to make sure I go to the local farmer’s market at least once a week if I can. Not only am I supporting local farmers, but you get a lot more bang for your buck! If you aren’t sure if your town has a farmer’s market, do some research! I guarantee that there is one somewhere near you. If not, the grocery store obviously has all of these things. I like to try to get 90% of what I am buying from the perimeter of the grocery store.  For the most part, this is where the fresh foods are kept. I also like to make trips to the local health food store in order to get some items that I can’t really seem to find at the regular grocer yet, like hemp hearts, some specialty flours, and flavored natural stevias. I also have been utilizing websites such as Vitacost and iHerb a lot more lately. These sites offer great deals and often have specials where you order a certain amount and they don’t make you pay shipping, which is where the bulk of the added price of online shopping seems to come from.

In the refrigerator I keep some of my nut butters (all natural/organic), opened specialty flours (peanut, almond, and coconut), hummus, my prepped foods, and more. Not all veggies need to be refrigerated to keep fresh, but some do like cucumbers. I also buy unsweetened vanilla and unsweetened original almond milk. I rarely if ever buy regular milk any more. I also always have fat free or 1% fat cottage cheese and plain Greek yogurt, usually Chobani.  I personally do not drink anymore, but my boyfriend has beer in the fridge and a bottle of plain vodka I haven’t touched in months.
In the freezer I usually don’t have much unless I buy fish or chicken in bulk where I will keep it in the freezer until needed. Currently the only thing in my freezer is some tilapia filets, some frozen fruit, a loaf of cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread, and some 100 calorie flax and whole wheat sandwich thins.

In my cupboards is a lot of goodies! Unopened specialty flours, whole grain rolled oats, oat bran, chia seeds, flax seeds, granola, muesli, sweet potatoes, tea, puffed kamut cereal,  low carbohydrate high fiber tortillas, bananas, unsalted rice cakes, protein bars (usually Quest), cans of low sodium beans, water packed tuna, all natural unopened salsa, my collection of peanut butters (most from Peanut Butter and Co), coconut oil (the only oil I use except non-stick cooking spray), unsweetened apple sauce, low sodium tomato sauce,  my spices (I use a lot of crushed red pepper flakes, ground cinnamon, and Mrs. Dash seasonings), baking supplies, a tub of rainbow sprinkles for when I am feeling fun, a variety of nuts and seeds (unsalted), whole grain pasta, wild rice, and brown rice. 

Finally, there are my protein supplements. I use these all the time in baking and shakes. The casein I eat before bed time because casein is a slow releasing protein that will help rebuild muscles over night while you are sleeping. In contrast is whey protein, which is quick releasing and is used for pre/post working out. I use the whey more for cooking goodies like brownies and pancakes. 

Overall, keeping a well stocked kitchen will do wonders in helping you stay on track. If you have things to reach for that are healthy and still go for the sugar filled pop tarts or candy, then you need to take a second before sticking those things in your mouth, put them back and be creative! Make something! A lot of times I will throw things together and they end up really delicious and I like them so much more than eating something that I know will make me feel sick or guilty later.
Learn to experiment. Do not be afraid of trying new things. If you eat the same things over and over, I guarantee that you will fall off the wagon. I used to have a very limited taste in terms of what I would eat. I was so picky and most of the things I would eat were unhealthy. Your taste buds will evolve through clean eating. I eat things now that I never would have imagined eating 9 months ago. Keep it exciting, keep it clean

I really hope this entry sheds some light on clean eating and helps anyone who is struggling trying to figure out what to keep in the kitchen. I want to see what you keep in your kitchen! If you have an instagram, tag your photo with @megameows and #cleaneatingkitchen!

I decided to experiment myself tonight! I had a bunch of fresh local grown green beans that needed to be eaten. I really wanted to try some breaded green beans, but wasn't sure what route to go. I thought to myself, green beans would probably taste really good if they were on the sweet side.  BOOM! Idea: Sweet Coconut Flour Green Beans! These were the perfect side I was looking for!

 What you need:
  • fresh green beans (about 2-3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 3 large egg whites
  •  a bit of fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 packets raw stevia
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Prep your green beans by washing them and taking off the end with the stems. If you want, you can take off both ends. Sometimes I do that because the ends are a little tough. Boil the green beans on the stove covered for about 5-8 minutes.They will cook more in the oven so it won't matter that they are still a little firm. Once cooked, drain the beans well. Put the 3 egg whites in a large bowl with some fresh ground black pepper. Pour the beans into the egg and coat them well. Put the beans onto a baking dish (by hand, don't pour them with the excess egg) sprayed with non-stick spray or coconut oil. In a separate bowl mix two tablespoons of coconut flour and a packet of raw stevia. Pour the flour and stevia mixture over the beans, coating them. You can toss them around so that the ones underneath can get coated as well.  Before putting them in the oven, I put another packet of stevia on top. I baked the beans for about 25-30 minutes, taking them out after 10-15 to mix them up to make sure they all cook evenly. This recipe is super simple and you really don't need many ingredients. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. My 12 year old cousin even liked them! I let him try some and he asked for more! Kid approved!

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