Let’s all admit the truth here: it’s virtually impossible to swap one ingredient for another without your taste buds noticing. The internet is full of healthy ingredient swap suggestions, but none of them are actually seamless.
Take Greek yogurt, for example. Apologies to those of you who advocate for this, but Greek yogurt is not and can never be a viable substitute for sour cream. It’s healthier, sure, but it just doesn’t taste as good. (And we love sour cream too much to give up the few times we use it.)
While we’re always looking for ways to eat healthily, we don’t really want to do so at the sake of our meal enjoyment. But what we can embrace are healthy substitutes that don’t take away from the pleasure of a meal ― even though they taste different.
That’s what we have for you today; four healthy ingredient swaps that don’t diminish the enjoyment of meals. Sure, you’ll notice a difference, but you’ll still want to eat the dish.
In the hopes of eating healthier for 2017, here are the four swaps we recommend trying from time to time.
1. Avocado in place of butter or mayonnaise. There’s a reason that avocado toast has been the “it” breakfast the past couple of years ― it’s just as good as buttered toast. One thing a lot of people don’t consider is that avocado also works as a nice substitute in place of mayo. Spread it on a piece of bread for a sandwich or use it to make an egg salad. You’ll never go back.
2. Applesauce in place of oil in baked goods. It’s uncanny how well this works. Try it in muffins, cakes and even your favorite brownie recipe. It’s a one-to-one substitute, so if one cup of oil was called for, you can replace it with one cup of applesauce.
3. Oatmeal as a substitute for breadcrumbs. If you’re breading chicken, you’ll probably notice ― and might not appreciate ― the difference in texture. But for recipes like meatloaf or meatballs where the breadcrumbs are just mixed in, this is one swap where a healthy substitute is hardly noticeable.
4. Date puree instead of sugar. In case you didn’t know, dates are incredibly sweet. Ground into a paste, they can be easily used in cakes, ice cream and smoothies in place of sugar. It’s too easy not to try. And making life easier, it’s just a one-to-one substitute.
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