Whether you’re a professional or an at-home chef, experimenting with recipes is always fun, and you’d be surprised at how many ways there are to make your favorite home cooked meals a little healthier. You don’t need a complete skill set in cooking to become more aware of what’s in the food you prepare.
No matter where you are in your healthy eating journey, it’s easy to up the nutritional benefits in the dishes you find yourself making over and over again. In honor of National Nutrition Month, I’ll be sharing a few of my go-to healthy alternatives that you can make in your kitchen.
So many times when we’re cooking at home, it’s easy to rely a little too much on butter. There are many great butter alternatives you can buy to boost the health benefits in your home-cooked meals, but I love to get creative! Unsweetened applesauce is a great simple alternative, or for even more health benefits, whip up an avocado puree. The creamy texture of avocados make them a perfect substitute for butter or margin. Use your blender to pulse the avocado into a puree and 1 cup of this healthy alternative should help you replace every cup of butter your recipe calls for.
Using avocado puree won’t affect the taste of your food in most cases, but it may add a slight tint to your dough. Use two teaspoons of lemon juice per cup in order to avoid the discoloration. I also recommend reducing the oven temperature by 25% and increasing the cook time when baking with this substitute to prevent browning and ensure your healthier baked goods come out, well, good!
Another quick and easy swap may be a life saver for the dairy-free at home chef. Instead of using cream, try reaching for coconut milk instead. Coconut milk is often considered a “miracle liquid” for the variety of health benefits it offers, including building your immune system and preventing disease. You can also whip up a coconut milk cream instead of using whipped cream as a sweet topping.
If you’re just looking for a light swap to start your healthy eating journey, try sprinkling cinnamon instead of sugar on your baked goods, oats, or yogurt. This great little tip also works for your morning coffee or afternoon tea! Cinnamon has a naturally sweet flavor that may satisfy your sweet tooth without all the calories. Check out some other health benefits of cinnamon here!
I love looking for new ways to bring my dishes to the next level. Using these simple swaps, you can confidently begin experimenting with your own at-home favorites. From a cup of avocado to a dash of cinnamon, every decision you make toward a healthier lifestyle is one you won’t regret!
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