Friday, September 7, 2012

Healthy Substitutes

Shortcuts are awesome. They make things quicker and easier...and better for me. And you. Do you have any shortcuts?

Substitutes in cooking/baking take on the same effect. They make things quicker (no extra trip to the store for 1 missing ingredient), easier and are better for you. Many of these you have probably seen before and even used in the kitchen. But I decided to list these for fun and helpfulness in the day-to-day adventures of trying to live a healthy, happy life.

For whole eggs:
Egg substitute/egg beaters
Egg whites (3 egg whites=2 eggs)
Unsweetened applesauce (1/4 applesauce=1 egg; sub in baking only)

For oil (in baking):
Applesauce (equal measurements)

For butter:
Whipped butter (1/2 the fat/calories)
Applesauce in baking
Apple butter/pumpkin butter
Cooking spray, small amount of olive oil

All-purpose white flour:
Whole wheat pastry flour (light and airy for baking)
Oat flour
White wheat flour
Spelt flour

Regular pastas:
Whole wheat pastas (at least 50% wheat flour)
Whole wheat orzo
Whole wheat couscous
Brown rice
Quinoa (key-nwaahhhh--much harder to pronounce than to prepare)

Traditional breadcrumbs:
Whole wheat breadcrumbs
Rice Krispies cereal
Corn flakes

Sucanat (sugar cane natural)
Reduce (the amount of white sugar in a recipe and pump up the flavors of vanilla, almond, peppermint, cinnamon, or nutmeg)
Fruit juice (another type of sugar, but processed a little easier by your body than white sugar)

Savory spices (rosemary, smoked paprika, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, smoked chili powder, black and white pepper, cumin)

Turkey bacon
"Veggie" sausage (Boca, Quorn, etc.)
Thinly sliced prosciutto
Thick sliced pancetta (more flavor=eating less & having my fill)

Milk from a moo cow:
Unsweetened almond milk (vanilla, chocolate, or original)
Soy milk
Hemp milk

Fat free half-and-half (some have lots of chemicals, so read the label first)
Low fat buttermilk (king of baking--can sub for cream + butter in a recipe!)
Silken tofu

I challenge you this weekend to find one of your favorite, go-to recipes and try to make it with one of these (or another) healthier substitutes. Good luck, and let me know how it goes!

Happy weekend and happiest living!

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