Thursday, January 19, 2012

Substitutes

Having substitutes for certain ingredients are not only recipe-savers, but they can also be life-savers as well. Substituting healthier ingredients into your recipes can help boost the nutritional profile of your meal and also give it a new flare.

Avocados
"Avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid. They also act as a "nutrient booster" by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha and beta-carotene and lutein, in foods that are eaten with the fruit." www.avocado.org/nutrition/

Can be a substitute for:
  • Thickener for homemade ice cream, smoothies or soups
  • Alternative to shortening in baked goods, keeps moisture in and softens baked goods (although it can add a slight green tint depending on your recipe)
  • Toppings on salads, tacos, burritos and omelets
  • Great for dips of all sorts
Eggs
Eggs are a natural source of numerous vitamins and minerals and contain protein and healthy fats that are important for muscle growth, brain function, weight control, eye health and more. 

Can be a substitute for:
  • Thickener for soups or sauces (egg yolk only)
  • Sauce over vegetables (egg yolk only)
  • If egg whites are beaten until fluffy with peaks, they can be folded into gluten-free baked goods to help with rising, moisture and softer texture
  • Frostings (fluffy with peaks egg whites only)
Applesauce
Conventional applesauce is just a bowl full of sugar and not worth your time to ever feed your family. Making applesauce from scratch is simple, affordable and diverse. We put our whole apple (keep the peel on for extra nutritional benefits) cut up in quarters into a food processor and just blend it down until it becomes applesauce. You can add a little cinnamon or blend a carrot in with it for great baby food.

Can be a substitute for:
  • Sweeteners like sugar, honey or agave in many baked goods such as breads or muffins (helps maintain moisture and softer texture in gluten-free baking)
Plain Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is yogurt that has been strained many times over and is lower in sugar and higher in protein than regular yogurt and contains probiotics which help with digestion and improving overall health. 

Can be a substitute for:
  • Shortening or oil in homemade mayonnaise, dips, vegetable, meat and potato salads and some baked goods recipes (great with homemade gluten-free brownies)
Coconut Oil
The health benefits of using coconut oil in your diet are vast. Coconut oil is a naturally occurring saturated fat and is therefore a good fat. Here is a great article by Dr. Joseph Mercola explaining all the health benefits associated with coconut oil, including proper digestion and metabolism, increasing heart health and immune system and weight loss. When buying coconut oil, you want to buy organic cold-pressed coconut oil, it has not been refined through a chemical process.


Can be a substitute for:
  • Vegetable oils used in high heat cooking
  • Shortening or oil in baking and homemade mayonnaise
  • Everyday cooking where oil is required
  • Chap stick 

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