Cold Processed Extra Virgin Olive Oil instead of Butter
This is a pretty easy substitution to make for most dishes. Butter is not unhealthy as far as fats go, but it is no match for a high quality EVOO. Keep the heat low so the Olive Oil doesn’t become carcinogenic when it hits its smoke point. Saute veggies, eggs and almost anything else in Extra Virgin Olive Oil instead of Butter and you can cut the calories big time!
Whole Grain Flour instead of White Flour
Another simple substitution. While baking or making pizza dough, try out some Whole Grain Flour instead of conventional white flour. Whole Grain Flour offers you more nutrients and fiber that typical flour. It is a great way to add some goodness to your favorite recipes without losing any of the magic!
Black Beans instead of White Flour
Here is where things get a bit odd, but trust us, it really works! This works extremely well for brownies, just substitute 1 cup of flour for 1 cup of pureed Black Beans. The deep chocolatey flavor lends itself perfectly to the flavor of the Black Beans. Replace the fattening flour with nutrient dense, fiber filled, protein packed Black Beans!
Applesauce instead of Sugar
Another healthy recipe substitution that seems a bit weird, but try it out! Just replace a cup of sugar with a cup of Unsweetened Apple Sauce and you cut the sugar down significantly and cut the calories in half! Use Unsweetened Applesauce instead of sugar in your favorite oatmeal raisin cookies and you will fall in love! (Just remember, for every cup of applesauce, reduce the liquid in the recipe by ¼ cup.)
All Natural Peanut Butter instead of Regular Peanut Butter
Here is an easy one that will make a huge difference in your life. If you use typical peanut butter spread, go read the nutritional facts. You will be shocked at just how much sugar they can put into one jar! Making typical peanut butters sugary, calorie filled garbage. Get an All Natural Peanut Butter instead, it is far more flavorful and should only contain 100% roasted peanuts. Spread it on toast and add a touch of sea salt for a flavorful snack that quells your cravings.
Meringue instead of Frosting
No cake is complete without frosting, but it is pretty much pure sugar and fat. Try whipping some egg whites into a Meringue and add a bit of sugar and vanilla. You will be cutting down the sugar and reducing the fat entirely! For added decadence take a blowtorch to the outside to lightly brown the outside, it will both look and taste like heaven.
Low Sodium Soy Sauce instead of Regular Soy Sauce
No brainer. Soy sauce has an enormous amount of sodium, adding even 1-2 tablespoons to your dish will load it with your daily intake of sodium. Instead try out the Low Sodium Soy Sauce, it has pretty much the same flavor with a fraction of the sodium.
Greek Yogurt instead of Sour Cream
Having some perogies or nachos for a cheat meal? Well you can feel a little less guilty about it afterwards by replacing the fatty sour cream with the protein packed Greek Yogurt. The thick tangy Yoghurt replaced sour cream perfectly! Be sure to buy Plain Greek Yogurt, just like regular yogurts, once you start dipping into the flavored ones the sugar skyrockets.
Greek Yogurt + Berries instead of Flavored Yoghurt
Another way to rid your household of the sugar filled yogurt trash. Slice up some fresh fruit or berries and add them to a plain Greek Yogurt for a bright, fresh flavorful snack. Frozen berries also work great because they will melt a bit and their natural juices will fill your bowl with flavor and color. If you need a touch more sweetness just add a drizzle of pure honey.
Dried Beans instead of Canned Beans
Beans are a superfood, but they are not all created equal. Many canned beans, and canned foods in general have an enormous amount of sodium. Instead of relying on canned beans for your meals, use dried beans instead. Simply soak and boil them and put them in the freezer for a convenient way to add beans into any dish!
Sweet Potato Fries instead of Regular Fries
Fries are by nature not very healthy, but you can make them a bit better for you by swapping regular potatoes for Sweet Potato Fries. Sweet Potato has more nutrients than a regular potato, so as long as you don’t deep fry them in unhealthy oils you will be making the health conscious choice. Try baking them with a drizzle of EVOO and sea salt.
Mashed Turnip instead of Mashed Potatoes
Mashed Potato is a staple in many households, but try to liven things up a bit with the far more flavorful and healthy Mashed Turnip instead. You will be adding far more nutrients to your meal and they soak up gravy and sauces just like mashed potatoes!
Mashed Cauliflower instead of Mashed Potatoes
If the intense flavor profile of mashed turnip is a bit much for you, replace your mashed potatoes with Mashed Cauliflower. Just boil up a head of cauliflower and mash it up with some butter and fresh pressed garlic. They will satisfy your craving for creamy mashed potatoes while providing a giant helping of veggies! (This is one of our favorites!)
Whole Wheat Pasta instead of Regular Pasta
Another easy substitution to make, the flavor is not quite the same, but it is quite close and quite delicious! Whole Wheat Pasta noodles are by no means a top healthy food, but they are a far cry from the nutrient void white pasta noodles. As with all pasta dishes, it’s all about the sauce!
Spaghetti Squash instead of Pasta
For the more adventurous foodies, try swapping out the noodle for a veggie. Cut a Spaghetti Squash in half and bake it in the oven, once cooked you can tear the flesh into stringy, noodle-like bits that soak up pasta sauce perfectly! Once you get your head around not using pasta for your pasta dish, we are sure you will love this superbly healthy alternative.
Quinoa instead of Couscous or Rice
Couscous and rice are great sides, easily added to almost any meal. Instead try using Quinoa to fill the same role. Quinoa is packed with nutrients and protein that makes it a far healthier choice over other grains. Quinoa has so many different uses, enjoy it all by itself, make veggie burgers with it or add it to your favorite salad!
Spinach or Kale instead of Iceberg Lettuce
Iceberg lettuce is by no means unhealthy, but it doesn’t offer much in terms of nutrients. Use Spinach or Kale instead for salads or burger toppings to get that same crunch but with some punch! They are far more flavorful and filled with all sorts of nutrients.
Lettuce instead of Tortilla Wraps
Tortilla wraps are rather deceptive, they are thin but quite dense, meaning it is easy to overlook the number of calories and carbohydrates they have. Give Lettuce a try instead, tear off big leaves to wrap up foods that you would normally use a tortilla for. The fresh crunch lends itself well to tacos and rolls.
Kale Chips instead of Regular Chips
Here is another one of our favorite substitutions. The next time you crave a crunchy, salty snack try making some healthy Kale Chips instead of reaching for the bag of potato chips. Just bake the Kale on a cookie sheet with a small drizzle of Olive Oil and sea salt. You will find them just as addictive and satisfying as the potato chip, but you won’t feel so guilty after eating handful after handful.
Air Popped Pop Corn instead of Potato Chips
Many people assume popcorn is unhealthy. If you are making prepackaged popcorn then yes, it is unhealthy and filled with all sorts of nonsense you should avoid. Instead bring out that old air popper and pop your own kernels. You can add some melted butter and salt if you wish, or enjoy it plain. This is a great snack for late night movies, as long as you don’t add too much butter it is relatively calorie-free!
Press Alcoholic Drinks with Soda Water to reduce the calories and sugar while adding fizz!
Yeah we threw in an extra one for the drinkers.
If you have any healthy alternatives to junk food that we have missed, let us know in the comments.