Miscellaneous pantry items

Learning how to more healthfully prepare your favorite dishes and meals can be an adventure.

Some healthier ingredients can simply be used as a direct substitute for the not-so-healthy ones in your old favorite recipes. Others, such as gluten-free and lectin-free items, may require learning some “new” tweaks or preparation methods.

Straight Substitutions: Here are a few simple substitutions that you might try:

  • Try sheep milk yogurt instead of cow milk yogurt for breakfast.
  • Use sweet potatoes instead of white ones in beef stew.
  • Choose broccoli instead of zucchini as side with your baked salmon.
  • Use avocado oil for sauteing, coconut and olive oil for baking instead of canola or other vegetable oils.
  • Snack on sweet potato, plantain or kale chips rather than more ubiquitous corn or potato chips. They are easy to make yourself!
  • Try baking with cassava and nut flours instead of gluten-laden wheat or rice flours.
  • Lightly sweeten your herbal tea with monkfruit or erythritol instead of cane or coconut sugars.

Chop and Serve: Raw, whole foods are the most nutritious foods. They are quick and simple to prepare.

Gently Warmed: Slow-cooked, steamed and roasted items are generally more nutritious than sauteed or fried.

Pressure Cooked: Lectin content can be reduced by pressure cooking. Meats, poultry, beans and lentils are excellent candidates for this type of preparation.

More Complicated Substitutions: Gluten is the first ingredient that comes to mind in this category because it is more difficult to replace, but it is not impossible. Extra proteins, starches and binders along with other tweaks are usually needed in order to make this work.

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