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May 11, 2015

Often, those who are not accustomed to healthy food, think that healthy means bland or out-right awful. Maybe this comes from when they were told as a child to, “Eat your spinach; it’s good for you.” Well, I’m here to tell you that if it doesn’t taste good, why eat it! This is my motto. Of course there are exceptions, and we should eat our bitters, but for the most part, food is meant to be enjoyed.

Here are some tips to making unhealthy foods healthy and tasty.

Healthy Sweetness

  • Unsweetened Applesauce: You can use applesauce in a 1:1 ratio as sugar, but for every cup of applesauce, you must reduce the liquid by 1/4 cup. This works well for cakes and some cookies, such as oatmeal raisin cookies.
  • Stevia: This is an herb that is five times sweeter than sugar. One teaspoon of liquid stevia or two tablespoons of stevia powder is equivalent to one cup of sugar. Stevia can have an aftertaste and does not work that well in baked goods, but is great in homemade ice cream, smoothies, teas, and such.
  • Reduce Sugar: In most recipes such as cakes, cookies, and muffins, you can cut the sugar in half and then add either extra flavor like cinnamon or vanilla, or some stevia.Other substitutes, such as and Xylitol, honey, date sugar, all can be used on a 1:1 ratio as sugar.

Healthy Flours

  • Whole wheat pastry flour: In virtually any baked good, replacing white flour with whole wheat can add more nutrients, flavor, and texture. Whole wheat provides more fiber, which aids in digestion, which is said to lower the risk diabetes and heart disease.
  • Black Beans: For those with gluten intolerance, black bean puree works well for recipes like brownies. Drain, mash, and swap cup for cup.
  • Rice Flour: You can make your own flour mix: 1 ½ C Brown Rice flour, 1 C Tapioca flour, and 1 C arrowroot flour. This works well for most recipes using all purpose white flour, but it will not work for bread that uses yeast to raise it.
  • Nut & Bean Flours: There are some nut flours that one can choose from, such as, almond and coconut. There are also bean flours to use as well. But be careful, as most of these can only be substituted 1/3 for grain flours. You’ll have to try it out and see. There are some great recipes online as well.

Other Healthy Tips:

  • Use olive oil, butter, or coconut butter when cooking
  • Substitute applesauce or mashed bananas for oil or butter in baked goods. You should first try swapping 1/2 to see how you like it.
  • Use homemade salad dressing instead of store bought. (See recipe below)
  • Use pureed fruit instead of syrup on pancakes.
  • Sprinkle nutritional yeast on foods for added nutrition. This is good on popcorn, in soups, salad, stews, etc.
  • Use humus as a dip instead of the cream type.
  • Put some flax seed or chia seed in your oatmeal, bread, or baked goods.
  • Use brown whole grain rice instead of white.
  • Stop the cow milk and switch to almond, rice, or goat milk.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this. I’m always adjusting recipes to make them healthier and better-tasting for my family.

Check out this tasty recipe for homemade salad dressing.

For Your Health!Amy Willis, Your Local Herbalist