Monday, July 25, 2011

Substitution, Please!

Health-ifying (I’m sure it’s a word) recipes can be a bit intimidating. Which I think can then lead to people just not even trying. But really, there are simple and easy switches you can make to recipes to increase their nutrients and decrease their not so good stuff. Here are some tips!


~In making main dishes like pastas, lasagna or stir-fry, add extra veggies! That will always bump up the health factor
~swap the regular pasta for whole wheat

~in a recipe that calls for mayonnaise, half what is says and stick with that, or add in a little plain greek yogurt
~full fat cream cheese? nah…opt for some pureed cottage cheese mixed with a little ricotta cheese
~opt for baking, broiling or grilling instead of frying

~instead of a load of mild flavored cheese, half what is needed and use sharp cheddar!
~if you are making a high fat gravy or sauce, make it and then chill it for a while until some of the fat rises to the top. Skim off some of the fat and then add to your dish
~Nix the top half of a chicken pot pie, and increase the veggies!
~replace iceberg lettuce with romaine, spinach or another leafy green


~replace butter with unsweetened applesauce
~instead of frosting a whole cake with thick frosting, melt the frosting a bit and drizzle over the top
~Use honey in place of sugar…it is almost twice as sweet so you might not even need as much!

~instead of syrup on waffles or pancakes, try some pureed fruit, almond butter or applesauce
~fruit flavored yogurt has too much added stuff, so try some plain yogurt with fresh fruit slices in it
~replace chocolate chips in muffins or breads with berries or other sliced fruit
~try using some rolled oats instead of bread crumbs

~Substitute 3/4 of a cup of fruit juice concentrate for each cup of refined white sugar in the recipe. Also reduce the total liquid in the recipe by 1/8 of a cup (per cup of sugar replaced.)

These are just some suggestions. If you are new to trying to substitute things, try just doing half and half. Then, if you were happy with the outcome, try a little more. Don’t be afraid to mess up sometimes…and know it is worth it when you get it just right! Have fun!

~What are some of your favorite substitutions to use in baking or cooking?

~What’s the best “health-ified” treat you make or have tasted?


  1. This is great advice! I like using plain greek yogurt in the place of sour cream for Mexican dishes. No one has been able to tell the difference yet, but it's much lower in fat, and higher in protein!

  2. ohhh! so glad you did this post. I have been slowly learning some substitution skills this year and am always looking for new tips and ideas :)


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