Healthy Food Swaps

Last night, a friend sent me a link to her Pinterest board where she posts all the yummy recipes she intends on making. I’ve been on Pinterest before, but last night was different. Last night, I had a little more time to browse around and really get sucked in.

Before I knew it, two hours had passed and I had three recipe boards of my own to share. Two were made up solely of healthy recipes, which by the way also look scrumptious. But the third, well, that was the home for my indulgences. We all have them, and in my opinion, it’s important to let yourself indulge every so often. But wouldn’t it be great if your indulgences could be just a little healthier? Well, they can.

Keep these healthy food swaps in mind when you’re perusing the recipe boards.

Whole Wheat Flour – If you’ve ever tried swapping whole wheat for white flour in a recipe, you might think I’ve lost my mind. I know, it’s not the same thing, but it’s not an all or nothing kind of swap. Try replacing half of the flour with a whole wheat version.

Quinoa – This awesome little seed is packed with protein (a full 9 grams per serving!) and fiber – and, it makes a great replacement for white rice in any recipe. It even cooks quicker than rice, so there’s no reason not to give it a try.

Greek Yogurt – Replace sour cream with Greek yogurt and get an instant boost of protein, calcium and beneficial probiotics. One ounce of Greek yogurt has 11 grams of protein and 10% of your daily recommended value of calcium.

Natural Sweeteners – Just because a recipe calls for refined sugar doesn’t mean you have to use it. Refined sugars spike your blood sugar levels much quicker than many natural alternatives. Here are some options:

Stevia: Stevia is an extract derived from a plant, so it’s all natural. It’s super sweet, though. Just two to three drops of liquid stevia will replace 1 tsp. of refined sugar. Because the volume and texture are so different, it can be difficult to replace sugar with stevia in baking. It’s not impossible, but if you aren’t an experienced baker, you may want to consider another option and keep the stevia for other recipes.

*Xylitol: This is a low-glycemic, natural sweetener that has about 40% fewer calories than sugar. Here’s the good news for you bakers out there. You can replace sugar for xylitol in a 1:1 ratio, so there is no adjusting necessary.

*Xylitol is deadly for dogs. Make sure you keep your baked goods up, up and away from Fido.

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