Do you want to turn your meals into a delicious goldmine of nutrition? There are so many healthy food swaps to add nutrition to meals or to ensure your meals are vegan, gluten free or sugar free.
I’ve listed my top 5 store cupboard essentials to eat your way to a happy and healthy lifestyle.
Let me know what your top food swaps are too, I’d love to know 🙂
- Nutritional yeast (instead of cheese)
Despite its somewhat unappealing appearance and the fact that the name itself doesn’t exactly scream “eat me, I’m delicious’, this could be one of the best additions to your diet in terms of nutrition and taste. It makes such a fantastic alternative to cheese and provides a wealth of vitamins, minerals and protein. This gluten free and vegan, plant based source of protein provides 4 grams of fibre per serving and a significant amount of zinc, selenium and iron.
Turn these tangy, cheesy, flakes of flavour into edible bliss by using it in place of parmesan, to make delicious cheese sauces, pizza toppings or as an addition to your favourite omelette.
Check out some of my nutritional yeast recipes here:
- Nuts (instead of croutons)
Salads and soups are just not the same without a bit of crunch added to them are they? But adding croutons to them doesn’t really add any nutrition. They are often made from refined flour, which is really short on fibre and micronutrients. By replacing croutons with nuts, you’re adding a delicious dose of healthy fat and protein to give your soup or salad more staying power.
- Flaxseed (instead of breadcrumbs)
Turn your meals into a gold mine of omega-3 fatty acids by incorporating flaxseed into them. You only need 2 tablespoons to reach your RDA and they make an excellent healthy alternative to breadcrumbs, for me it’s a wonder food. I use it to coat veggie burgers, make croquets and sometimes even to top my morning porridge.
Flaxseed also contains; fibre, iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin E and are low in saturated fat.
- Ground almonds (instead of flour)
Almond flour and ground almond are one of my favourite substitutes for flour. Both make such a fantastic alternative, I often use ground almonds (which is prepared from whole almonds, so slightly more course than almond flour, prepared from blanched almonds).
This gluten free alternative to flour, packs an impressive nutrient profile. It’s a great source of protein, healthy fats and fibre, which contributes to satiety (the feeling of fullness between meals), aiding weight management.
Can you believe these delicious cakes were made using ground almonds? (Recipe coming soon)
Other alternatives to refined flour are buckwheat, coconut, arrowroot or tapioca flour which are also gluten free.
- Coconut aminos (instead of soy sauce)
Soy sauce has that distinctly unique salty flavour that is hard to replicate, especially if you’re looking for a gluten-free alternative. Enter coconut aminos. This sweet, salty and delicious alternative is not only gluten free but vegan, raw, nut free, soy free and dairy free too.
Coconut aminos is made from natural sea salt and coconut sap. As the name suggests it contains a high level of amino acids (17 to be exact) which studies have shown can contribute to better digestive health, heart health and mood stabilisation.
Another alternative to soy sauce is tamari, which does contain a higher level of protein than soy sauce and a healthy dose of the mood enhancing tryptophan. However it is still quite high in sodium and doesn’t have the same level of nutrition as coconut aminos. I you follow a gluten free diet, watch out for some tamari sauces as they can contain wheat, so be sure to look for a wheat free version that will fit with your diet.
Ok so I know I said 5 swaps but, I also want to share this little tip with you. Do you NEED snacks at the cinema, yet struggle to find anything nutritious so ALWAYS end up with a pick n mix? 👆 Make your own nutritious movie night snack and ditch the sweets for nuts, dried fruit and bliss balls – yum! 🙂