5 better-for you holiday recipe substitutions PermalinkWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Yes, the holidays are all about enjoyment and celebration, but who says sneaking in a surprise serving of fiber, vitamins and iron can’t be part of that equation? Use these tips to deliver flavorful favorites with a surprise hit of added nutrition. Don’t worry this holiday secret is safe with us.

Instead of Mayonnaise
Try: Mashed Avocado 
In addition to being high in cholesterol, mayonnaise is often made with genetically modified canola oil. The verdict is still out on how this scientifically adulterated crop is impacting our health. The best solution? Stay away. Avocado offers the same creamy consistency with the added benefit of also delivering potassium, calcium and fiber. Try it on sandwiches.

Instead of Oil
Try: Pureed Pumpkin 
The easiest way to health up holiday quick breads and cookies? Ditch the oil for pureed pumpkin. We’re not sure how the squash does it, but a one-to-one substitution results in tender baked goods with a fraction of the fat. Plus, pumpkin is rich in vitamins A, C and fiber. Be sure to look for unsweetened pumpkin to avoid added sugar.

Instead of White Sugar 
Try: Pureed dried dates
We all know white sugar isn’t great s but sometimes nothing else will do, right? Actually, there are plenty of healthful options that deliver the sweet without the guilt. For a lower glycemic load try agave or stevia. Our favorite natural sweetener comes straight from nature and offers fiber and trace minerals.  Make date sugar by pureeing dried fruit at home.

Instead of Buttermilk
Try: 1 tbsp. lemon juice in dairy free milk (let sit 5 mins) 
Perhaps you’ve made your own buttermilk using milk and lemon juice, but did you know that strategy works just as well with alternative dairy options? Consider this trick to serve lactose intolerant and/or vegan eaters. Dairy-free buttermilk is great in salad dressings, pancakes and quick breads.

Instead of Breadcrumbs 
Try: Coconut flour 
Deliver the crunch without the gluten by using roasted coconut flour in place of breadcrumbs. By doing so you replace empty calories with protein, fiber and vitamin C. Whew knew? Even better, you’ve given  gluten-free and Paleo dinner guests a great recipe trick.

Remember, we have a bunch of healthy holiday-ready recipes on our site. And, you can find more healthy substitutions and recipes from our health partner Fruits and Veggie More Matters. 

Comment (1)

  1. Lori says:

    Love these subs ! I Always use Made in Nature dates now in my salads and marinades for sweetness!

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