One of my favorite challenges when it comes to cooking is taking any recipe and creating a healthy, nutrient-dense version that tastes yummy! While every recipe is a little different, here are a few swap suggestions that you can make when baking to help “healthify” your meals:

Instead of white flour, try one of these:

  • Coconut Flour (great for you but does have a coconut taste)
    • purchased at any grocery store including Walmart, Smiths, etc.
  • Almond Flour (also great for you, but absorbs moisture quickly … so I usually add a little less in my recipes or add more wet ingredients)
    • purchased at any grocery store including Walmart, Smiths, etc.
  • Oat Flour (this has become a favorite in my kitchen and can be made from simply blending rolled oats in your blender, makes an even swap in any recipe)

All of the above are staples in my pantry. The only other flour I sometimes use is Pillsbury’s Gluten Free Flour mix. It is a mixture of Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Pea Fiber, Tapioca Starch, and Xanthan Gum (all flours I have used in the past). My only caution with using this flour is it is high in carbs, where the other flours listed above are not as high. If you are eating a keto or paleo diet or are working to reverse diabetes and/or lower your sugars, you will want to stick to coconut and almond flour.

Instead of white sugar, try one of these:

  • Monk Fruit Sweetener (100x sweeter than sugar but is actually good for you and my all time favorite sugar swap)
    • purchased at some health food stores, but easier to find on Amazon or Thrive
  • Coconut Sugar (Also has health benefits, but sometimes I don’t love its taste in some recipes. I usually swap it for brown sugar instead of white sugars)
    • purchased at any grocery store including Walmart, Smiths, etc.
  • Honey (You only want to buy RAW honey which has many health benefits. I usually do a 2:1 ratio swap, so if the recipe calls for 1 Cup sugar, I do 1/2 Cup honey.)
  • Applesauce (I don’t use this often, but sometimes a sugar free/organic applesauce does the trick in a recipe – you just need to take in account it’s wetness and add more dry ingredients to balance it out.)
  • Stevia (I am not a big fan of the taste of stevia but still use it in some of my recipes. Typically I substitute 1 tsp. for 1 Cup of sugar because it is so much sweeter.)

Instead of butter or shortening, try one of these:

  • Coconut Oil (this has amazing benefits, is a great swap for any liquid oil and is also dairy free)
    • purchased at any grocery store including Walmart, Smiths, etc.
  • Grass-Fed Butter (If you are a butter fan, I strongly encourage you to switch to a cleaner source. This brand (Kerry Gold) you can purchase at any grocery store, and it is full of healthy fats that will keep you filling fuller longer. This is especially useful if you are eating a paleo or keto diet.)
  • Ghee (This is a great swap that many individuals use who have difficulty tolerating dairy products. I don’t usually bake with it, but will cook with it in stove top or oven recipes.)
    • purchased at health food stores or online at Amazon or Thrive

Instead of white rice, try one of these:

  • Quinoa (The taste of this is not my favorite, but it contains every amino acid in the book, so if you can think of ways to get creative with it, go for it. I often use this in place of oats in my oatmeal, as a side with dinner, or a stuffing in something like meatloaf, stuffed peppers, etc.)
    • purchased at any grocery store including Walmart, Smiths, etc.
  • Wild Rice (White rice is essentially stripped of all it’s nutritional content, but wild rice has many health benefits and is slower to be absorbed in your bloodstream than other carbohydrate sources. So, if you have to have rice, go wild!)
    • purchased at most grocery stores or online at Amazon
  • Shiritaki Rice (These are calorie free, but hold a lot of water so they are filling, satisfying and essentially have no flavor. I LOVE cooking with these in place of rice, spaghetti noodles, fettuccine, etc.)
    • purchased at higher end grocery stores, health food stores or on Amazon

Instead of pasta, try one of these:

  • Shiritaki Noodles (These are calorie free, but hold a lot of water so they are filling, satisfying and essentially have no flavor. I LOVE cooking with these in place of rice, spaghetti noodles, fettuccine, etc.)
    • purchased at higher end grocery stores, health food stores or on Amazon
  • Cappello’s Pasta (This pasta is almond flour based so it is higher fat/protein and low carb. It cooks and tastes amazing, but is also expensive. I use this occasionally in my lasagna or fettuccine.)
    • Purchased at Whole Foods Stores (typically $10 per box) or Amazon in bulk
  • Egg Plant (There are many health benefits to this vegetable and I love to use it in place of noodles in my lasagna).

 

There are a few of my favorite swaps! Send me questions here if you have any!