Junk Free Ingredient Week (Mini Challenge)

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This is junk free ingredient week – a mini-challenge that we all can take part in, to eating healthier food one bite at a time! The idea is to skip on packaged food and opt for easy to make real food at home. Are you ready?

collage of recipe without processed ingredients. homemade salad dressing, crackers, bread, cashew butter, and soups. Gluten free

Our current situation might have encouraged us to buy more processed foods (frozen meals) these days out of convenience, but what if I tell you that there’s a healthier option to actually make your favorite store-bought items and create them from scratch at home?

PLUS, it’s so easy to make, kid-friendly and they can even help you prepare them!

Before we begin!

Important: This challenge is meant to be used as an educational guide and is not tailored to one specific gender/age/weight. So, please keep that in mind. Also, I recommend finding out what your caloric needs are first, whether that be through a dietitian or an estimate HERE. After you have the information, adjust portion sizes to your needs.

For example: (ask from Lindsay)

Junk Free Ingredient Week Mini Challenge Goal

You cannot believe how easy (and fun!) it is to create your wholesome recipes at home. So, the idea is to swap out one packaged or prepared food that contains additives, preservatives, or processed vegetable oils with real delicious and healthier foods!

There are a lot of ingredients that fall on this list but we’ll just focus on what I consider as the top 5 ingredients to avoid.


  1. Soybean Oil, Safflower Oil, Palm Oil, Oils with Oleic Acid 
  2. Preservatives: Sodium Benzoate, BHA And BHT, and Sodium Nitrite.
  3. High Fructose Corn Syrup
  4. MSG
  5. Artificial food coloring


jar of olive oil being poured into bowl

Real foods using any of the following ingredients:

  1. Pure Olive oil or Extra Virgin Olive oil
  2. Grass fed/clarified butter or Ghee
  3. Avocado oil
  4. Coconut oil
  5. Natural Sweeteners (Unrefined sweeteners
  6. Vegetables for food coloring
  7. Nitrate free

Junk Free Ingredient Week Recipe Swaps

Instead of buying CHIPS, you can try these:


A healthy and flavorful gluten free side dish, appetizer, or snack! Rutabaga is a root vegetable that’s easy to bake and cook with, so making the baked chips recipe is easy, too! Super tasty, budget friendly, kid friendly, and naturally paleo and vegan.


The most delicious homemade chips you will ever taste. Trust me on this! They’re perfectly crispy, golden brown, with just a hint of salt and lime. Paired with Cranberry salsa with fresh avocado makes a delicious and healthy snack anytime! And because they’re gluten-free, I can munch away, and so can you!

Multi-seed Crackers {Paleo, Vegan}

These healthy crackers are a tasty homemade snack, and with 4 types of seeds, they’re full of nutritional benefits, too! No flour or nuts means this recipe is grain-free, paleo, and vegan. And there’s a VIDEO to show you how easy they are to make!

stack of homemade crackers made with 4 types of seeds

Instead of buying store-bought DRESSING, try:

Vegan Green Goddess Salad Dressing

It’s homemade, vegan and so easy to make! This vegan salad dressing recipe is also Paleo-friendly, low carb, made with simple healthy ingredients, and pretty much good on EVERYTHING! A staple dressing recipe you will want to make again and again!

green goddess vegan dressing- homemade

Vegan Ranch Dressing

Quick Homemade Vegan ranch dressing (aka “Rancher’s Dressing”) is a tasty dressing that can be slathered on salad, served as a veggie dip, or dunked in your favorite spicy foods. Vegan, and paleo friendly, this creamy dairy-free ranch dressing is made from blended cashews, nut milk, herbs, and oil. Super quick, super tasty!


Date Paste

Date paste is a delicious, all-natural sweetener made from nature’s candy – DATES. It’s whole30 approved, vegan and a paleo-friendly sugar substitute. This recipe is SO easy to make, too!

overhead photo of date paste in mason jar

Instead of store-bought BREAD, you can make these:

Cinnamon Almond Flour Bread {Paleo}

This simple and delicious cinnamon almond flour bread is a low sugar paleo bread recipe your whole family will love! Made with few ingredients: almond flour, flax seed, cinnamon, and eggs to name a few. A wholesome bread for breakfast or snacking.

Cinnamon Almond Flour Bread

Vegan Bread (Gluten-Free and Soy-Free)

Vegan bread is available to purchase at stores, but why read labels when you can make it at home for half the price?! This yeast bread recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free, too. Similar to a rustic Italian or French bread loaf in taste and appearance but you can make a simple sandwich bread loaf as well. Very versatile!

Homemade Vegan Bread

Instead of store-bought NUT BUTTER with extra sugar and palm oil, try my:

Cashew Butter

The Easiest Homemade Cashew Butter. This is a homemade nut butter recipe you’ll want to make over and over again!  I also like to make a variety of different flavors; like cinnamon sugar or spicy savory cashew butter. All are vegan friendly, refined sugar free, and gluten free!

Homemade Cashew Butter

Instead of store-bought INSTANT NOODLES or INSTANT SOUP, try:

Make Ahead Instant Soup Jars with Protein

These 3 recipes for Make Ahead Instant Soup Jars are made with protein-packed bone broth collagen and other REAL FOOD ingredients. Imagine that!

Healthy instant soup jars that taste delicious and are perfect for meal prep! So skip those store-bought instant soup cups with mixes loaded with sodium and artificial ingredients. Make your own nourishing protein rich lunch ready to eat in minutes! 

So, let’s get into planning! Print this Meal Plan Template PDF below.

Meal Plan Template

There you have it! I hope you had fun trying out our junk free ingredient week mini-challenge trying these wholesome foods that give the nourishment your body needs, without the additives and preservatives you see in packaged or canned foods.


If so, let us know! We have a special prize to send to those who complete it. 

If you want to see more of these junk free recipe swaps, click HERE to get these sent straight to your inbox.



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