10 Jan, 2012
Healthy eating: substitutions
Posted by: jean in: Healthy Eating
A big part of eating healthily is cutting down on the food that we all know is full of saturated fat and/or carbohydrates. There are some very obvious substitutions such as using wholemeal instead of white pasta and switching to wholegrain bread.
There are others that are less obvious, such as the clever trick shared in the comments here by our reader SJ a while back – use the stalk from a head of broccoli as the base for a thick soup, providing a healthier alternative to cream or potatoes. There are plenty of ideas like this that will allow you to eat nutritious unprocessed food, rather than processed ‘low-fat’ versions of everything.
Some useful substitutions are:
- Brown basmati rice instead of white rice. Standard brown rice can be a bit boring and many people have a strong aversion to it; brown basmati has a better flavour and is less stodgy.
- Sour cream (my own personal weakness) can be replaced with low fat yogurt.
- Homemade salsa and guacamole are excellent healthy dips and can replace the creamy style dips.
- Sweet potatoes are a fantastic alternative to potatoes. They make great wedges/chips and mash, or a half and half normal potato and sweet potato mash is also very good.
- I thought for years that couscous was a grain; in fact it is a type of pasta made from semolina rolled with water into tiny pellets. It is already healthier than white pasta and you can get a wholemeal version, making it lighter again.
- Pancakes can be made with wholemeal flour and stuffed with healthy fillings, such as spinach and cottage cheese, curry, chilli or roasted vegetables. Make sweet versions with stewed apple with cinnamon, or chopped fresh fruit.
- Puy lentils can be substituted in many recipes that call for minced beef. They make a great bolognese, and I think that puy lentil cottage pie is even more delicious than the meat version.
What are your favourite substitutions? Do any of you have any magical alternatives to life necessities but arse-fatteners like cheese and coconut milk?