Your guide to healthy living ...

Healthy Cooking Substitutes

February 7, 2015

Cooking healthy is easy! There's a common misconception that healthy equates to bland dishes. In this blog post we share our secrets on how you can cook healthy without losing any of the flavor. It can take some trial and error to find the right equivalent of certain ingredients. But you'll see it's possible to enjoy your favorite dishes without undesirable ingredients.

Something you'll notice about this list is it's absent of low fat substitutes. Why? All the new research says KEEP the fat, and that's our philosophy as well. Our bodies NEED health fats ... for our brains, for absorbing fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K. Eating a breakfast with some fat content can even program your body to BURN fat the rest of the day (think ketogenic diet). Most everyone's diet is carb heavy. For the most part, a calorie is a calorie. Balance is the key.

  • Soy sauce - coconut aminos; gluten-free low sodium soy sauce
  • Cheese - This one's tricky for those avoiding dairy like myself, but Daiya is an option for anything requiring grated mozzarella type cheese; Parma is a parmesan alternative that's good for pastas and salads; Heidi Ho has Chia-based nacho cheese products that are amazing; read the ingredients for any dairy substitutes carefully (some add caseine)
  • Corn starch or other thickeners - Arrowroot is an excellent healthy and gluten-free option; i've also successfully used psyllium husk as a thickener
  • Wheat flour - almond or coconut flour for gluten-free sub
  • Sugar - stevia; other organic options are available like agave, but it will still affect your blood sugar; FYI - Truvia is NOT stevia and should be avoided
  • Table salt - himalyan salt (it's still salt, but much healthier)
  • Vegetable/canola oil - coconut oil (it has a high smoke point unlike olive oil; get the kind that isn't extra virgin, as it has a lighter flavor)
  • Butter - ghee (this is clarified butter which has no milk solids)
  • Milk or cream - So Delicious brand coconut milk/cream; I'm personally a big fan of almond milk
  • Mayonaisse - Veganaise
  • White rice - brown rice or quinoa
  • Salad dressing - there's usually lots of undesirable ingredients, but you can use organic dressings; a simple balsamic with olive oil and vinegar or other home made dressing is ideal
  • Miscellaneous flavoring - pass on the store blends ... the spice cabinet is extremely nutritious (i.e. basil, curry, parsley, etc.)
  • Peanut butter - almond butter; peanuts aren't even a nut and have less health benefits
  • Pasta - zucchini ribbons, spaghetti squash, gluten-free pastas