We have compiled an amazing list of our favorite healthy ingredient swaps to make our favorite foods a little lighter. Below are our 20 suggestions that you can implement into your cooking and baking. First I will list your favorite item in cooking and then give a suggestion on how you can cut the calories just by trading the item for something else. The top picks are awesome, we recommend you give them a try!
The Best Healthy Ingredients Swaps for Cooking
1. Beef for Turkey – You can switch ground beef for ground turkey and cut your calories considerably. It can also help you reduce fats from your protein serving.
2. Sugar for Applesauce – I know what you might be thinking, “What can you possibly replace that will equal sugar?” It is so good! Yes, it is so good to the taste buds but do you realize that one cup of sugar has 387 calories! That is a ton! Id you can trade that for ½ cup of applesauce then you will only be putting in 50 calories to your food, That is about ⅛ of the calories. Such a difference.
3. Butter for Applesauce – Trust me, you can also use unsweetened applesauce for a recipe that calls for oil or butter. I know they sound different but when baking it can be a great substitute. Test it out the next time you make banana bread. It makes it really moist too.
4. Butter for Avocado – Avocado has a great spreadable texture and is a great substitute for butter in baking recipes. Healthy fats are always a better idea than saturated fat.
5. Flour white/wheat for Almond Flour – his is the hardest for people to give up! It seems like it is in everything, especially in recipes when trying to bake. A wonderful item that a lot of stores are carrying now is Almond flour. Regular white flour has about 228 calories in ½ cup and 1/4 cup of almond flour has 160 calories and it has a ton of omega 3 healthy fats in it.
6. Peanut butter for PB2 – This is a staple food for many peoples diets. I know it is for mine! It’s like a huge treat! A great way to reduce the calories is to trade your regular jar of peanut butter for PB2. Regular Jiffy peanut butter has 190 calories in 2 tablespoons. PB2 has only 45 calories per 2 tablespoons. that is only ¼ of the calories. That’s amazing!
7. Sugar for Stevia – sweetener is lower in calories and a lot sweeter than sugar. For example, ½ cup of regular white sugar is about 372 calories. With Stevia, it is ⅓ of that, about 124 calories per ½ cup. Or think of it this way when comparing the amount of sweetness in the flavor, for every 3 spoons of sugar you only need one spoon of Stevia.
8. Pasta for Spaghetti Squash – One of the best tasting carbohydrates there is. I love pasta! But I know I always go over my calorie , limit with just a small serving. A great substitute for the pasta is Spaghetti Squash. If you roast the squash and then dig out the inside that looks like noodles, voila! Pasta dinner is served!
9. Pasta for Zucchini – Another great substitute for Pasta is zucchini. How? Simply make strips or ribbon like noodles from the zucchini and steam it or state it in a pan. One zucchini only has 33 calories in a medium size.
10. Chocolate chips for Cacao Nibs – I love grabbing a handful of frozen chocolate chips from the freezer. I even put them inside raspberries. But they are high in sugar and calories..bummer! Try switching the with Cacao nibs! These cocao nibs are free of additives and added sugar that chocolate chips have in them. They are full of rich antioxidants also!
11. Cream for skim milk – Cream can make anything taste better when cooking. However it fills the food with fat calories. Try using evaporated skim milk instead. You can get the texture without adding too many more calories to your mix.
12. Rice for Quinoa – there are so many good recipes that have rice in them. You can still make the recipe just exchange the rice with Quinoa. Quinoa is an ancient grain that is so good for your body. It even has protein in it. Try it!
13. Potatoes for Cauliflower – Potatoes are a staple food in my house, but they are so high in starch and carbs! A great food I have found to substitute for potatoes in Cauliflower. You can roast it, bake, or mash it and make great side dishes!
14. Tortillas for Butter Lettuce Leaves -Another carb filled goodness pierce of food. How can this one ever be replaced? Simply it can’t be replaced but a good low calories substitute would be lettuce wraps. A dramatic change in the calorie content when having tacos.
15. Bread crumbs for fiber cereal – Making meatloaf is enhanced by adding breadcrumbs to the mix. A great way to lower the calories is to substitute the bread crumbs with a fiber cereal (like bran flakes). It is a win win you get less calories and more fiber.
16. Oil for mashed bananas – Most recipes ask for oil in the ingredients and that helps with the dough and how the item cooks in the oven. A great substitute for this ingredient that adds flavor and nutrients is Mashed bananas. Bananas are full of vitamins, potassium and fiber. This is a good way to reduce y9our calories and get more vitamins into your baking.
17. Whole eggs for egg beaters – Eggs are an important ingredient in recipes and they are so good by themselves. A great way to get more protein without added fat calories is to trade egg beaters (just egg whites basically) for the whole eggs that have the yolk in them. One yolk is full of fats and cholesterol. Egg beaters eliminate the yolk and just give you the rich protein.
18. Iceberg lettuce for dark greens -I feel like every fridge had a head of iceberg lettuce in it. Key points to know: It is man made and has 0 nutritional value even though it is green and crunchy. However, the darker green it is the more nutrients it has. Romain has a similar texture, its crunchy and tastes wonderful. Some other healthy options from the produce section would be : Spinach leaves, red romaine, or kale
19. Sour cream for Greek Yogurt – No taco or casserole is complete without sour cream. So what makes your food taste great without using sour cream? A great item to trade for sour cream would be Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is rich in protein and has half the calories. If you do not like greek yogurt you can try low-fat cottage cheese which also has a lot more protein and less fat calories.