Recipe Ingredients, Reconsidered

Our recent posts on National Nutrition Month and trans fats may have gotten you thinking about the food you’re buying and eating. (At least we hope they did!) In our continuing quest to provide useful information to keep you in tip-top shape, let’s consider some quick and easy substitutes for what you may currently be using in the kitchen.

Ingredient Swaps

Current: Dry breadcrumbs

Consider: Rolled oats or crushed bran cereal


Current: 1 egg

Consider: 2 egg whites or 1/4 cup egg substitute


Current: 1 cup chocolate chips

Consider: 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips


Current: Sour cream

Consider: Plain low-fat yogurt or fat-free sour cream


Current: Mayonnaise

Consider: Plain yogurt


Current: Nuts

Consider: Half as many nuts, but toasted first


Current: 1 cup flour

Consider: 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour + 1/2 cup all-purpose flour


Current: Butter, shortening or oil in baking

Consider: Applesauce, mashed banana or prune puree for half the amount of fat called for in the recipe. Do not substitute oil for butter or shortening.


Current: Soup thickeners, such as cream, butter, flour or egg yolks

Consider: Pureed cooked vegetables, such as potatoes, cauliflower, carrots or celery


Current: Bacon

Consider: Canadian bacon, turkey bacon, smoked turkey or lean prosciutto (Italian ham)


Current: Fruit-flavored yogurt

Consider: Plain yogurt with fresh fruit slices


Current: Enriched pasta

Consider: Whole-wheat pasta


Current: Iceberg lettuce

Consider: Arugula, chicory, collard greens, dandelion greens, kale, mustard greens, spinach or watercress


These are just a few of the many substitutions to consider to bring better nutrition to your favorite recipes. Thanks to our friends at Hy-Vee supermarket for their excellent tips.

What are some of your favorite substitutions? Share them so we can all try them in the kitchen tonight!

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