If the modern diet were ascribed in one word, it would be “convenient.” Now more than ever, delicious food is available in heaping quantities on nearly every street corner. This convenience comes at a cost. While the Paleolithic gatherer could easily eat healthily by hunting and foraging for food, today we have the opposite problem. Healthy eating can be costly and requires an investment of your time. However, even small steps in the right direction can lead to lasting changes. Try these five ingredient substitutions in your cooking and baking to kickstart your healthy eating today.
Five ingredient substitutions
Baby prunes for butter
The debate rages on about the nutritional value of butter. Though no longer considered unhealthy in small portions, most nutritionists agree that the high levels of trans fats and cholesterol found in butter are bad for large servings. This is most true in baking, which often calls for a fairly large amount. For any recipe that calls for butter, consider using pureed baby prunes instead. Baby prunes are extremely low in fat and even include added fiber!
Banana for ice cream
Ice cream is filled with saturated fat and sugar. A pint of Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked Ice Cream has 140% of the allotted daily saturated fat value and 300% of the daily sugar allowance! Frozen, mashed bananas have nearly the same creamy consistency as ice cream. However, they are much lower in sugar, virtually fat-free and contain Vitamin B6. Add in a touch of cocoa powder for a mouth-watering chocolate taste!
Low-fat Greek yogurt for sour cream
Sour cream is undeniably delicious, but unfortunately, it’s filled with saturated fat, cholesterol and carbs. A better alternative to consider is low-fat Greek yogurt. Enjoy the tangy taste for dipping, cooking or baking with less than half the calories. Even better, Greek yogurt is high in protein – 10 grams to be exact – and is an important building block in our everyday diet. Compare this to the sour cream, which has a paltry 3.5 grams of protein.
Chilled coconut oil for shortening
Many people see the white, solidified texture of coconut oil and assume it to be as unhealthy as other fats, such as vegetable shortening. In reality, coconut oil does contain fat. However, this fat may even be beneficial compared to fat derived from animals. Research shows that coconut oil strengthens hair, promotes weight loss and aids in the treatment of many skin conditions. Shortening can be replaced by coconut oil at a 1:1 ratio. Liquefy a jar of coconut oil by running it over warm water or sticking it in the microwave.
Cauliflower for mashed potatoes
Many dieters today aim for a low-carb diet. Regular white potatoes are very high in carbs since they’re a starch and stretch the limits of a dieter. For an equally delicious and perhaps more savvy choice, consider mashing cauliflower. Cauliflower has a significantly lower glycemic load than white potatoes, is high in protein and is a very good source of dietary fiber. You could even make garlicky spinach mashed cauliflower.
Experiment and see if these 5 ingredient substitutions work for you!