January 7, 2015

Healthy Alternatives

I gave up meat for the New Year. Not all animal byproducts, but chicken, beef, turkey, and pork will no longer be in my staple food list. I am going to finish the meat that is in my freezer and do my best to not buy anymore, or eat anymore (I did make a quarterly agreement to be able to eat organic, locally raised meat though. Hey, a girl needs a damn cheeseburger every now and then). I am also trying to find alternatives to added sugar and replacing some of the more processed grains in my life. I know, huge steps that may end up making me a crotchety ol bitty.

I have a friend who is working on her M.S. in Nutrition so I am very lucky to be able to ask her all kinds of questions about my diet and alternatives to what I am currently eating. She has great ideas and will possibly be all over the Internet someday for her "Just Look At Your Poop" approach to a healthy diet. She sent me a link today with healthy alternatives to most of the fatty, processed crap we put in our food on a daily basis because I was looking for alternatives to butter and sugar. It is worth sharing this with you all and putting it here so I have it for a quick reference in my own kitchen.

1 cup butter, shortening, or oil = 1 cup applesauce
1 cup butter = 1 cup of a not very ripe banana or 1 cup mashed avocado
cooking spray = 1 Tbsp olive oil, coconut oil or avocado oil
1 Tbsp. sugar = 1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup sugar = 3/4 cup honey, in baking, reduce liquids by 1/4 and mix in 1/4 tsp baking soda ( if baking soda is not already included) for every cup of honey used. Food will brown faster as it bakes so watch the amount of time it bakes in the oven.
1 cup heavy whipping cream = 1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup chocolate chips = 1 cup carob chips
1 cup white flour = 1 cup black bean puree
1 large egg = 1 Tbsp chia seeds and 3 Tbsp water
1 cup pasta = 1 cup spaghetti squash, zucchini, shredded cabbage, ribboned eggplant or bean sprouts
1 cup cooked rice = 1 cup grated steamed cauliflower, cooked quinoa, cooked barley or cooked millet
1 cup mashed potatoes = 1 cup mashed cauliflower, celery root, parsnip or carrot
1 cup cream = 1 cup Greek yogurt or coconut milk
1 cup sour cream = 1 cup Greek yogurt
1 tortilla = 1 large leaf of lettuce
1 Tbsp. mayo or miracle whip = 1 Tbsp. greek yogurt, mashed avocado, olive oil, hummus, pesto, mustard, cottage cheese or almond butter. These alternatives are great for spreads on sandwiches!
1 cup of uncooked quick oats or oatmeal = 1 cup of uncooked millet, barley, quinoa, amaranth or spelt
canola oil = Greek yogurt Cut the oil in half and add ¾ cup of yogurt for every cup of oil that you remove from the recipe.
frosting = whipped cream, fresh fruit, fruit glaze or homemade pudding. Use as much as desired.
creamed soups = mashed potato flakes or pureed carrots, add as much as desired to broth for a creamy consistency.

Be adventurous in all aspects of your life, don't be afraid to try something new and scary!