If you love to bake and cook (especially if you love to stress bake and cook) you may find yourself packing on some pounds quicker than you’d like. Generally speaking I believe a home cooked meal is healthier than anything you can get at the store because you know exactly what’s in it, there are some ingredients that just aren’t all that good for you. Making a few substitutions can be the difference between high calories, fat and carbohydrates. Here are some simple substitutions you can make that will add up overtime into some righteously healthy results.
Instead of dairy milk use coconut or almond milk.
If you’re trying to eliminate dairy from your system there are plenty of great replacements on the market. While I am not lactose intolerant, I am devastatingly sensitive to casein a different part of the milk. If you find that dairy is giving you allergy-like symptoms: congestion, headaches, back pain and general yuckiness, casein is usually the cause. Almond milk is a great substitute because it is protein rich and while it is sweet, it typically has less sugar than skim milk. It’s great for coffee, cereal and baking. Coconut milk is a bit heavier, so it’s a great substitute for heavy cream. It’s not sweet, so no worries but it is rich in healthy fats.
(Soy milk is a common replacement but there is some health controversy surround it, so you can decide if that’s a good option for you on your own.) Silk is the best readily available brand because it has less sugars and is generally less processed than brands like Almond Breeze.
Instead of wheat flour use almond, coconut or oat flour.
If you’re avoiding gluten or empty carbohydrates, almond flour, coconut flour and oat flour can be used to bake, bread and batter. Almond and coconut flour are lower in carbohydrates by a long shot. Don’t be scurred, there are about 1 million recipes online that use these ingredients so you won’t be in unchartered territory.
Bob’s Red Mill brand are the most commonly found flour substitutes but at $10 for almond flour, I tend to go to Trader Joes where it’s just $3.99.
Instead of butter or sugar use unsweetened applesauce.
Unsweetened appl sauce will reduce both the calories, sugar and fat. While one cup of applesauce is 100 calories, one cup of sugar is 770. (You can sub sugar for apple sauce in a 1:1 ratio, but for every cup of applesauce you use, reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup.) The consistency of applesauce also makes it a great butter or oil substitute. Try swapping half of your fatty oil with applesauce. (Instead of 1 cup of oil use 1/2 cup of oil and 1/2 cup of apple sauce.)
You can find Motts just about anywhere.
Instead of honey or agave nectar instead of sugar.
Honey is sweeter than sugar so it calls for less and has a lower glycemic index. Similarly agave is lower on the glycemic index, meaning it won’t cause spikes in blood sugar levels—no carb coma.