Healthy Ingredient Substitutions

HEALTHY INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to skimp on flavor or eliminate your favorite foods. Swapping out healthier ingredients when possible, can really make a difference over time. Here are some healthy ingredient substitutions that are simple ways to cut down on calories and fat while keeping (or adding) flavor and even boosting health benefits.

UNSWEETENED APPLESAUCE FOR OIL (BAKED GOODS)

This works well in any sweet bread, like banana or zucchini, muffins, cake mixes, etc. Swap out half the oil (i.e., 1 cup of oil would use 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup applesauce). If you can’t tell the difference, try swapping a bit more of the oil next time around.

APPLESAUCE AND BUTTERMILK FOR BUTTER (BAKED GOODS)

When your recipe calls for oil, butter, or margarine, use half applesauce and half buttermilk instead. Tip: Use a standard liquid measuring cup and add the applesauce with the liquid ingredients. Avoid overbaking; lower-fat recipes tend to dry out when overbaked.

BABY PRUNES FOR BUTTER (IDEAL FOR BROWNIES AND DARK BAKED GOODS)

To cut out more than half the fat and calories, when your recipe calls for butter, margarine, or oil use an equal amount of pureed baby prunes instead.

CHIA SEEDS OR HEALTHY NUTS FOR BREADCRUMBS

Swap an equal amount of chia seeds for breadcrumbs since chia seeds have 19 times more fiber, twice as much protein and thirty five times less sodium. In small amounts, you can also use healthy nuts for “breading,” which will provide the good fats needed in your diet.

FAT-FREE RICOTTA CHEESE FOR CREAM CHEESE

When your recipe calls for cream cheese use an equal amount of fat-free ricotta cheese instead. Fat-free ricotta cheese has fewer calories than cream cheese (21 versus 50) and obviously less fat.

BANANAS FOR SUGAR

Bananas can be substituted for 1 cup of sugar in your recipes. Combine 1 cup mashed, overripe bananas with just a few tablespoons water; puree until smooth, adding water as needed to get a smooth consistency.

EVAPORATED SKIM MILK FOR CREAM

It’s the same consistency with a fraction of the fat. This substitute is an even swap, too (1 cup cream = 1 cup evaporated milk).

NON-FAT GREEK YOGURT FOR MAYONNAISE OR SOUR CREAM

Non-fat Greek yogurt has a similar consistency, more protein and far less calories and fat than mayo or sour cream. Make an equal swap and enjoy the added health benefits!

We used some of these healthy ingredient substitutions to make healthier versions of these tasty tuna meltscreamy spinach enchiladas and even a very tasty cashew “fried” chicken. Making these simple swaps regularly will pay off in the long run. Enjoy!