Easy Substitutes To Make A Recipe Healthy

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Below you will find easy substitutes to make a recipe healthy and keep it delicious! Have you ever found a recipe you wanted to try but you wished you could find a way to make it healthier? I did too, so I started on a journey of finding substitutes that actually work and I have compiled them into this list. You will find substitutes for white sugar, vegetable oil, soy sauce, and more.

All of the following substitutes are based on the 11 principles of the Weston A Price Foundation. To learn more about these principles click here!

Sugar Substitutes

Below you will find replacement ingredients for recipes that call for white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and other refined sweeteners. The best sugar replacements to make a recipe healthy are usually unrefined. Any sweetener that is “refined” has gone through a rigorous process with excessive heat that, in the end, destroys any minerals, vitamins, or nutrient that was in the original substance. A sugar labeled “unrefined” means that the process used to make the sugar has upheld the integrity of the ingredient. Unrefined sugars tend to be more nutritious and give your body what it needs to use the sugar for energy and not become rancid in the body.

Granulated sugar replacements with a 1:1 ratio

TIP: Taste the sugar before you add it to your recipe. Every sugar has a different flavor and you might find that different flavors compliment the other ingredients in the recipe better than others.

Liquid Sweetener Replacements

TIP: If you want to use a liquid sweetener in place of granulated sugar, try reducing the amount of other liquid in the recipe by 20%. For example: if a recipe calls for 1/2 of sugar and you use 1/2 of honey, take out 1 tbsp of other liquid. If you are using less than 1/2 of a cup of honey, don’t worry about the conversion.

Vegetable Oil Substitutes

Below is a list of oils that can be substituted in recipes that call for “vegetable oil.” My rule for oils and fats is this, “I use oils and fats that can be made without chemicals or excessive heat.” Oils such as canola oil might be a cheaper option but might not be the best option for the body. Some such as Dr. Ernest (click here to read article) go into more detail and explain how these refined oils can have trace chemicals left in the product that are harmful to the body. Animal fats are some of the most nutrient dense fats you can find. Check out this brochure for more on healthy vs. harmful fats.

Cooking oil replacements

TIPS: Try melting the oil in a pot on the stove beforehand if you need the fat to be liquified. The best way to find animal fats such as lard and tallow is to find local farms. I have a post all about finding local farms in your area if you click here. If you are having a hard time finding local farms, fatworks is a great brand.

Salad dressing, gravy/sauce replacements

TIPS: Try using these oils to make things such as chimichurri, bread dipping oil, salad dressings and more!

Flour Substitutes

Below are substitutes that can be used in various recipes to make a recipe healthier or gluten free! A common store bought flour is bleached all-purpose. The process the all-purpose flour has gone through (much like the vegetable oil) strips the grain of all of the nutrients and has trace chemicals. However, flours such as white wheat and whole wheat have been ground and are unbleached leaving the nutrients in the flour. Gluten free options can be tricky to substitute but there are a few that will get the job done as well.

All-purpose flour replacements

Gluten free flour replacements

TIPS: When using GF flour, experiment with the different types of flour to find the right one for the right recipe. Coconut flour tends to be more dense and absorbent while GF baking flour is a mixture that can be used as a 1:1 substitute for all-purpose.

Flavoring and Thickener (and other) Substitutes

The list below is a hodgepodge of replacements that didn’t quite fit in their own category. There are many substitutes to make a recipe healthy that might not even cross someones mind like a simple switch to aluminum free baking soda! Another easy replacement is coconut aminos. Soy products can be quite harmful to the body if not prepared correctly, you can learn more about soy by clicking here. An easy and delicious switch is coconut aminos. I use it in Asian cuisine recipes and as a maranade for meat. You will see other replacements below as well like a gluten free thickening agent (arrowroot powder). You’ll probably want to save this list for later when you’re in the kitchen making your next meal.

TIP: Arrowroot powder can get clumpy so coat the dry ingredients with it before adding the liquid. Additionally, apple cider vinegar has a different flavor than white vinegar but I found that my family doesn’t seem to mind the difference. And finally, get creative with the spices! Don’t reply on taco seasoning packets full of preservatives, make your own in no time!

I hope you found at least one thing you can substitute in your next meal to make a recipe healthy. Let me know in the comments below if you found a substitute you haven’t heard of before!

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