Sometimes it can be hard when you’re trying to reach your goals and you feel like you can’t enjoy some of your favorite unhealthy meals or treats anymore. Well, most of the time there is a solution! There is almost always a way to swap out some ingredients to still enjoy your all-time favorites. Here are 10 EASY healthy ingredient swaps to help you stay on track!
Coconut Sugar for White/Brown Sugar – Coconut sugar has very quickly become one of my favorite healthy baking substitutions. I love it because it has a much lower glycemic index than regular sugar AND a tons of healthy nutrients. Coconut sugar is so simple to sub for sugar because the consistency is the same (unlike with honey or maple syrup sometimes) and it’s an easy 1:1 ratio to switch out. But just be aware, coconut sugar has a flavor more similar to brown sugar with a somewhat caramel taste, so keep that in mind. Your end product may taste a little bit Different but it’s easy to get used to. I love using it in Chocolate or Peanut Butter Cookies!
Almond Flour or Oat Flour for White Flour – I love both almond flour AND oat flour, and oat flour is one of my many healthy pantry staples. I rarely ever use regular flour anymore, because there are so many more nutrients and health benefits from oat flour and almond flour than bleached refined flour. Sometimes I will use just one or the other when subbing out regular flour, or sometimes I will mix half and half. I love making Pumpkin Oat Waffles with oat flour, or Banana Nut Muffins with almond flour. This is another easy 1:1 ratio swap!
2 Egg Whites for 1 Whole Egg – This seems pretty obvious, but I thought I should mention it. You can sub egg whites for eggs in your traditional breakfast easily enough, but somethings you may not have though of things such as an Egg White Quiche or even in baking to lighten things up a bit. Just keep in mind, when it comes to baking, sometimes it’s a good idea to use at least 1 egg WITH the yolk and sub the rest of the eggs with 2 egg whites, as the yolk can help prevent you baked good from feeling spongy.
Ezekiel Bread for Regular Bread – Ezekiel Bread is the BEST thing to happen since…sliced bread…actually I’m almost positive Ezekiel Bread came first…but you know what I mean! Ezekiel Bread is bread made from ancient grains such as barley, beans, lentils and millet. The original creation dates back thousands and thousands of years to the Jewish prophet Ezekiel. Because this bread is made from lentil, legumes, and other grains it contains more nutrients than regular bread AND is much higher in protein with less carbs than bread. When you buy Ezekiel bread you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see only about 8 ingredients in it (far less than most bread you buy in the grocery store!) I love using Ezekiel bread for French Toast or sandwiches, and even using Ezekiel wraps as a Skinny Pizza crust!
Greek Yogurt for Mayo, Sour Cream, Cream Cheese & Oils – If you haven’t been able to tell by now, I’m deeply in love with Greek yogurt. It’s only of my healthy fridge staples and one of my favorite ingredient swaps. Greek hurt can my used in place of SO MANY things! Not only does is bring the fat content down in the recipe you swap it for, but it also adds a TON of protein! BOO-yah! Double duty! I lover using greek yogurt in place of may in things like tuna, egg, and chicken salads, or I will use it in Fish Tacos or any Mexican dish in place of sour cream. I also LOVE adding Greek yogurt to my baking recipes to really cut down on the fat like in the BEST Low-Fat Cheesecake ever! For mayo, sour cream, and cream cheese the ratio to sub Greek yogurt for it would be a 1:1 ratio. If you wanted to replace any oils in your baking with Greek yogurt you would use 3/4 cup Greek yogurt per 1 cup oil.
Bananas or Applesauce for Oil – To reallyyyyy cut down on the fat and calories in baked goods you can substitute the oils or fats with mashed ripe bananas or unsweetened apple sauce. Both help your baked treats stay moist and dense but can save hundreds of calories! In muffins, cakes, or dessert of breakfast breads it’s an easy switch by substituting 1 cup of mashed banana or applesauce for 1 cup of oil. I like adding bananas in these grain-free Almond Butter Brownies and these Banana Nut Muffins to cut down on the oils and add some sweetness too!
Coconut Oil for Butter – This is another one of my favorites. I almost always sub coconut oil for butter when making and testing recipes. I love using coconut oil whenever possible because of the added nutritional benefits. Coconut oil can aid in weight loss because it is composed of medium chai fatty acids, which are easier to digest and convert to energy than butter. Coconut oil can also regulate blood sugar and strength your immune system. It’s another easy switch with a 1:1 ratio. Just make sure that when a recipes calls for solid coconut oil to allow it to cool in the fridge for bit.
Ground Turkey for Ground Beef – I love using extra lean ground turkey in recipes that call for ground beef for a simple swap that you don’t even have to think about. It’s an easy way to save up to 11 grams of fat and 100 calories per serving! Recipes like Shepherds Pie or tacos are a great way to try this swap.
Zucchini/Spaghetti Squash for Pasta – This is one of my newest favorite ways to enjoy a low carb meal! I was lucky enough to get a spiralizer for Christmas (yes, I ask for cooking gadgets as gifts!) and LOVE zucchini pasta. I will have to post a recipe for you soon…but it’s simple enough to make the switch and the best part is there’s no need to worry about going over board with how much veggie pasta you have. You can’t have allllll you want! 😉
Spices for Salt – I’ve talk about this before, but spices add tons of flavor to your cooking without adding any sodium. Spices are really great to add variety to you dishes and even help you burn more fat!
What’s your favorite healthy swap? I’d love to hear more ideas!