All of the healthy 30 minute meals listed below are fast and easy to whip together. It can get difficult to stick with healthy, homemade meals and clean eating when days get hectic and over-scheduled. Luckily, ‘healthy’ and ‘homemade’ do not have to mean time-consuming! Healthy 30 minutes meals are the best of both worlds. Easy, fast, and simple. And healthy, clean, wholesome, and homemade too!
In terms of creating the most all-natural, "clean eating," healthy 30 minute meals, here are the three main categories to focus on:
USDA Certified Organic Ingredients – any company can include labels like “all natural,” “healthy natural,” “garden fresh,” or “farm raised” on their foods, even when they’re actually filled with artificial flavors, preservatives, ingredients that have been genetically altered, you name it! So instead of paying attention to any claims on labels, look for the round, green USDA Organic label on foods. The US Department of Agriculture has established a set of standards (no synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or genetically modified organisms allowed), and a company must comply with these standards in order to use the certified organic label.
Clean, Whole Ingredients – shopping for foods by reading claims on labels can be extremely confusing. You may wonder, “Is this food really healthy? And how can I know for sure?” Eliminate all of the confusion by ignoring claims on labels and instead, look straight at the ingredients list. Skip foods (even ones with healthy claims on labels) that have long lists of chemistry experiment-sounding ingredients. Instead, focus on buying real, whole ingredients, foods you're certain are natural and fresh. These are the basics, items with just one single ingredient, things like fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, whole wheat flour, fresh herbs, spices, etc., etc. And, for packaged items (including things like peanut butter, cheese, applesauce, yogurt, roasted nuts or seeds, pretzels, etc., etc.), look for foods with just seven or less recognizable items included on the ingredients list.
Plant-Based Ingredients – since they’re loaded with the healthy antioxidants and nutrients that keep a body strong and vibrant, focus on including as many fresh fruit and vegetable ingredients as possible. Bonus: fruits and veggies are always cholesterol-free and nearly always very low in saturated fat. For finicky eaters, try sneaking in veggies where no one will notice (such as cauliflower puree cheese sauce). Or really make them the star of the show by adding lots of interesting flavors and spices. (Note: no bland, steamed, mushy vegetables will ever be found on The Scrumptious Pumpkin!)