Rae Bates

Smart Swaps

We’re a few weeks into the new year, and most people will have cast aside their resolutions. But if you made a pledge to eat more healthfully, you can always get back on track. One way to eat more healthfully is to swap out healthier foods or ingredients for less healthy options.

Fat Substitutes

Most things made with mayonnaise can be made with plain Greek yogurt instead, lowering the fat content.

If you’re baking, you can use apple sauce instead of the fat in most recipes without changing the taste. Sometimes this will change the texture a bit but not enough to cause problems.

Add Protein and Fiber

You may have noticed that I use spelt flour in a lot of my recipes. That’s because I like to make my baked goods as healthy as possible. Spelt is usually easy to find. It’s higher in both protein and fiber than all-purpose flour. In most stores, you’ll find it either near the flour in the baking aisle or in the health food section. I find that I can substitute spelt for up to one-third of the all-purpose flour without any problem. Some recipes I can up that to half, but spelt reacts with liquid differently than all-purpose flour.

I don’t usually talk about Pampered Chef products in my column, but we have something new that fits this topic well—Enrichables. Pampered Chef has two versions of Enrichables. One is pea protein. The other is kale and fiber. These are envelopes of powder. The ingredients are simple. The pea protein is simply powdered yellow peas. The kale and fiber is just powdered kale and chicory root. By sprinkling these into the foods you already like, you can increase their nutritional value. The pea protein is yellow and disappears completely into just about any food. The kale and fiber are green, so if you want it to go unnoticed, put it in something red or brown. (It’s great in tacos, sloppy Joes, chocolate cake/cupcakes, or marinara sauce.) Neither variety has any discernible taste. If you’d like a sample, just contact me. I’ll be happy to send you one.

Decrease the Sugar

I almost always cut the sugar in a recipe by a quarter to a half. Unless you’re making something that is mostly sugar, such as angel food cake, no one is likely to notice.

One of the places Americans get most of their sugar is in their beverages. If you’re a fan of juices, try watering them down. If soda is your choice, try flavored sparkling water. I make my own soda. I have a Soda Stream. I make fizzy water and add a little bit of essential oil or fruit juice.

Final Thought

It is easy to make small changes to what you make. And, as I’ve said before, those small changes can really add up.


May your week ahead be filled with sunshine.