Food Storage & Other Adventures in Motherhood

Food Storage Friday: Healthy substitutions from your pantry.

by heather

Using your food storage can improve your diet and make your life easier. Here is a list of ways you use ordinary food storage items in place of other ingredients and make your meals healthier at the same time. Now these substitutions don’t work every time, but often enough to improve your diet. (This is similar to a post that I put up awhile ago, but I’m putting it up because it was requested.)

1. Wheatberries for ground beef– Less saturated fat, more folic acid and fiber. This works well in Tacos and Enchiladas. I generally use a portion of half ground beef to half wheatberries
2. Wheatberries for lettuce– Why do we eat lettuce anyway? For folic acid and fiber. Wheat has both of those and a much longer shelf life. Not that I am opposed to lettuce by anymeans, but I do really enjoy a couple of salads that use wheatberries instead.
3. Beans for butter– No, you can’t fry anything in mashed beans, but it works well in cakes and cookies.
4. Beans for shortening– Same idea. I make cookies with beans, and I promise you can’t taste them. My friend calls them my “crazy good cookies”, because they taste really good, but have a few surprising ingredients.
5. Beans for sour cream– I tried this for half the sour cream in my chicken enchilada recipe and my family liked it just as much. The texture is a little different, but they were ok with it. I also found another recipe this week that it worked pretty well in, but I want to experiment with it one more time before I put it up here on the blog.
6. Evaporated milk for cream or half and half– Still gives you a thick creaminess in soups and sauces, with much less saturated fat and calories.
7. Chicken broth for white wine- I have yet to find a recipe that this doesn’t work in (cocktails excluded.)
8. Oat flour for white flour- To make oat flour, just toss some oats in the blender and press puree. Oats have a lower glycemic index than white flour, plus the soluable fiber can lower your cholesterol and your blood sugar. I don’t use it for everything, but when baking I usually use half oat flour every time that it calls for white flour.
9. Applesauce for oil– I find that when I use this in cakes and muffins they come out more moist.
10. Nonfat powdered milk for regular milk- I use this whenever I have a soup recipe that calls for more than 2 cups of milk. When you cook it with other things you can’t taste the difference.
11. Wheatberries for wild rice- No, it doesn’t taste exactly the same, but the texture is similar enough that you can get away with substituting it, if you are looking for different ways to use your wheat. There are a few good examples in I Dare You To Eat It.


3 Responses to “Food Storage Friday: Healthy substitutions from your pantry.”

  1. Hilary says:

    I love these. I've recently started using my canned milk and it's come in HANDY.

  2. Anonymous says:

    you can also substitute natural (or vanilla) yoghurt for oil in muffins. here is a good base recipe

    1.5 cups wholemeal self raising flour
    1/2 cup white sugar
    2 – 3 eggs lightly beaten
    1 cup plain yoghurt
    1 – 1.5 cups moist fruit (mashed banana, frozen berries)

    mix everything in a large bowl until just combined
    divide into 12 1/3 cup muffin holes
    bake 30 minutes in preheated oven at 350 f, stand for 5 before serving.

    you can dust with confectioners sugar or add chocolate chips if you like things sweeter.

    you can also add grated squash to add more goodness and fiber.

  3. Heather says:

    I'll have to try that one.

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