Sunday, October 7, 2012

Healthy recipe substitutions (guest post by Bridget Sanderford).

Today I'd like to introduce you to Bridget Sanderford. She is a freelance writer for, which is an excellent resource for anyone who is thinking of attending a culinary art school. She's sharing some of her best tips and tricks to make healthy substitutions in your recipes with us (I added the photos). Take it away Bridget!

Healthy Recipe Substitutions
Cakes and cookies are delicious treats, but they aren't necessarily the best foods for you to eat. Some of our favorite foods are often loaded with too much fat and sugar, making them unhealthy indulgences. However, that doesn't mean we have to avoid these treats completely or only enjoy them once in a blue moon.

Lighten these cuties up!

There are many healthy substitutions you can use to make your recipes healthier so you can enjoy your favorites more often and without guilt. Here are a few common substitutions you can try to make your recipes healthier:

Refined sugars plague a number of dishes, especially baked goods. However, you can use natural sweeteners to make these dishes just as sweet while also improving their nutrient profile. Here are a few ideas:
  • Unsweetened applesauce. Substitute one-to-one in place of sugar.
  • Vanilla. Use half the sugar and add a teaspoon of vanilla to enhance flavor while reducing overall sugar.
  • Cacao. Chocolate starts as cacao and then lots of sugar and milk is added. Cacao gives you the flavor without all the extras.
Some other substitutions include:
  • Stevia (a natural herb with zero calories)
  • Raw honey
  • Dates
  • Fruit

You will have to experiment with these ingredients to determine the amounts to substitute to make up for the same sweetness as sugar. 

Butter, oils, and cream are in so many dishes, both sweet and savory. Fortunately, there are many healthy recipe swaps you can make so that these dishes aren't as fatty. Here are a few ideas:
  • Cooking spray. Use this to line your pans or skillets instead of butter or oil.
  • Egg whites. Use two egg whites instead of a whole egg.
  • Greek yogurt. Use in place of sour cream for less fat and far more nutrients.
  • Evaporated skim milk. Use one-to-one in place of cream.
Some other possible substitutions include:
  • Broth
  • Avocado
  • Prunes
  • Bananas
  • Applesauce

Many of these can be substituted in place of butter or oil. You must experiment with your particular recipe to find out what ratios work best to preserve flavor.
Of course, there are also many fat-free or reduced-fat versions of foods such as meats and dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and cheeses. Opting for lower-fat versions is an easy way to cut the fat without making substitutions or sacrificing flavor.

Image source

You don't have to give up on your favorites dishes because they are loaded with unhealthy ingredients such as fat and sugar. You can try some of these substitutions to make healthier versions of those dishes so  you can enjoy them whenever you want.

What are your favorite recipe substitutions to make your dishes healthier? Share your tips in the comments!

Bridget Sandorford is a freelance writer and researcher for, where recently she’s been researching pastry chef degrees and top culinary art schools. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting, and working on her first cookbook.

Pin It I link up to these parties.


  1. Great to know! With holiday baking coming up, I need to look for a few healthier ingredients so I can still fit into my jeans when all is said and done lol.

  2. Your newest follow via GFC. Thanks for the great recipe tips.

    Happy Kids, Inc

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