Ingredient Editing

How do you Make Healthy Food Taste Good?  What ingredients can you substitute to make something healthier?


Here are some simple substitutes that can easily be switched in almost any recipe:


1 tbs ground flax seed combined with 3 tbs water can be used to replace one egg.  Stir and allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes and  until it has a thick and gelatinous consistency.


There are many non-dairy options to replace milk.  These include almond, rice, coconut, cashew, and soy milk.  Many can be both found at grocery or health food stores or easily made at home.

Butter and Oils:

Vegan spreads and butters can be found at grocery stores, but be careful you’re not choosing one that has something worse in it!  Often replacements for certain ‘unhealthy’ foods can be full of processed and hydrogenated oils and other ingredients that aren’t any better.  Coconut, olive, and avocado oil can be good replacements for cooking and baking.  Basically, the less-processed the better – try to find options that are closest to their original state.

Coconut milk can be used to make chocolate icing, see this recipe.


Sugar is super big one.  I super real killer, that happens to be found in cereal…if you get my drift.  Anyway, if you’ve ever tried reading the labels or avoiding sugar for a while, you’ll know that it’s found in everything.  From breads and baked goods like cakes, cookies, crackers and muffins, to canned beans, frozen pizzas, meats, dairy products, and just about anything it could possibly be in.  The good thing is, if you make your food at home, you can control what goes in it.

Things like applesauce, dates, and other fruit can be used as natural sweeteners, and there are plenty of other interesting substitutes to play around with.  Maple sugar, coconut sugar and honey powder can be used as dry replacements while honey and molasses may take a bit more recipe rearranging but can work amazingly.  Plus, there are tons of great recipes online that already use natural sugars – and they’re available at the touch of your finger.  There really isn’t a need to use processed, refined, white sugar!


For those with celiac disease or a gluten/wheat sensitivity, there are lots of options for flour substitutes.  Many stores now sell gluten-free flour blends, as well as baked goods that are gluten-free.  Some wheat-free flours include: brown and white rice, sorghum, almond, and coconut.  Be aware, though, that these don’t have the binding, elastic effect of gluten that keeps baked goods from falling apart, so they often make things crumbly.  You might have to add xanthan gum to make it stick together.  Gluten-free flour blends will usually have a good mix to make up for the lack of gluten.  Another thing to make note of is that some gluten-free recipes call for more eggs so it’ll stick together, but I’ve found that this makes the food taste too eggy!  It’ll take some trial-and-error to sort through the good and bad recipes, but don’t give up, there are some good ones out there!



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