Deciding to remove or limit processed foods is one of the best choices anyone can make to clean up their diet in a quick and efficient way. It’s also interesting to note that a large part of processed foods in the Standard American Diet (SAD) contain animal products, unhealthy oils, and a variety of additives and chemicals. Just removing foods with these ingredients alone is enough to turn a person’s health around. Still, we’re all human, so what do you do when you get to craving a condiment, dressing, or another topping in your food that you know isn’t good for you, but you just can’t help yourself? Whipped cream, creamy dressings, dips, and a few others may come to mind.The simple way to satisfy these cravings isn’t to try to ignore them, but to simply replace them with better options. Luckily, that’s really simple to do with some healthy, plant-based foods.

Let’s take a look at some of the easiest ways to replace unhealthy dressings and condiments with clean, and yes—totally vegan—options!

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1. Swap out Cheese Dip With Nooch Dip

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Nutritional yeast tastes just like cheddar cheese and though it’s in a flake form, it can easily be combined with mild, creamy, yet tasteless, blended cashews or even hemp seeds to make a cheesy dip that’s just delicious. Blend 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast with 1/4 cup soaked cashews (or 1/4 raw hemp seeds) for an instantly cheesy spread that will nix those cravings fast! Dip raw veggies in this yummy dip or use it as a natural salad dressing, your choice!

2. Swap Dairy Ranch With Tahini Ranch

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Tahini is truly a food to love; consider it almost impossible to use this dip and not be satisfied. Tahini is rich in calcium and protein so it’s satisfying and filling and also lowers your blood pressure. Flavor-wise, it’s packed with a creamy, fatty texture with no animal-based saturated fats and can be blended with anything savory to make a tasty dip or dressing. Blend 1/2 cup raw tahini (which is milder than roasted and more nutritious) with 1/2 a garlic clove, the juice from one lemon, 1/2 tsp. dried parsley, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, 1/8 tsp. pink or another sea salt, and 1/16th. teaspoon (a dash) of onion powder. If you want your dressing thinner which will also lower the calories, you can add 2 tbsp. water to the blend too. Use this on salads or anywhere else you like to use ranch dressing.

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3. Swap French Onion Dip With Cashew Garlic Onion Dip

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Once again, it’s easy to use cashews to replace your favorite dips. They’re fatty, satisfying, rich in iron and magnesium to support your energy levels, and they’re also mild in flavor so you can add whatever ingredients to you want to them to get the desired results. Blend 1/2 cup soaked raw cashews with 1 tsp. onion powder, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder or 1/2 a garlic clove, black pepper and pink or sea salt to taste, and 1/2 a full drop of liquid stevia. Normal French onion dip is packed with dairy, unhealthy sugars, and maltodextrin (which is an additive normally made with GMO corn to add sweetness and fill out the product), unhealthy gums, and tons of refined salt. Skip all that and make this better version instead!

4. Swap Fake and Dairy-Based Whipped Topping With Coconut Whipped Cream

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Many whipped toppings are actually vegan. What they’re not, however, is healthy. Would you like some high-fructose corn syrup, vegetable oil, mono-diglycerides (processed, chemical-based additives), and other nasty stabilizers with your desserts? We didn’t think so—that’s not food, that’s chemicals. Instead, make a natural, simple whipped topping in literally seconds at home.

All you need to do is keep a couple of cans of full fat coconut milk in your fridge (the more processed kind in the cartons don’t work). Then, they’re ready to go anytime you want whipped cream. To make the whipped cream, just open the can and scoop out the fatty cream that’s on top. You can discard the liquid or reserve it for smoothies since it has a sweet coconut flavor. To make the cream, blend the coconut cream (totally cholesterol and chemical-free) in your blender and whip until smooth (or you can use a hand-mixer. If you use the blender, leave the small attachment in the lid off so there is a hole in the lid as you blend. That will incorporate air which whips the cream. So easy, so delicious, and totally natural. To make your cream sweetener, just add a dash of alcohol-free liquid sweetener to your cream as it’s blending for no sugar whatsoever.

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5. Swap Thousand Island Dressing for a Sun-Dried Tomato Creamy Garlic Dressing

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This dip is a favorite among many, and it’s largely just ranch dressing or mayo blended with oils and ketchup plus a few extra spices (which is how many people make it at home.) This is so simple to make vegan and healthier too. All you do is blend either 1/2 cup raw cashews or 1/2 cup tahini with 5-6 soaked sun-dried tomatoes, 2-3 drops liquid stevia or a date, a touch of garlic powder or 1 garlic clove, and some black pepper. If you’d like it more tomato-based, feel free to add more sun-dried tomatoes which pack in tons of flavor, or even 1 tsp. tomato paste. There are many vegan thousand island dressings out there, but many contain soy-based oils or cheaper ingredients. Make your own at home for more satisfaction, and certainly a better flavor.

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There are many more ways to veganize your meals by simply using hot sauce, mustard, tamari, Bragg’s amino acid flavoring, coconut amino acids, apple cider vinegar or coconut vinegar, salsa (not salsa con queso), and nutritional yeast. All of these are vegan, contain minimal ingredients, are oil-free, and can be used alone or combined to make delicious toppings and dressings of all kind.

So now, you tell us … how have you made a favorite dressing or condiment of yours vegan and healthier?

Lead Image Source: Raw Gado Gado Dressing