Substituting Healthy Ingredients for Wheat - dummies

Substituting Healthy Ingredients for Wheat

By Rusty Gregory, Alan Chasen

When people consider giving up wheat, they often think about all the wheat-filled foods and ingredients they love. “I’d have to give up too many of my favorite foods,” they lament. However, you can easily replace many common wheat-based ingredients in recipes with ingredients that provide more nutrients and better health. The following alternatives fit right into the wheat/grain-free, low-carb lifestyle. The idea isn’t to re-create the chip; it’s just to provide healthy alternatives to traditionally unhealthy ones. These delicious replacements will quickly become a regular part of your diet and help you forget the traditional yet harmful foods you were previously eating.

  • Spaghetti squash for spaghetti: This substitute provides a similar look and texture for the pasta lover to enjoy a “pasta” dish.

  • Lettuce for buns and wraps: Most restaurants will accommodate your request to swap out the bread product on your wrap, burger, or sandwich for a lettuce leaf.

  • Veggies for chips: Chips are just a vehicle for eating a dip, but that vehicle comes loaded with grains and unhealthy vegetable oils and lacks any nutritional value. Why not make that vehicle a Mercedes by using chopped veggies instead?

  • Coconut aminos for soy sauce: Coconut aminos are a combination of the natural sap of the coconut tree and sun-dried sea salt. The resulting product is used as a direct substitute for soy sauce (which contains wheat) in dressings, marinades, and sautés.

  • Black beans for flour in brownies: Pureed black beans provide the color, texture, and taste needed to completely eliminate flour from a baking recipe.

  • High-fat options for lowfat items: Any food items, especially dairy, should be the high-fat option instead of the lowfat or skim version. The lowfat varieties often have added sugars.

  • Cauliflower for mashed potatoes: You’d be hard-pressed to differentiate between the two in a side-by-side taste test. This dish doesn’t leave you with that weighed-down, carb-heavy feeling.