“How do I make a healthier version of my own favourite recipes?”

I thought there might be a few more of you out there with this question, so figured it was worth a post. Often times you can switch these out 1 for 1, but if not I’ll clarify:

Pasta Based Recipes:

  • Switch out for zucchini noodles (raw)
  • Or roasted spaghetti squash (cooked)

Heavy Butter Recipes:

  • If you are not dairy intolerant, make sure it’s grass fed, organic butter
  • Or switch to coconut oil

Cream Based Recipes:

  • Make cashew cream. Soak cashews in water for 4-6 hours, then place in food processor or high speed blender.
  • Depending on how much you have, or the desired consistency, blend while adding a bit of water. For very creamy, you will need to add up to 1/2 cup water for 1 cup cashews.
  • Use full-fat coconut milk
  • For dips or soups with cream, try pureeing white beans. They have little flavour but really add an extra protein kick and make it creamy.

Soup Based Recipes (i.e. Campbell’s soups):

  • Keep it soup based, but pick one up where you can read, pronounce and understand all of the ingredients. The organic section of the grocery store or the health food store has cleaner soups
    *Note: There is nothing wrong with a soup based recipe; the issue becomes when it’s calling for a soup that is full of icky ingredients.

High Sugar Recipes:

  • Use unsweetened apple sauce in baking muffin type recipes
  • Medjool dates or date paste, which is dates soaked and then blended in water. This can also be used instead of maple syrup or honey, but will change the consistency a bit so you need to experiment. My favourite brand is Natural Delights.
  • For brown sugar, use coconut sugar as it’s said to be lower on the glycemic index. There is not a lot of data on this, and it’s still sugar, so use sparingly.

Cheese Sauces:

  • Substitute with nutritional yeast based sauce.
  • Or, use a good quality goat’s cheese, as that is easier to digest.

Milk Chocolate Based Recipes:

  • Use 70% dark chocolate or higher, like Giddy YoYo, one of my favourite brands.

Bacon Bits:

  • Replace with some salted pumpkin or sunflower seeds

Recipes Requiring Packaged ‘Seasoning’, Like Fajitas:

  • Replace with nothing but the pure spices (i.e. chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, onion powder and cayenne). You can always look up spice combinations online with good ol’ Google.

Savoury Pie Crust:

  • Replace with a sweet potato crust, like here. Or, go crustless.

Sweet Pie Crust:

  • Replace with a mix of dates and nuts, like here.

Pizza Crust:

  • For a full on, WAY healthier option, try this cauliflower crust.
  • Or, use a combination of gluten-free flours.

Mandy King is a Holistic Nutritionist and Gluten Free Guru who shares her expertise with She Does The City. For recipes and nutrition tips, visit her website, HEAL. Follow Mandy on Twitter@mandyking_HEAL. Like Healthy Eating and Living on Facebook here. You can also find Mandy on Pinterest and Instagram.