Whether or not your new year’s resolution has to do with eating better, January is here and pretty much everyone is thinking about healthy eating. After a month (or two!) of rich, decadent food, our bodies have the right to demand more wholesome eats and, honestly, I’m ready, too. Don’t worry: It doesn’t have to be a bummer. There are plenty of easy, healthy food substitutions that taste just as good as the original, making it a cinch to start eating better. Or at least a little bit easier.
IN with applesauce, OUT with sugar.
Yes, it’s true: You can substitute applesauce for sugar in baking. You get the sweetness you need with significantly fewer calories. Use a one-to-one swap of applesauce for sugar, but be sure to reduce the other liquid in the recipe by 1/4 for every 1 cup of applesauce used.
IN with whole wheat flour, OUT with white flour.
Whole wheat flour works great in tons of recipes as a substitution for white flour, adding a depth of flavor and heartier texture to baked goods. To make the switch, substitute 7/8 cups of whole wheat flour for every 1 cup of flour called for in a recipe. Or, though the health benefits aren’t quite as significant, use a 1-to-1 swap of whole wheat pastry flour for white flour. You get added health without having to do any math. Phew.
IN with yogurt, OUT with sour cream.
Plain yogurt has the same texture and tart flavor as sour cream, but about half the fat and calories. Plus, if you use Greek-style yogurt, you’ll get that creaminess you’re used to with sour cream, not to mention added protein. Yogurt can be substituted directly for sour cream as a topping or in cooking. You can also use this handy chart about baking with yogurt at our editor Stacie’s site, One Hungry Mama, for recommendations on how to swap it into baked goodies.
IN with evaporated skim milk, OUT with heavy cream.
If your recipe calls for cream, break out a can of evaporated skim milk instead. It works the same, tastes just as good, and there is less than half the saturated fat you find in cream. Swap cream for evaporated milk with a 1:1 ratio. Easy peasy.
IN with cauliflower, OUT with rice or potatoes.
It’s not that rice or potatoes are bad for you, but cauliflower is a superfood packed with nutrients. Next time you want rice with dinner, try steaming and grating cauliflower instead. Our friends at The Kitchn have a great tutorial on how to make cauliflower rice. And if you’re whipping up a batch of mashed potatoes, steam cauliflower until it is very soft, then mash (or puree) that instead. Need inspiration—or just a recipe to follow?—Stacie has a great recipe for Brown Butter Mashed Cauliflower at One Hungry Mama that she swears by. If you can’t give up potatoes completely, try combining potatoes and cauliflower half-and-half. It’s healthier and crazy delicious.