This segment on healthy holiday recipe substitutes originally aired in December 2018, but the concepts are still true, and especially applicable since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! You can make recipes healthier, whether for holiday or everyday baking. So what are some of the best healthy recipe swaps you ask?
For liquids, or where milk is required, there are so many substitute milks it’s hard to choose just one. Some are creamier than others, like coconut and oat milk are creamier than rice milk, for example. And if you’re not allergic to nuts, almond and cashew milk make great stand-ins too! If you like soy milk, you can use that, but some people have an allergy to soy.
If you’re looking to substitute eggs, this is no problem at all! Egg Replacer is a product that has been around for almost two decades and works well as a binder (which is usually what eggs are used for). Other healthy recipe swaps that can be used instead of eggs are ground flax seeds or chia seeds soaked in liquid. Both make a slurry which works like a binder as well. The good thing about flax and chia is that both have fiber, which is something most Americans simply don’t get enough of.
A healthy recipe swap you could try instead of butter or oil is mashed banana or apple sauce if you don’t mind the taste of banana (apple sauce doesn’t leave a taste). Other options are pumpkin puree or mashed avocado.
Some healthy recipe swaps for refined sugar are foods like dates or date paste or date syrup (also known as silan), molasses, honey, maple syrup, or coconut or date sugar. They are still sweet, but they are unrefined and have a great smoky taste (like brown sugar). Lakanto and Stevia are made from natural plants, and Xylitol can be used as a one-to-one substitute for sugar and are low-glycemic.
So this Valentine’s Day as you’re thinking about how to surprise your loved one(s), make them a healthier dessert that won’t undo all the work they’ve done on their New Year’s health resolutions.