Monday, September 3, 2012

Healthy Eating

I’m from the South, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that I love fried chicken, fried catfish, fried okra, and…see the pattern here? Oh, and pass a biscuit, and I’ll take a slab of butter. Eek! Add a piece of pecan pie for dessert, and you have a heart attack waiting to happen. I knew something had to change if I expected to watch my grandchildren grow up.

Being a foodie, I’m not one who will sacrifice flavor, so I’ve learned to substitute ingredients in recipes. I’ve learned that plain yogurt tastes (almost) exactly like sour cream on potatoes or in recipes. Smoothies made with nothing but fresh or frozen fruit and sweetened with…nothing else are delicious. You can even substitute unsweetened applesauce for the egg and oil in cake recipes. When I feel an urge to eat a Reece’s Cup, I smear a little natural peanut butter on a couple squares of dark chocolate, and I have the flavor without the guilt.

    Here are some more substitutions—some I’ve tried and some I haven’t yet:
  • Meringue for frosting
  • Pureed avocado for anything creamy
  • Spaghetti squash for pasta
  • Steamed and pureed cauliflower for mashed potatoes
  • Quinoa for any starchy side dish
  • Black beans for flour
  • Mashed banana for fat
  • Ground turkey for ground beef
  • Coconut milk for cream
  • Almond milk for cow’s milk

Photo courtesy of Jeltovski on


Jane said...

Interesting... I need to talk with you about this. Trying to eat a healthier diet, too. But even more, I am trying to make recipes healthier for my cooking classes.You mentioned things I had not known...such as black beans for flour...mashed banana for fat. Tell me more....

Debby Mayne said...

When you have a recipe that calls for fat, use avocado if it's not sweet and banana if it is. You can do 100 percent substitution for fat.

I've played around a little bit with the black bean substitution, and I've found that you can switch out half the flour with pureed black beans. If possible, use whole wheat flour for the other half. Another substitution is flax meal, but I'm not sure how well it would rise if you get below half the flour that the recipe calls for. Since brownies are supposed to be dense, they do well with more black beans, whereas with cake, you have to be more careful.