How to Make Healthy Food Substitutions

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If you’re anything like me, you’re spending a LOT of time eating not-so-healthy food and drinking decadent drinks in these long days of summer.

And while I love doing both of these things…I do find myself needing a little “reset” every now and then. Specifically on weekdays when I’m cooking at home…I love finding little ways to make my meals healthier.

So we thought we’d talk about easy ways to make your favorite recipes even better with some healthier substitutions. These are more than just ways to cut down on calories–they’re ways to add in extra nutrients to your everyday meals.

Let us know what you make in the comments below, or what healthy substitutions you like to make!

Zuchinni Noodles vs. Noodles

We all know that carbs can be one of our greatest downfalls, but what’s better than indulging in a classic bowl of warm spaghetti and meatballs? We have the perfect vegetable substitute for you! Zucchini has recently been receiving high accords for its countless benefits including digestive aid and anti-inflammatory compounds.

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Photo credit: Detox Insta

Almond Milk vs. Cow’s Milk

One of the biggest appeals of nut milk is their dairy-free nature. Almond milk also cuts the calories in half, ringing in at 39 calories per cup versus around 80 in a typical glass.

Cauliflower Crust vs. Flour Crust

Cauliflower, a vegetable high in vitamins and fiber, stands the test as a substitute for many carbohydrate-rich foods such as potatoes, rice and bread. One of our favorite ways to utilize this ingredient is by ringing out its moisture, mixing it with parmesan, herbs and eggs, then adding toppings of your choice to create a delicious low carb pizza!

Coconut Oil vs. Butter

The saying may go ‘everything’s better with butter’, but the trade off’s might not be so delightful. In order to avoid high cholesterol, we recommend coconut oil, which contains fatty acids that are broken down easily and less likely to be stored as fatty tissues; possibly aiding in weight loss.

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Photo credit: Pinterest

Greek Yogurt vs. Sour Cream

This is one of our favorites. I personally use greek yogurt ALL the time instead of sour cream. Whether it’s tacos, potatoes, or even as a dip for chips–plain greek yogurt can really taste (almost) as good as good ol’ fashioned sour cream. Pro tip: add ranch powder to make a healthier ranch dip.

Popcorn vs. Chips

My favorite salty snacks are the classic: Lays potato chips. And sometimes, especially after dinner, I have a craving for something this savory to tide me over. But recently I’ve been swapping in popcorn instead, for a low-calorie alternative. Keep reading below for an even better way to spice this snack up!

Applesauce vs. Sugar

Do you have a sweet tooth like we do? For baking, applesauce is a great substitute for those watching their sugar intake. For recipes like cake, brownies, and even cookies–using applesauce can truly make your desserts “guilt-free.”

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Photo credit: The Daring Gourmet

Meat Substitutes

Falafel, beans, tofu…oh my! There are SO many ways to substitute meat if you’re trying to find different ways to gain protein. Falafel is made from chickpeas, and beans are used to make burger patties. Tofu is made from mashed soybeans, used chiefly in Asian and vegetarian cooking. All of these might taste a bit different than your normal chicken and steak, but delicious none the less.

Nice Cream vs. Ice Cream

This new fad uses bananas as a base to make thick and creamy dessert with healthier ingredients. Add your favorite berries and fruits to sweeten your bowl or use peanut butter and chocolate chips for a decadent treat.

Nutritional Yeast vs. Cheese

Don’t knock this one until you try it…nutritional yeast is an amazing cheese substitute! I personally use it on meat, on pasta (all the time!), and even popcorn. I’d say the yeast falls somewhere between a spice and a decadent topping–but no matter what category it’s in, you’ve got to try it!

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