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Easy & Healthy Food Substitutions

Food substitutions can make your meals much more nutritious. It isn’t difficult, as long as you follow a few basic guidelines.

Food Substitutions – Flavor vs. Nutrition

Radishes mimic potatoes when cooked.
Radishes look and taste just like potatoes when they’re cooked.

I’ve always enjoyed a variety of flavors, so I learned to cook at a very early age. My mother always had a full-time job, so I didn’t have much of a choice. If I wanted something to eat, it was up to me to fix it.

Early in my life, I wasn’t concerned about nutrition. All I thought about was how good it tasted. That’s still something I think about, but it’s just a small part of the whole meal plan.

As a foodie, I look for a combination of things in my recipes, including flavor, appearance, and nutrition. Above all, the final result needs to be at least as good as the original recipe.

Applesauce is an excellent substitute for all or all of the oils in most dessert recipes.

Improve Nutrition with Food Substitutions

  • Radishes: Did you know that radishes will look and taste just like small potatoes after they’re cooked in a slow cooker all day? This makes them ideal for pot roast.
  • Yogurt: When preparing anything that requires sour cream, you can substitute yogurt (either Greek or regular). This makes it lower calorie, and it’s just as delicious.
  • Applesauce: One of my favorite substitutes for baked foods is applesauce in place of butter or oil. It adds some sweetness while it decreases the amount of fat in the recipe.
  • Gluten-free flour + xanthan gum: If you have to avoid foods with gluten, but you want a pie, cake, or cookies, use gluten-free flour and a teaspoon of xanthan gum instead of wheat flour.
  • Zucchini noodles (aka zoodles): Add another veggie to your daily menu by topping zoodles instead of pasta. It’s easy to make with a spiral slicer, or you can buy it frozen. You can steam it or sauté it with a little olive oil.
  • Large lettuce leaves: If you enjoy wraps, skip the bread and use lettuce leaves instead. You’ll love the extra crunch.
  • Cauliflower: Mashed potato lovers won’t know the difference if you mash steamed cauliflower, doctor it up with butter, milk, and salt, and serve it instead of the spuds. If you’re not sure, you can do half cauliflower and half potato.
Food substitutions that make the food more nutritious
Plain yogurt tastes just like sour cream in most recipes. You can even use it on baked potatoes.

Food Substitutions – Not All or Nothing

When you substitute an ingredient, you can do half original and half substitution. If you’re not sure, start out with even less of the substitute and gradually work your way up.

You can make food substitutions, such as swapping out radishes for potatoes with pot roast.
Substitute radishes for potatoes with pot roast.

Nutritious Meals

If you enjoy salads and shrimp cocktails, why not combine the two? This delicious combination makes a complete meal: Shrimp Cocktail Salad.

Nutritious Desserts to Try

You don’t have to give up nutritional value to enjoy dessert. Here are some fruity desserts you’ll love: Healthy Fruit Desserts.

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