If you are someone who is always precautious about what you eat and the quantities you eat them in, then this one’s a good read for you.
In this article, I talk about some healthy food swaps and food substitutions that you can use in place of food items that aren’t as healthy for regular use/consumption.
18 Healthy Food Swaps and Substitutions
1. 1 Cup White Pasta = 1 Cup Whole Wheat Pasta
This one’s not something that might seem palatable to many; I mean regular pasta for whole wheat pasta? Well, trust me, there is not going to be a large difference in terms of taste, but as for the health benefits, there are many.
2. 1 Cup Sugar = ¾ Cup Honey
Sugar is always known to be “unhealthy” and can also add to your calories and could lead to diabetes if consumed in excess.
A great substitute for sugar is maple syrup or honey. You can substitute 1 cup of sugar with ¾ or ½ cup of maple syrup or honey, as per your taste requirements.
3. 1 Cup Sour Cream = 1 Cup Greek Yogurt
Whether you’re using sour cream for a marinade, in baked goods or in a dessert, a cup of sour cream can always be substituted with a cup of Greek yogurt in any recipe and trust me, the item will turn out just as good.
4. 1 tablespoon Tomato paste = 1 fresh tomato
Tomato paste can be made using fresh tomatoes. Puree the tomatoes and then follow the same formula – You’ll need one medium tomato for every tablespoon of tomato paste. Mash or blend the tomato to make into a purée, and then cook it for about 10 minutes to thicken and concentrate the flavor. You can also substitute 1 tablespoon tomato paste with 2 tablespoons tomato purée and the reduce the other liquid in the recipe by 2 tablespoons.
5. 1 Cup Refined Flour = 1 Cup Wheat Flour
Whether you’re baking, making pasta from scratch, making bread or rotis, refined flour is never the healthy option. Choose to substitute refined flour with the same quantity of wheat flour in any recipe and it will taste just as good, but healthier of course.
6. 1 Cup Butter = 1 Cup Mashed Banana or Avocado
Whenever I bake, I always substitute butter or oil in my recipes, for mashed banana or avocado in the same proportions and my baked goods turn out just as delicious. It saves up on calories and carbohydrates, while it is super healthy.
7. 2 Tbsp Cup canola or vegetable Oil = 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
You can substitute any oil, with organic coconut oil in the same proportions in any recipe. Coconut oil is a healthier alternative compared to regularly use refined oils.
8. 1 Cup Cream = 1 Cup Whipped Cream
Instead of using whipped or heavy cream for any recipe, you can whip up fresh coconut cream and substitute it in the same quantity. It is a healthier alternative and might just take a little more effort to achieve the right texture, but trust me, it’s worth it.
9. 1 Cup Bread Crumbs = 1 Cup Powdered Mixed Nuts or rolled oats
Bread crumbs are often made from refined flour (which is what bread is made up of) and thus, it is not too healthy. My new found substitution is ground/coarsely ground mixed nuts or rolled oats and use it in the same proportions, while coating any food to be fried.
10. 1 Cup Mashed Potatoes = 1 Cup Sweet Potato Mash
It is no secret that sweet potatoes are healthier than regular potatoes. They are also low in their glycemic index and is loaded with vitamin A. So, simply substitute 1 cup of sweet potato mash, with 1 cup of regular potato mash in any recipe and reap its health benefits.
11. 1 Cup Rice = 1 Cup Quinoa or Barley
If you’re a rice eater, this one’s for you. You can substitute rice (1:1) for quinoa or barley. They are healthier alternatives white/refined rice.
12. 1 Egg = 1 Flax egg
This substitution comes in most handy when you are baking. In any baking recipe, you can substitute 1 egg with flax egg and use it in the same recipe. It is also a good substitute to make a non-vegan recipe, vegan friendly. To swap one egg – Grind the flaxseeds to a powder, mix 1 tbsp of ground flaxseed meal with 3 tbsp of water. Mix until well combined, and let sit in your fridge for 15 mins to thicken. Best used for brownies, cakes, and bread. READ MORE – 6 Best Egg substitutes and how to use them
13. Oil = applesauce
If you find yourself in the middle of a recipe and out of oil, use applesauce as applesauce is a 1:1 replacement for oil. So if your recipe calls for half a cup of oil, use half a cup of applesauce instead. This trick works in cakes, muffins, cookies, brownies, and any kind of sweet baked good.
14. All purpose flour = wheat flour
Use 3/4 cup (177 g) of whole wheat flour to completely replace 1 cup (237 g) of white flour. Whole wheat flour is denser and heavier than regular white flour which is why you’ll want to use less of whole wheat flour. You can use this substitute in cookies, scones, muffins, chocolate cakes, and quick breads that taste good when made with whole wheat flour instead of white flour.
15. Maragine = Olive oil
Use 3:4 ratio to substitute oil for margarine. So, for every cup of margarine in the recipe, use 3/4 cup of oil. Maragine can be easily swaped for coconut oil, olive oil, or avocado oil.
16. Shortening = Ghee
Clarified butter or ghee, is a suitable substitute for shortening as it adds a rich, buttery flavor in baked goods. You can use a 1:1 ratio when swapping ghee for shortening during baking.
17. Cream = Evaporated Milk
Replace Cream with evaporated milk in sauces, soups, pie fillings, baking, casseroles, frozen desserts and custards at a 1:1 ratio.
18. All purpose flour = black beans
While baking brownie recipes, replace 1 cup of regular flour with 1 cup pureed black beans.