Substitutions when cooking
Unsweetened Applesauce instead of Sugar
You can use unsweetened applesauce in place of sugar. This gives you the sweetness your recipe needs but without the extra calories from the sugar. One cup of unsweetened applesauce contains about 100 calories while a cup of sugar can have more than 770 calories! This swap is perfect for baking. Pro tip: The ratio for subbing applesauce for sugar is a 1:1 ratio, but for every cup of applesauce you use you have to reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup.
Unsweetened Applesauce instead of Oil or Butter
You can use unsweetened applesauce in place of oil or butter. This is a great substitute in baked goods like sweet breads or muffins. You can start slow the first time try only replacing half the fat in the recipe with half the applesauce. So if it calls for 1 cup of oil use 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup applesauce. Then if you like it and can not really tell the difference try swapping more of the fat out next time.
Avocado Puree instead of Butter
You can use avocado puree in place of butter. While they are both fats avocados are considered to be good fats. They have almost the same consistency as butter at room temperature. They are perfect substitutes in baked goods like brownies and chocolate flavorings. They are a great substitute for making a healthy frosting recipe. The ratio is usually a 1:1 ratio. So one cup of avocado puree in place of one cup of butter.
Greek Yogurt instead of Creams and Mayonnaise
Another versatile substitute is greek yogurt. It can often be used in place of cream, mayonnaise, sour cream and cream cheese. There are several options available when it comes to greek yogurt like no fat, low fat and extra creamy. So there is something for most recipes. The yogurt is healthier with less fat and calories than the cream, mayonnaise, sour cream and cream cheese that they replace. The ratio is a 1:1 ratio.
Black Beans instead of Flour
You can use a can of black beans (drained, rinsed and mashed) in place of flour. This is a great substitute in things like brownies. It is a great way to make a recipe fit into a gluten diet. They taste great and they give you some extra protein. The ratio is a 1:1 ratio. So one cup of black bean puree (approximately a 15 ounce can) in place of one cup of flour.
These are just a few of the substitutes I use to make my recipes healthier! I will be adding more substitutes as I try them.