One of my challengers asked me this week, “Do you ever splurge and eat something that isn’t clean?” And my answer was, “Absolutely!” There are times (like date night, family celebrations, family night, birthdays, vacations) that I obviously throw caution to the wind and splurge on some of my favorite treats! 😉 But, what I have found that has helped me maintain this as a healthy lifestyle is if I’m craving something, I try and figure out a healthy and clean way to prepare it so I can enjoy it without the guilt! Clean eating doesn’t mean that you have to toss all of your favorite foods and recipes out the window. (Take a deep breath!)
Knowing the healthy substitutions to some of the key ingredients found in your favorite recipes can help to lower the calories, fat, and keep junk out of your favorite dish. Here are a few of my tricks:
Swapping out butter for an avocado or a banana will help keep the harmful saturated fat out of your recipe. You still get the creamy consistency, and by using either avocado or banana you also get some helpful antioxidants!
Try swapping out sugar for applesauce. When you use a 1:1 ratio sugar substitution, you will save yourself about 500 calories per cup! Not only will you cut back on unwanted sugar, but you get to keep the sweet taste and add a bit of fluffiness to your recipe.
If your recipe calls for canola oil or any oil, use Greek yogurt instead. Did you know that canola oil isn’t even a real oil? It’s true. This healthy swap will pack your recipe full of protein as well as cut down calories and fat.
Instead of using white flour, try using black beans. This is great for a gluten free option. By using black beans in your favorite brownie recipe you cut back over 200 calories. And don’t worry, you will still get the yummy taste of that brownie!
Instead of eggs, use Chia seeds. Place one tablespoon of the Chia seeds in one cup of water, and allow them to sit for 15 minutes. This creates the consistency of an egg, and by using Chia seeds you add a healthy dose of Omega-3s and fiber to your recipe.
Grab Cacao nibs instead of the chocolate chips the next time you bake your favorite batch of chocolate chip cookies. This healthy swap keeps unwanted artificial ingredients and additives out of your recipe. Cocao nibs also add antioxidants and carry mood-enhancing benefits.
Swap dairy milk for nut milk in your next recipe. This is a great swap for those who are lactose intolerant. This will also cut down the calories and fat content in your recipe. If you need a bit of flavor, choose a nut milk that has pure vanilla added to it.
For a visual of these healthy swaps, I have included this infographic.