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Worried about calories and the nutrition quotient in traditional diet and want healthy food alternatives? Here is a list of food substitutes for healthier cooking.
I am always on the look out for healthier options in our diet, but I fall into a category where I cannot compromise in either taste or nutrition. That is tough to balance, isn’t it? That is the reason why I try to explore recipes that incorporate healthy food alternatives.
Of course, the hard truth is that indulgence knows no alternatives! But the ingredients in your recipes have! When you cannot stop yourself from indulging in your favourite dish, then be sure to make it in the most nutritious form possible. Choosing deeper shades of a particular food is a good way of using food substitutes – preferring brown rice to white rice, brown bread to white bread, jaggery to sugar, rock/sea salt to table salt etc.
Food substitutes many not replicate the exact qualities of the main ingredient in focus but it can certainly form nutrition in disguise. When you are looking for ingredient substitutes, they should be in a way that they gel well without affecting much of your final taste and also do the job of not spoiling your dish.
For example, I started using brown sugar instead of regular white sugar at home and it turns out to be just fine. When you add it to the plain milk, apart from turning the milk to a slight golden tinge, it doesn’t alter the flavour much. For most of the healthy food alternatives, it is more to do with the habit of getting used to it, like it is when you start a new hobby or a fitness routine. Once the habit is in place, you would not even miss the actual, oh-so-tasty, yet hardly nutritious item.
Let us look at some cool options for healthy food alternatives in your dishes.
This must be one of the most common alternatives you would have heard about. The focus here is especially on the white, creamy sauce for your pasta base. I use only atta as my pasta base and it turns out to be absolutely delicious. Try out this recipe and see how yum it will taste!
The readymade soup powders that you get in market will become sufficiently thick in consistency after you make the soup. This is because of the corn flour that is added to the powder along with some additives and preservatives. So try making soups at home and this time instead of corn flour, added boiled and mashed potato if thickness matters. Here is the recipe of one such soup where potatoes are used to thicken it.
If you love cheese dishes but are worried about the calorie count, then reserve it for only few Italian dishes like pasta, lasagna, pizza etc. If your staple is bread on most of the busy mornings then try avoiding cheese in every bite. You can opt for hung curd as a sandwich spread like how it is done in this recipe. Want to make it more nutritious? Don’t hesitate to add in some colourful veggies!
The weekend snacks can become healthier too, without compromising on the taste! We use bread crumbs mostly to absorb the moisture from the final vegetable mash, before shallow frying the cutlets. Use poha powder instead of bread crumbs at this step to make high on nutrition. Follow the recipe for better clarity with pictures.
Wondering what is this weird name that is used as substitute for eggs? Although eggs are healthy, this one is an addition for those who are exploring eggless baking.
Aquafaba is a new revelation in the world of internet to replace your eggs in baking. Vegetarians and vegans are always on the look out for egg substitutes in baking as they give the much needed texture to the cakes, which is hard to match with substitutes! To know more about what is aquafaba and how to make it, do read through the recipe given here.
Try coconut milk in those gravy based party dishes, instead of heavy cream. Coconut milk not only gives the desired consistency, but it is also more nutritious and adds flavour to your dishes. Freshly made coconut milk is best in flavour, see the recipe on how to make it. Also here is a recipe of a gravy based dish which uses coconut milk.
Image source: spaghetti with white sauce by Shutterstock.
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