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Healthy Cooking and Baking Substitutions

By: Beth Ann Morley, Editor, FaveHealthyRecipes.com

Eating healthy doesn't have to be difficult, especially now that you have these handy dandy ingredient substitutions. You can easily transform unhealthy dishes and desserts to be better for you. Perhaps you could swap out the sour cream for Greek yogurt or make sweet potato fries instead of French fries. Check out our complete list of ingredient swaps below!

How To Stay Healthy

Healthy Cooking and Baking Substitutions

Table of Contents

Baking Substitutions

Cooking Substitutions
 


For a healthy diet, you should be cooking with these 25 Superfoods


 

Baking Substitutions

  1. Use Greek Yogurt instead of Sour Cream
    • Ratio - 1:1
    • 1 cup of Greek yogurt has 214 calories, 5.7 g fat, and 11.4 g carbohydrates 
    • 1 cup of sour cream has 492 calories, 48.2 g fat, and 9.8 g carbohydrates

 

  1. Use Unsweetened Applesauce instead of Sugar or Butter
    • Applesauce and sugar ratio - 1:1
    • Applesauce and butter ratio - Replace half of the butter with applesauce but keep the rest of the butter in the recipe
    • 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce has 105 calories, 0.1 g fat, and 27.6 g carbohydrates 
    • 1 cup of sugar has 750 calories, 0 g fat, and 200 g carbohydrates
    • 1 cup of butter has 1,268 calories, 184.1 g fat, and 0.1 g carbohydrates

 

  1. Use Half & Half or Evaporated Milk instead of Heavy Cream
    • Half & Half and heavy cream ratio - 1:1
    • Evaporated milk and heavy cream ratio - 1:1
    • 1 cup of Half & Half has 315 calories, 27.8 g fat, and 10.4 g carbohydrates
    • 1 cup of evaporated milk has 338 calories, 19.1 g fat, and 25.3 g carbohydrates
    • 1 cup of heavy cream has 414 calories, 44.4 g fat, and 3.4 g carbohydrates

 

  1. Use Black Beans instead of Flour
    • Ratio - 1:1 
    • 1 cup of black beans has 662 calories, 2.8 g fat, and 121.0 g carbohydrates
    • 1 cup of flour has 455 calories, 1.2 g fat, and 95.4 g carbohydrates
    • Although the numbers seem in favor of flour, you should choose black beans because they're gluten free and chock full of protein!

 

  1. Use Pumpkin Puree instead of Butter or Vegetable Oil
    • Ratio - Use 3/4 cup pumpkin puree for every 1 cup butter
    • Pumpkin puree and vegetable oil ratio - 1:1
    • 1 cup of pumpkin puree has 83 calories, 0.7 g fat, and 19.8 g carbohydrates
    • 1 cup of butter has 1,268 calories, 184.1 g fat, and 0.1 g carbohydrates
    • 1 cup of vegetable oil has 1,927 calories, 218.0 g fat, and 0 carbohydrates

 

  1. Use Almond Flour instead of Flour
    • Ratio - 1:1 but the almond flour may require more eggs or a binding agent
    • 1 cup of almond flour has 160 calories, 14.0 g fat, and 6.0 g carbohydrates
    • 1 cup of white flour has 455 calories, 1.2 g fat, and 95.4 g carbohydrates

 

  1. Use Agave instead of Sugar
    • Ratio - For every 1 cup sugar use 2/3 cup agave and reduce the liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup.
    • 1 cup of agave has 632 calories and 157.9 g sugar
    • 1 cup of sugar has 750 calories and 200 g sugar
       

Cooking with quinoa doesn't have to be difficult. Check out our Tips and Tricks to Cooking Quinoa


 

Cooking Substitutions

  1. Use Brown Rice instead of White Rice
    • 1 cup of brown rice has 688 calories, 5.1 g fat, and 144.7 g carbohydrates
    • 1 cup of white rice has 677 calories, 1.2 g fat, and 147.9 g carbohydrates 
    • Although the numbers seem in favor of white rice, you should choose brown rice because it's full of healthy nutrients!

 

  1. Use Ground Turkey or Ground Chicken instead of Ground Beef
    • 1 pound of ground turkey has 600 calories, 28 g fat, and 88 g protein
    • 1 pound of ground chicken has 640 calories, 36.4 g fat, and 78 g protein
    • 1 pound of ground beef has 1,175 calories, 73.9 g fat, and 118.4 g protein
    • These numbers may change depending on how lean your meat is. 

 

  1. Use Cauliflower instead of Potatoes or White Rice
    • 1 cup of cauliflower has 25 calories, 0.1 g fat, and 5.3 g carbohydrates
    • 1 cup of potatoes has 104 calories, 0.1 g fat, and 23.6 g carbohydrates
    • 1 cup of white rice has 675 calories, 1.2 g fat, and 147.9 g carbohydrates

 

  1. Use Zucchini Noodles or Spaghetti Squash instead of Spaghetti
    • 1 cup of zucchini has 18 calories, 0.2 g fat, and 3.8 g carbohydrates
    • 1 cup of spaghetti squash has 31 calories, 0.6 g fat, and 7.0 g carbohydrates
    • 1 cup of spaghetti  has 221 calories, 1.3 g fat, and 43 g carbohydrates

 

  1. Use Sweet Potatoes instead of Russet Potatoes
    • 1 large sweet potato has 163 calories, 0.3 g fat, and 37.3 g carbohydrates
    • 1 large russet potato has 255 calories, 0.4 g fat, and 58.0 g carbohydrates 

 

  1. Use Quinoa instead of Couscous
    • 1 cup of quinoa has 626 calories, 10.3 g fat, and 109.1 g carbohydrates
    • 1 cup of couscous has 650 calories, 1.1 g fat, and 133.9 g carbohydrates
    • Quinoa is great because it is high in fiber, high in protein, chock full of nutrients, and gluten free. 

 

  1. Use Olive Oil instead of Butter
    • 1 tablespoon of olive oil has 120 calories, 7.3 g saturated fat, and 0 g carbohydrates
    • 1 tablespoon of butter has 102 calories, 2.0 g saturated fat, and 0 g carbohydrates

 

 

 

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This article is very helpful and included some surprise substitutions! I already knew about substituting ground turkey or chicken for beef, cauliflower for potatoes, and Agave for sugar, but black beans instead of flour? How would you prepare the black beans? Pumpkin puree instead of butter or vegetable oil? So very interesting!

YES. This page is a life saver. I always get the urge to cook and bake when I don't have the right ingredients. You da best!

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