You can transform your favorite dishes to a healthier alternative without sacrificing flavor. In general, you can modify your recipes in 3 different ways:
- Swap ingredients:
|In place of:||Use:||When:||How:||Benefits:|
|Bacon||Prosciutto, pancetta or Canadian bacon||Mixed dishes||Replace 1:1 ratio||Higher quality meat|
|Bread crumbs||Rolled oats||Mixed dishes||Season with dried herbs||Higher in fiber|
|Butter||Applesauce||Baking loafs, cakes and muffins||Replace half the fat, so for 1 C of butter/oil use ½ cup butter + ½ C applesauce||Reduce fat by 50%, vegan|
|Butter||Avocado puree||Baking, particularly chocolate-flavored recipes||1:1 ratio||Replace saturated fats for healthy fats, vegan|
|Butter||Avocado oil||Sautéing||1:1 ratio||Replace saturated fats for healthy fats, vegan|
|Butter||Prune puree||Dark baked goods||1:1 ratio, ¾ C prunes with ¼ C boiling water and puree||Lower in fat, higher in fiber, vegan|
|Butter||Chia seed gel||Baking||Mix ½ C and 1 Tbsp of water + 1 Tbsp of chia seeds, let stand for 15 min and replace with half the fat||Reduce fat by 50%, replace with healthy fiats, higher in fiber, vegan|
|Chocolate||Cocoa powder||Baking||3 Tbsp cocoa powder and 1 Tbsp for each 1 oz chocolate||Reduce refined sugar and saturated fat|
|Cold cereal||Oatmeal or quinoa||Breakfast or snack||Cook with dairy alternative and add your favorite fruit, nuts and seeds||Higher in protein, lower in added sugar, gluten-free, high-fiber|
|Cream cheese||Almond-based cream cheese or low-fat ricotta||Mixed dishes||Replace 1:1 ratio||Reduce saturated fat|
|Croutons||Nuts or seeds||Salad||Lightly toasted almonds, pecans, pepitas or walnuts||Carb-free, higher in protein, fiber and healthy fats|
|Eggs||Chia seed gel||Baking||Mix 3 Tbsp of water + 1 Tbsp of chia seeds. Let stand for 15 min to replace 1 large egg||Reduce saturated fat, vegan, high in fiber|
|Ground beef||Ground turkey breast||Mixed dishes||Replace 1:1 ratio||Reduce saturated fat|
|Heavy cream||Canned coconut milk||Soups and stews||1:1 ratio||Vegan, dairy-free, SCD, Paleo|
|Jelly||Pureed fruit||Sprouted wheat or gluten-free bread||Replace 1:1, optional can mix on stove top with stevia||Reduced refined sugar|
|Juice||Soda water||As a mixer||Mix liquor with soda water and a slice of fruit or just a splash of juice||Reduce added sugar and total calories|
|Mayonnaise||Mashed avocado||Mixed dishes||Replace 1:1 ratio||Replace with healthy fats, higher in fiber|
|Mayonnaise||Greek yogurt, plain, fat-free||Mixed dishes||Replace 1:1, you can add ½ tsp of EVOO for extra taste||Reduced saturated fat, higher in calcium and probiotics|
|Parmesan cheese||Nutritional yeast||Dish topping or popcorn flavor||1:1 ratio||Vegan, dairy-free, nutrient rich|
|Pasta||Veggie noodles||Pasta dishes||Replace with strips made of zucchini, spaghetti squash (lower in carb), beets or carrots||Low carb, high fiber, gluten-free, SCD-friendly, Paleo|
|Pasta||Quinoa, lentil or edamame pasta||Pasta dishes||Replace 1:1 ratio||Higher in fiber and protein, gluten-free|
|Rice||Riced cauliflower||Mixed dishes||Grate cauliflower and microwave or steam for 5 minutes||Low-carb, high fiber, SCD, Paleo|
|Sour cream||Greek yogurt, plain, fat-free||Mixed dishes||Replace 1:1 ratio||Reduced saturated fat, added probiotics|
|Sugar||Unsweetened applesauce||Baking||Replace on 1:1 ratio but reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by ¼ cup||Reduced added sugar, higher in fiber|
|Sugar||Vanilla extract||Baking||Reduce 2 Tbsp of sugar and add an extra ½ tsp of vanilla extract||Reduce added sugar by 50%|
|Tortilla wraps||Lettuce wraps||Tacos or wraps||Replace tortillas with Romaine lettuce leaves or collard greens||Low carb, high fiber, gluten-free, SCD-friendly, Paleo|
|White flour||Cooked, drained & rinsed black beans||Baking, particularly chocolate-flavored recipes||Replace 1 cup of flour for 1 cup of black bean puree||Gluten-free, higher in fiber and protein|
|White flour||Gluten-free flour||Baking, thickening sauces or breading||1:1 ratio, depending on the brand. You may need to add 1 tsp of xanthan gum per cup of flour to improve consistency||Gluten-free|
- Modify food preparation
- Add shredded vegetables or pureed beans to pasta sauce and mashed potatoes.
- Sauté́ vegetables in vegetable broth, juice, water or oil spray instead of tablespoons of butter or oil.
- Broil, grill, roast, braise, stew, steam, poach or microwave instead of fry.
- Skim fat on stews and gravies. Chill or freeze stock and remove fat before cooking.
- Eat potatoes with skin to increase fiber content.
- Skip salt in cooking water, use plain water.
- Bake potatoes, chicken and other dishes instead of frying. Dip in egg whites, coat with seasoned rolled oats and bake on vegetable oil-sprayed pan.
- Trim visible fat from meat and poultry.
- Reduce serving sizes
- Include at least ½ of your plate with green, leafy veggies, ¼ of your plate make it lean-meat and the remaining ¼ plate whole-grains.
- It’s OK to enjoy your favorite food, mindfully. Follow the 3-bite rule “Amazing first taste, satisfying middle one and a lingering third bite”