Like I’ve mentioned many times, eating clean isn’t always easy. Many recipes call for ingredients that aren’t clean, like white flour, sugar, butter, and cream. Lots of our favorite comfort foods are full of unhealthy fats and sugars, so they are hard to make clean. Even though not all recipes can be made clean, many can! With these recipe substitutions, you can learn how to clean up almost any recipe.
Ground turkey for ground beef. Lean and extra lean ground turkey can be used in place for ground beef, reducing your fat intake.
Plain nonfat Greek yogurt for mayonnaise or sour cream. Greek yogurt tastes almost exactly the same, but has no fat, and has protein.
Whole wheat flour for white (all purpose) flour. Since whole wheat flour is more dense, use 7/8 cup of whole wheat flour for every cup of all purpose flour in a recipe.
Olive oil for vegetable oil. Olive oil is natural and has a high dose of healthy fats.
Unsweetened applesauce for sugar. Use the same amount of applesauce as you would sugar, but reduce the liquid in the recipe by ¼ cup for each cup of applesauce used.
Crushed flaxseed for breadcrumbs. Flaxseed is full of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber.
Rolled oats for breadcrumbs. If you don’t have any flaxseed, oats add extra fiber too.
Avocado puree for butter. Replace those unhealthy fats with beneficial ones.
Mashed cauliflower for mashed potatoes. Get an extra serving of veggies while cutting back on starchy carbs from potatoes. Just don’t add all the butter and gravy like you would on potatoes.
Mashed banana for butter. Avoid the fat in butter, and add an extra serving of fruit instead!
Cacao nibs for chocolate chips. If you can handle the bitter taste of 100% cacao, go for it!
Whole wheat pasta for white pasta. Add extra fiber and avoid processed carbs by making this switch.
Nuts and seeds for croutons. Instead of using processed croutons on your salad, add nuts or seeds instead. You’ll get the same crunch, but with added nutrients.
Pureed fruit for syrup and jelly. Fruit is naturally sweet and flavorful, so add it to your pancakes, toast, waffles, and biscuits to naturally sweeten them up!
Honey for sugar. Just use half the amount of honey that you would sugar.
Spinach leaves for iceberg lettuce. Even though iceberg lettuce is clean, spinach has way more vitamins and minerals!
Homemade bread for store-bought. Make your own whole wheat bread, biscuits, and tortillas instead of buying them at the store. The hard part is finding a good recipe and making sure your baked goods get eaten before they get moldy.
Fresh fruit for store-bought fruit juice. Juice at the store can hardly be called juice; it’s mostly processed sugar!
Fresh fruit for canned fruit. Canned fruit can be full of preservatives and sugar, especially if it’s canned in syrup.
Spices for condiments. When adding flavor to your food, don’t reach for processed ketchup, barbecue sauce, or dressings. Use spices to enhance your food. My favorites are cinnamon, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and pepper.
Quinoa for rice. Quinoa is a complete protein, has lots of fiber, and is full of nutrients.