Food Substitutions: To Start With

Have you driven down the gluten-free or paleo path or used flax as an egg substitute? Is it due to a physician's diagnosis, allergy or personal desire to "eat healthier" or "fat free" Whatever your reason, it can be frustrating at times. For instance, making changes to such things as replacing oil with applesauce or swapping coconut flour for wheat, you will find the end product to be slightly, or even drastically, changed. 

As for wheat flour, it contains a high amount of protein known as gluten. "I know I know you beg to differ with the correct answer" but gluten is the aspect that adds sketchiness to dough and gives it the ability to take shape. So you can only imagine now, what craziness awaits if you completely tread out your wheat flour for on (or more) of the many choices of flours on the shelves today. 

Personally, I have been playing around with different flours in my baking, (coconut flour being my favorite) used in my Paleo Cupcakes.  I have also ended up with dense, mushy, flat, grainy, crumbly and yes, some amazing products. I replace white flour for a combo in almond meal and whole wheat flour in my Pumpkin Banana Monkey Bites. Through research and comparing other recipes, I am gradually learning how to perfect my favorite baked goods! It may take a few tries to to really figure out how to integrate substitution into your personal recipes, but hopefully this starter list will begin to get your creative juices flowing!

Wheat flourcoconut flour, almond meal, brown rice flour, chickpea flour and many more!
Vegetable/Canola OilCoconut oil, mashed avocado, applesauce, veggie purees
White/Brown SugarBananas, Coconut Palm Sugar
High fat meatsLean meats, meat substitute, combined bean & grain dish
Sour creamLow-fat/non-fat plain yogurt, cottage cheese
Sweet toppingsLow-fat/non-fat vanilla yogurt
Vegetable oil/olive oil in dressingsTomato juice, broth, pureed cottage cheese, fruit juices
Egg½ mashed banana, ¼ cup applesauce, flax “egg” (1T flax meal/3T water  & allow to sit for 1 minute before adding),
Mayonnaise or sour creamNon-fat plain Greek yogurt
CroutonsNuts & seeds
Bread crumbsRolled oats
PastaZucchini ribbons or spaghetti squash
Peanuts/peanut butterWalnut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, sesame butter (tahini),   coconut butter, hazelnut butter, pistachio
Cream sauces/soupsThicken clear broths that will replace the creamy sauces with corn  starch
Pastries/pie crustsPhyllo dough
Butter/margarine in bakingPureed fruits, pureed pumpkin/zucchini/butternut squash

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