Millions of Americans vowed to eat healthier for 2017. Only problem is that most of them have no idea how to do it without cutting out flavor. The good news though is that you don’t have to sacrifice taste for healthfulness. If you want to eat healthier but don’t want to get rid of all your favorite recipes, give these healthy ingredient swaps a try.
1. Instead of pasta noodles, make Zoodles
One of the best kitchen tools you can have at your disposal is a spiral vegetable slicer that can turn ordinary vegetables into noodles. If pasta dishes are always your downfall, make your noodles out of zucchini (hence Zoodles) instead. Best of all, you don’t need to boil them. All you do is sauté them with your favorite seasonings and sauces for a few minutes.
2. Instead of bread crumbs, try ground flaxseeds
Bread crumbs add lots of flavor, but also lots of sodium. By crushing up flaxseeds and mixing them up with your favorite herbs, you’ll get that crunchy texture and a big hit of flavor without the sodium spike.
3. Instead of sugar, use unsweetened applesauce
Apple sauce is a great substitute for sugar because it’s still sweet. Just remember the 1:1 ratio but you’ll need to take into the account the added liquid the applesauce will provide. To keep from making your recipe too watery, reduce the liquid in the recipe you use by 1/4 cup.
4. Instead of chocolate chips, choose cacao nibs
Love baking cookies but not such a fan of what they can do to your waistline? When you make your own cookie dough, you can instantly make them healthier by using cacao nibs. They are simply a more pure form of the chocolate with no additives or added sugar, but there are more antioxidants.
5. Instead of sugar, use vanilla extract
And while we’re on the subject of cookies, you can make your cookie dough in a more healthful way too. Just add those cacao nibs and you’re golden. When making your dough, cut 2 tablespoons of sugar from the recipe and replace with 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
6. Instead of salt, choose garlic powder
Cutting sodium can be challenging, but garlic powder makes it easy. Garlic powder (not to be confused with garlic salt!) gives you the benefits of garlic and provides plenty of flavor.
7. Instead of potato chips, eat kale chips
If you love eating chips with your sandwiches, make kale chips. This superfood turns into an incredibly crunchy and irresistible chip when you put it in the oven. Best of all, you can gobble it all up without incurring the wrath of added calories.
8. Instead of sour cream, use Greek yogurt
Love taco night or creamy dips? Make these fiesta foods healthier by using Greek yogurt in place of sour cream. It’s impossible to discern the difference. And another wonderful bonus of this swap is that Greek yogurt gives you more lean protein.