Sometimes, in order to follow a more natural diet, you need to incorporate food substitutions or replacements into your recipes. It can be intimidating at first to learn the ins and outs of these new products, but here’s a handy cheat sheet to get you started on the path to enjoying your new, natural diet.
Instead of baking with white flour, use almond flour and brown rice flour as low-carb and gluten-free substitutes. For vegetarians and vegans who need protein, quinoa is a complete protein that can be used instead of rice or in soups, stews, and casseroles. Oat bran also boasts a high number of nutrients when added to baked goods and cereals, and if you’ve got a sweet tooth, carob powder is a healthier alternative to chocolate.
To eliminate artificial sweeteners from your diet, use natural sweeteners such as agave, fructose, brown rice syrup, date sugar, turbinado sugar, and beet sugar in baking and as substitutes for honey and maple syrup. When cooking foods or making salad dressings, use macadamia nut oil (with a healthy unsaturated to saturated fat ratio), olive oil (flavorful and cholesterol free), rice bran oil, or virgin coconut oil in place of corn or soybean oils.
Avoid using eggs, white flour, or wheat as thickening agents by substituting agar powder, guar gum powder, or xantham gum powder in soups, sauces, and salad dressings. To increase protein in your diet, especially if you’re vegan or vegetarian, you can use buttermilk powder as a leavening agent or soy milk powder as a substitute for cow’s milk. Dry roasted soybeans also make a delicious, high-protein snack, and you can experiment with more meat-free cooking by using textured soy protein in veggie burgers, veggie chili, and more.
A natural diet doesn’t have to be devoid of flavor, and with these food substitutions and replacements, you can start creating your own delicious recipes that fit your requirements for a natural, healthy diet.