Notes from Folks

3 More of the Healthier Ingredient Substitutions You Never Thought to Try

For Healthier Chinese Food

Substitute: Chinese five-spice powder for hoisin, oyster, or duck sauce. Why: Cut down levels of sneaky sugar in bottled sauce (hoisin packs 4 grams per 1 tablespoon serving) and instead swap it for Chinese five-spice powder. Devin Alexander, Biggest Loser Chef, says while it won't give the exact flavor sauce, it will provide a "richer taste that's very similar."

For Healthier Soup

Substitute: Pureed beans or nuts for cream. Why: Joel Fuhrman MD and author blends 1/2 cup of cashews with five pounds of carrots. "You get that creamy feel, and now it's good for you," he says. Or replace 1/2 cup of high-fat cream with 1/2 cup pureed cannellini beans and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of broth for a thick broth that's higher in protein and fiber, says Anjali Shah, health coach and Blogger who makes creamy asparagus soup.

For Healthier Frosting

Substitute: Avocado for butter. Why: Swap some of the butter in chocolate icing with an equal amount of avocado and you'll add vitamins, minerals, and healthy monounsaturated fats without losing any of the creamy texture. Adjust cocoa powder or other ingredients as you like, but "in a true fudge-type icing, you're never going to taste [the avocado]," Devin Alexander says.


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