When you think of comfort food you think of the delicious pasta dishes your mom used to make when you were a kid. Or those freshly baked homemade chocolate chip cookies! The only thing about those guilty pleasures; they aren’t always the healthiest choices. Although they are tasty and we should indulge in our favorite foods, we now have some helpful healthy substitutes, so you can have your cake and eat it too!
Hopefully these 10 healthy recipe swaps will help you still make those scrum-shish dishes and not feel so guilty about enjoying them!
- Use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream when you’re whipping up a spinach dip or French onion dip as an appetizer. This swap will make any chip dip healthier, and plain, nonfat Greek yogurt is a much better source of protein. If you’re feeling really ambitious, swap the chips for fresh veggies too!
- Use olive oil instead of butter when you’re cooking anything on the stovetop, like sautéed veggies or scrambled eggs. Unlike butter, olive oil doesn’t have cholesterol. Just be sure to use extra virgin olive oil and keep it at a minimum since too much oil makes for a high-fat diet.
- Use a banana instead of an egg when you’re making a Sunday morning pancakes or a birthday cake. The banana will give provide sweetness and moisture, and it’s a great way to make your dish vegan-friendly. You can also use applesauce instead of a banana as another vegan-friendly replacement.
- Use 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and 3 tablespoons of water instead of an egg to add moisture to muffins or baked goods. Similar to using a banana or applesauce, chia seeds are a low-fat, high fiber alternative that will make your recipe vegan friendly.
- Use spaghetti squash instead of pasta when you’re craving carbs. Spaghetti squash is a vegetable, so one serving can provide your body potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C. Whole-wheat pasta is a great alternative as well if spaghetti squash isn’t your favorite option.
- Use date sugar instead of Splenda and other artificial sweeteners to make your recipes 100% more natural. Most artificial sweeteners get their sweet taste from the chemical aspartame, which has been linked to some scary side effects. On the other hand, date sugar is simply ground up dates, and it is not processed or refined. Use it the next time you go to sweeten your coffee and you will get a good dose of vitamins and minerals as well.
- Use almond milk or coconut mile instead of cow’s milk for your cereal, oatmeal and coffee. Almond milk is one of the most nutritious milk substitutes out there, and it’s free of saturated fats. It’s also a great vegan source of protein, and has less calories per serving than cow’s milk.
- Use mashed cauliflower instead of pizza crust the next time you plan on making a homemade pizza. This is a great way to still enjoy the fun in making a pizza at home but reducing the white carb intake and sticking to the healthier approach.
- Use 1 cup of soy milk + 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar instead of 1 cup of buttermilk if you’re trying to make vegan versions of recipes that call for buttermilk such as pancakes and biscuits.
- Use avocado instead of mayonnaise for a sandwich spread. Besides the fact that avocados are a nutrient-rich food that come packed with omega-3s and good fatty acids, many people actually think they taste better than mayonnaise!
These swaps are healthier options and you may realize they actually taste better! If you know what works for your body and what feels healthiest to your body, stick to what you’re doing. But otherwise, give these ingredient swaps a try and PLEASE share any other ideas you have to swap out the unhealthy ingredients with a more natural and healthy option to make your recipe better.