Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring—there’s actually a way to make your favourite foods healthier—and it’s not going to detract from the taste of your go-to meals, writes Jessica Morris.
Like many people, I have a sweet tooth. And this means that, no matter how hard I try, when it comes to choosing between a salad and cake, I’m always going to choose cake. The idea of making the food I love healthy seems a bit far-fetched, but nutritionists and experts have found that there are some ingredients which can easily be subbed out for healthier alternatives. Here are some of the best suggestions you can try at home.
There’s a lot of fearmongering around eating carbs, but there is good news, folks—you don’t have to give up your favourite pasta dish to be healthy. Substitute ribbons of zucchini for your normal pasta and you will end up with a delicious, light alternative. Simply sauté the zucchini for a few minutes and it’s ready to go.
It may seem odd, but beets add a similar sweetness to rich chocolate dishes as sugar. Experts suggest you grate up two- thirds of a cup to reduce sugar by a quarter of a cup. You can also try black beans instead of flour in brownies.
Ah, the avocado. Best friend of the millennial and the ideal substitute for anything thick and creamy in your meals. Avocado can be used to replace cream cheese, margarine, butter and yoghurt. This makes it perfect for cheesecakes, mousse, ice-cream, brownies…the list is endless.
Fans of fries or baked potatoes can’t go past a sweet potato substitute. Sweeter in flavour than your generic potato, and filled with Vitamin A, the key is to bake just long enough for it to get crispy. This moreish snack is surprisingly delicious.
Bananas are dense and naturally sweet (especially when ripe), so you can use them as a substitute for flour and sugar in pancakes, or mash and freeze them as an alternative to ice-cream. Rumour has it bananas can even substitute for bacon fat, but that might be taking it a bit too far…
Rice dishes are made a lot healthier when you grate and steam cauliflower instead. Foodies use this substitute because it provides them with a similar texture to rice, but cuts out fat, sodium and sugar.
Unsweetened apple sauce
Experts love apple sauce (you may know it as apple purée) because it provides the same sweetness as sugar. You can use it in most recipes with a 1:1 ratio, but you will have to cut down the liquid in your recipe by a quarter of a cup per cup of apple sauce.