Eating smart and clean shouldn’t be so hard. Yet sometimes, I feel like I need a degree in molecular biology or chemistry to understand food labels! Once upon a time (like way back in Little House days) food was food. What you saw was what you got. Lettuce was lettuce. Berries were berries. Nuts were nuts. It sounds like such a simple concept, right? Yet somewhere along the line, everything got complicated. People decided that lettuce should be greener, strawberries redder, nuts nuttier. We stopped being satisfied with what nature had to offer, so things like artificial colors and flavors entered the fruit and veggie scene.
It’s crazy how the things that you think are “clean” are actually gunked up with weird stuff. One day not so long ago, I was cutting up some particularly beautifully red strawberries for a snack. As I washed and dried the berries, I noticed a waxy red color all over the paper towel. I realized that my supposedly all-natural snack turned out to be coated with a substance of questionable origins, just so shoppers would think “wow, those strawberries are beautiful!” Ick, right?
That experience made me want to learn more about how to actually eat smarter (and cleaner). I’m not going to lie, I’m not a health food fanatic. I still buy (and enjoy) things that don’t exactly scream “health food!” The thing is, when I buy those things, I KNOW up front that it’s processed and has artificial colors and preservatives. When I’m trying to buy something healthy, though, I expect it to actually BE healthy…with clean, simple and pure ingredients. It amazes me that this has become so complicated!
Healthy & Clean Eating Made Easy with Eat Smart Salad Kits
agrees that healthy, clean eating shouldn’t require a degree! They are the first brand in their category to fully commit to both clean ingredients AND clean labeling! All of their products will contain a “100% Clean Label” by the end of 2018. What does that mean? By the end of next year, ALL of the Eat Smart products will be free from:
- High fructose corn syrup
- Artificial preservatives
- Artificial colors and flavors
- Hydrogenated fats
- Artificial sweeteners
Beyond that, they’re making the label super easy to read and understand. Basically, you’ll actually recognize the ingredients without needing a chemistry degree. Right now, nearly 90% of Eat Smart products already contain that clean label, including two of their most popular products: Vegetable Salad Kits and their recently launched Salad Shake Ups.
We got to try out their selection of salad kits and Salad Shake Ups. My husband and mom are both HUGE salad eaters. While my mom leans more towards traditional salads, Rich will eat just about anything in his salad.
The gourmet salad kits with a Clean Label come in three flavors:
- Sweet Kale: A mix of kale, green cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, chicory, roasted pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries, with a poppyseed dressing. The dressing is my favorite, I love poppyseed!
- Strawberry Harvest: kale, beet greens, broccoli stalk, carrots, red cabbage, crispy quinoa, almonds, plus feta cheese and a strawberry vinaigrette. I love the combination of feta with the strawberry vinaigrette. It’s kind of like earthy meets sweet.
- Sunflower Kale: broccoli, green cabbage, kale, chicory, dried cranberries, roasted sunflower seeds and a honey dijon dressing. If you prefer a more traditional “house salad” mix, this is the one to start with.
Each bag is packed with nutrient-rich and wholesome fruits, veggies and other yummy superfoods. They’re delicious right out of the bag. Since each flavor comes with its own packet of gourmet dressing, you don’t have to buy anything else to make the perfect salad. Just pour into a bowl, add your dressing and mix it up.
The Salad Shake Ups were my favorite! Not only do they come with a unique lockable lid that makes mixing them on the go a breeze, but the flavor and fruit/veggie combos appealed more to my picky eating habits. We tried:
- Raspberry Acai, vegetables and dried fruits with a hemp, flax, and chia seeds and a tangy raspberry acai dressing. If, like me, you’re more of a fruit person than a veggie person, this is the one to try first. It’s still loaded with veggies, but the fruits balance them out quite beautifully.
- Tropical Lime, vegetables and dried fruits blended with an incredibly creamy and delicious coconut lime chili dressing, topped with crunchy sesame noodles to add even more fun texture and flavor
- Avocado Ranch, a crunchy blend of cabbages and vegetables, crispy toppings, and a creamy avocado ranch dressing (my mom’s favorite of the Salad Shake Ups)
Usually, mixed salads end up sitting in the crisper half eaten until they go bad, but the Eat Smart Salads were gone in the blink of an eye in my house. That’s how good they were. I’m going to need to stock up again next time I go to the grocery store!
Ready to try them for yourself? Head over to Eat Smart to learn more about all the different flavors that carry the Clean Label. It’s easy to see which are included since the label is bright, beautiful and smack-dab on the front of the package. While you’re on their site, make sure to subscribe to their monthly newsletter for special offers! It’s right there on bottom right of the website homepage, where it says “Receive Exclusive Offer.” Just scroll down, you can’t miss it.
What do you do to eat smarter and cleaner? Share your tips below!