I honestly thought that choosing this career path was going to be a conflict of interest with my 32 sweet teeth. I am known for bringing baked goods to get-togethers and have no desire to cook a veggie dish. But with the help of science, cooking professionals, and the internet healthful substitutions are becoming ever popular. Truth be told nutrition is a science, it is not an opinion. With science comes conflicting research (ex: 6 meals are better than 3…some studies prove this yet others don’t). This is the point at which media will take the latest fad, exploit it, and make claims that the fad will work for everybody. So now we reach the point where I tell you yet again that health is a relationship that you have with you and your body. So another healthy tip this holiday season is to find a healthy substitution!
Holiday party number 1! I made Kaluah Mudslide Cupcakes and instead of using an 3 eggs I used 1 and 2 packets of flax meal and 6 tablespoons of water. TIP: make mini cupcakes – this helps control calorie intake! (http://boozybakeshop.com/2011/01/29/nostalgia-in-a-cupcake/)
Holiday party number 2! I made peanut butter chocolate cups from one of my favorite blogs – the lean green bean! This recipe is a great natural way to make chocolate and very versatile. I used peanut butter, coconut oil, honey, cocoa powder, and walnuts (it’s all that I had on hand). But this recipe is what you make it: add any fruit zest, dried fruit, nuts, anything that your taste buds may like. So again I made these in mini cupcake tins for everyone to just get a taste! (http://www.theleangreenbean.com/freezer-chocolate-peanut-butter-cups/)
The most popular option is using pureed fruit to replace sugar or oil/butter. The natural sugar found in fruits and honey (fructose) have more benefits since it has not gone through the extraction process like sugar cane, sugar beets, or corn. Some other popular ones I’ve tried are: avocado for butter, vegetable puree instead of oil/butter (for cake – like Seinfeld’s wife!), beans for flour, oat flour (just put quick oats in a blender and process) for wheat flour, chia seeds and flax meal for eggs, greek yogurt for oil/butter, and so much more! What are your favorites!?
This doesn’t have to just been in baked goods. There are so many things you can do in a healthy lifestyle to add in these natural sources of goodness! Substitutions like: mashed cauliflower to add in to your potatoes, squash and zucchini noodles instead of pasta, whole grain pastas and breads for white, veggies instead of crackers for dipping tools, vegetable purees to add into sauces (ex: spaghetti sauce), instead of salt sniff your way through your seasonings cabinet, and even adding beans to a meat mixture. Here is a great article on substitutions: http://greatist.com/health/83-healthy-recipe-substitutions
For more healthful dishes or healthful substitution ideas follow my “for the health of it” board on Pinterest! http://www.pinterest.com/taymartin/for-the-health-of-it/