Swap common kitchen staples – making better choices
You want to enjoy life! And while being healthy helps you do that, you still need to find ways that you can focus on your health day in and day out.
Keeping your kitchen stocked with healthy food staples will encourage you to choose nutritious foods throughout the week and help you steer clear of any poor nutritional choices.
Here are some Substitutions for our common kitchen staples.
Coconut flour is a dry, incredibly absorbent flour made from dried and ground coconut meat. It is a great source of fiber, protein, and fat. However, it is so absorbent that you only need a small amount of coconut flour for a typical baking recipe – far less than a 1:1 ratio replacement of regular wheat flour, typically around 1/3 cup coconut flour for every 1 cup of wheat flour. You also may need more eggs or other moisturizers like applesauce, since coconut flour is so dry. As with most substitutions, but especially with coconut flour, start by following a recipe from a reputable source first to see how it works before experimenting on your own.
Almond flour is typically made from blanched, ground, and dried almonds. It has fewer carbohydrates and fiber than coconut flour and is a good source of important nutrients like vitamin E, iron, and manganese. Almond flour can also be used in place of breadcrumbs for chicken dishes.
Quinoa flour is naturally gluten free. It adds whole-grain nutrition and essential amino acids to baked goods. Quinoa is one of the only plant foods that’s a complete protein, offering all the essential amino acids and it the worlds best source of potassium.
Brown rice flour It is high in protein, iron, fiber and vitamin B. It is rich in manganese, which helps in the proper development of bones and cartilage. It also helps in better absorption of calcium.
Chickpea flour is a delicious and healthy alternative to wheat flour. It has a delicious nutty flavour, sweet aroma and light yellow colour. It’s also high in protein, iron and fiber and naturally gluten free.
There’s another key kitchen staple that many of us can’t live without – and even feel “addicted to” – that can be omitted by choosing sweeteners from whole foods sources like honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, and stevia: yes, you can actually bake without sugar!
it’s okay to use honey to replace sugar in most recipes as long as you bake it at a lower temp (by about 25 degrees), reduce the other liquids in the recipe for 1/4 cup for every 1 cup of honey, and add a pinch of baking soda.
Other Sugar substitutes are, but not limited to:
- Agave Nectar
- Maple Syrup
- Apple Sauce
Anyone who wants to avoid eating dairy – due to lactose intolerance or a dairy free diet like Paleo – will need to find alternate sources of healthy fats and liquids for baking. Here are four good options:
Coconut oil is a great alternative because it has a high smoke point, meaning it is less likely to burn while cooking. Most Paleo baking recipes call for coconut oil instead of butter.
Olive oil is another option. As with coconut oil, olive oil has a strong taste that will likely come through in the end product, so choose to use olive oil with foods that will complement the flavor.
Avocados are a wonderful source of omega-3’s and vitamin E, and can be used in place of butter depending on the dish. It’s recommended to only substitute half of the butter with avocado for optimum results.
Apple-sauce, while not a fat source, can mimic the effect of butter by keeping baked goods moist. Use applesauce in place of butter for recipes, especially cakes, but be sure to keep half the original amount of butter unless you want a super dense and moist cake.
As a way to make special treats a part of an overall healthy lifestyle, these ingredient substitutions are both smart and delicious. What are your favorite substitutes for the common kitchen staples? Share with us in the comments below!