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Healthy Recipe Swaps

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Healthy Recipe Swaps

Minimizing calories and having healthier alternatives is the goal for many of us when preparing our favorite dishes.  We don’t want to sacrifice flavor and feel as if our only option is to eat drab and tasteless “health foods”.

But with just a few small adjustments, we can turn your favorite guilty pleasures into a more balanced and nutritious option so that you can enjoy them more often, with less guilt and stay on track to living leaner, healthier and happier. 

Mashed Avocado > Mayonnaise 

Most people love adding mayo to their favorite sandwich or dips because it is just a fact that fat=flavor. 

The only problem with that when it comes to mayonnaise is that it adds little else. Mashed or blended avocado can add the same amount of flavor plus the benefits of Vitamin K, C, B5, B6, E and 15 grams of healthy fats plus 7 grams of its carbs come from fiber. 

There are a ton of other benefits but we will stop there. Try adding mashed avocado instead of mayo to your next BLT, burger or whatever else you usually grab Miracle Whip for. 

Almond/coconut milk > Cow’s milk

For some, this may seem sacrilegious but if you don’t want to completely substitute it for your drinking milk, it is a very easy and unnoticeable substitute in baking or other recipes. 

Also, it can save you some calories/fat in that coffee cake or other baking recipe so that you can have that extra big piece without having too much guilt. 

Applesauce/coconut oil > Vegetable oil

Many bakers secret ingredient isn’t so secret anymore. Whether you add it to make cake or cookies extra moist or just to save a few extra calories, substituting equal parts applesauce/coconut oil for vegetable oil can take your baking to the next level and like the above substitute can make grabbing that extra cookie or slice a little less guilt-inducing. 

Nutritional Yeast > Cheese

Nutritional cheese flakes have a nutty, cheese-like flavor that can be used on everything from potatoes to roasted vegetables. At only 45 calories per ¼ cup plus the added benefit of amino acids, vitamins and minerals, they are worth a try the next time you want to top a salad or pasta with parmesan, go for the nutritional yeast instead. 

Greek Yogurt > Sour Cream

Add this probiotic-rich snack to dressings or dips, use as a topper for soups or Hispanic dishes like enchiladas, tacos etc. or great for homemade tzatziki. 

The tart flavor and natural creaminess are comparable to sour cream with fewer calories and more nutritional benefits like protein, vitamin B12, calcium and more. 

Oil & Vinegar > Bottled Dressings

We all know that store-bought dressings are loaded with ingredients we can’t begin to pronounce along with additional calories. What most don’t know is a good vinaigrette is pretty simple to make with things you already have at home. Check out this awesome basic vinaigrette recipe that also comes with 3 easy changes for whether you prefer balsamic, red or white wine vinaigrette. Also, if you are looking for something a little different, try this Greek vinaigrette recipe. 

Riced cauliflower > White Rice

Trying your hand at recreating your favorite Chipotle bowl/burrito? Try using cauliflower rice instead of white rice to save some calories and add some extra fiber and vitamins. It is easy to find pre-riced cauliflower in the freezer section of your preferred grocery store or use this 5-minute method to make it from fresh cauliflower. 

Flavored Banana Cream > Ice Cream

Again, it is completely normal to get that late-night hankering for something sweet but grabbing that pint of Ben & Jerry’s four times a week will keep even the hardest worker at the gym from reaching their fitness goals. Instead, keep a Tupperware full of this mashed banana treat so you can save the Ben & Jerry’s for movie night or another occasion. 

Homemade Nut Butters > Store-bought PB/Almond jars of butter

If you are anything like me, it isn’t uncommon to grab a spoon (or if no one is watching, use your finger) to scoop up a tablespoon or 3 of your nut butter of choice. The problem is…that is a lot of added sugar and fat for a pre/post-dinner snack. Instead, try this homemade nut butter recipe. Added plus, you can customize it with honey, cinnamon, lemon zest or sesame oil. 

Pure vanilla extract > Sugar

A quality vanilla extract can be substituted for many of your sweet treats instead of sugar!  Cutting back on calories and not jeopardizing taste.  Coffees, brownies, hot chocolate, pancakes, muffins, sweetbreads and pies.

Try some of these great swaps to take control over some of those favorite dishes and turn them into a dish you can be proud of both in taste and as a healthier choice!

Recipes from: 
(Basic vinaigrette + variations)- https://cookieandkate.com/how-to-make-vinaigrette-plus-variations/ 

(Greek vinaigrette)- https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/greek-vinaigrette 

(Riced cauliflower)- https://minimalistbaker.com/how-to-make-cauliflower-rice/ 

(Frozen Banana Cream)- https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/banana-ice-cream-berries-chocolate-or-cinnamon 

(Homemade Nut Butters)- https://www.bonappetit.com/story/how-to-make-nut-butter 

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