Clean Food. Healthy Bodies.

Top 20 Healthy Cooking Substitutions


Perhaps you’ve come across this dilemma: You love to eat clean, but you also love to experiment in the kitchen. And many of the recipes that make you salivate call for ingredients less than supportive of your ‘clean food, healthy bodies‘ ambitions.

Fret no more!

Stay on top of your health AND your culinary passions with these Top 20 Healthy Cooking Substitutions:

  1. Instead of white or wheat flour, use almond flour: Almond flour is a bit heavier than traditional flour, so you may need to experiment a bit with conversions, but almond flour is a fantastic way to get an extra boost of protein, omega-3s, and a delicious nutty flavor in your baking.bef274a567f10f3e.crop
  2. Instead of butter or oil, use applesauce: Great for bread recipes, such as zucchini or banana bread
  3. Instead of sugar, use Stevia: Much sweeter than sugar, a recipe calling for 1 cup of sugar should be swapped for 1 teaspoon liquid stevia (or about 2 tablespoons stevia powder).
  4. Instead of butter, use avocado puree: Excellent for creating creamy, decadent taste, 1 cup of avocado puree per cup of butter works generally works well.
  5. Instead of flour, use black beans: Swapping beans for flour helps you cut out gluten and refined flour, PLUS it boots fiber and protein in your recipe. For baking, swap 1 cup flour for 1 cup black bean puree.
  6. Instead of chocolate chips, use cacao nibs: Forgo all the sugar and additives added to store bought chocolate chips and stick with cacao instead
  7. Instead of pasta, use zucchini or spaghetti squash: Cut out highly refined, highly processed pasta and replace it with spaghetti squash for a delicious, nutrient dense dinner. Or spiralize zucchini for a healthy pasta alternative.
  8. Instead of white rice, use brown rice or quinoa: White rice has been stripped of nearly all nutrient value, so stick with brown rice, whose dark colored bran and fiber content is still present. Even better, switch to quinoa (which is technically a seed), boosting protein and fiber in your favorite meals.
  9. Instead of mashed potatoes, use cauliflower: Simply steam and puree cauliflower with a tablespoon of olive oil for an excellent comfort food substitution.Mashed-Cauliflower-1
  10. Instead of bread crumbs, use ground flax seed: Same texture, better taste and exponentially better nutrition value.
  11. Instead of white rice, use steamed cauliflower: Taste and texture are practically the same, yet cauliflower is light years ahead as far as healthy body benefits.
  12. Instead of tortilla wraps, use butter lettuce cups: Skip highly processed and packaged wraps, opting for extra greens, fiber and taste instead.
  13. Instead of beef, use bison or ground turkey: Lean, organic cuts of bison or turkey are an excellent red meat alternative.
  14. Instead of pita, use veggies for dipping in hummus: What’s better than bread?! Veggies? This is a great way to sneak more into your daily routine while reducing processed food consumption.
  15. Instead of potato chips, use kale or beet chips: Craving crunch? Get your snack on AND boost your health with homemade beet chips.Nutritional-Yeast
  16. Instead of french fries, use sweet potato wedges: Yep, you can still have fries! Just make them the sweet potato kind, boosting fiber, flavor AND vitamins.
  17. Instead of cream, use coconut milk: Delicious, rich and creamy never tasted so good. Excellent for soups and smoothies.
  18. Instead of cheese, use nutritional yeast: The taste is slightly different, but nutritional yeast is packed with folate and essential amino acids that boost overall health as well as provide a healthy substitute for anything you might sprinkle with cheese.
  19. Instead of mayo, use avocado mash: Loaded with healthy fats and fiber, mashed avocado is an excellent alternative to mayo. Seriously, have you ever read the ingredient label on mayo?! Grab an avocado instead!
  20. Instead of juice, use sparkling water: Whether you’re looking for a refreshing beverage or a healthier alternative to use as a mixer in alcoholic drinks, soda water can’t be beat. Add fresh lemon, limes or berries to boost the flavor and fun to an even higher level.

So get cooking! And feel free to share your clean eating recipes or pictures on the Eat Clean Health Facebook page.

For personalized support and information related to clean eating, balanced nutrition, and healthy lifestyle, visit Eat Clean Health and look at the variety of nutrition plans, programs, detoxes and meal plans found there. And don’t forget to sign up for the Eat Clean Health  monthly newsletter.



Jodi Geigle is a board certified nutrition and wellness professional highly experienced in nutrition counseling, wellness program creation, effective client behavior modification, corporate wellness and large scale team leadership with an emphasis in operations, technology and start up culture. Jodi has been featured in Women's Running, and MindBodyGreen.

2 thoughts on “Top 20 Healthy Cooking Substitutions

  1. Pingback: Healthier Baking with Sugar Substitutes | Recipes for a Healthy You

  2. Pingback: Spices to Boost Overall Health and Wellness - The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans LLC

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