Healthy Recipe Swaps

You can transform your favorite dishes to a healthier alternative without sacrificing flavor. In general, you can modify your recipes in 3 different ways:

  1. 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



  1. 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.


  1. 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”

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