It gives me a buzz when I cook or bake and 'fiddle' with the ingredients or amounts to create something tasty yet way way healthier than the original. Mostly it ends up vegan as I am Lacto-vegetarian anyway so I find it easy to cook this way. Most of the time my little experiment works out, other times its like..."I wonder if the dog is hungry?"
So while I'm not going to bombard you with recipes, because there's a trillion of those floating around, I'd like to share with you some tips to make recipes healthier, whether that be vegan or gluten free or sugar free.
For sweet recipes I often use...
1. organic butter, organic coconut oil, vegan butter (I like Funky Fields spreadable, its vegan and organic), to replace margarine, butter or vegetable oil
2. egg replacer (by Orgran), to replace eggs
3. almond or soy milk (unsweetened) to replace regular milk
4. erythritol, stevia, xylitol to replace sugar (DO NOT feed your dog any product containing xylitol)
5. mashed pumpkin or sweet potato to sweeten the recipe (and therefore less sugar)
6. use 25-50% less sugar than the recipe asks for anyway
7. use half gluten free half regular flour - I suggest if you prefer 100% gluten free to use a recipe specifically created to be GF as if you just swap flours it doesn't tend to work so well.
8. add vanilla or choc whey powder for flavour and extra protein
9. top cake or biscuits etc with sesame seeds, chia seeds for extra calcium
10. soak dried fruit in a bit of brandy to soften and add a nice flavour to xmas baking
For savoury dishes I use...
1. Himalayan pink salt instead of table salt
2. vegetable stock instead of meat stock
3. organic butter or coconut oil to cook curries etc
4. lots of fresh or dried herbs to add flavour
5. olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard and a dash of fruit juice or honey for salads or veggies
6. greek yoghurt to make guacamole, not sour cream
7. legumes to bulk out a salad, curry or pasta sauce
8. pine nuts or walnuts in salads to add protein, healthy fats and calcium
9. dukkah (middle eastern spice mix) and olive oil over my baked veggies
10. quinoa in place of rice for a lower carb, higher protein option.
There is no similar alternative to alcohol, but as a non-drinker, I really enjoy sparkling mineral water with a dash of lemon or lime, ginger ale, fruit punches, apple cider, bitters lime and soda etc at functions. The bonus is I am coherent throughout the occasion and I wake up the next morning feeling refreshed - I don't know ANY friend or patient who has EVER said they feel great after a big drinking session. So while the usual line is "everything in moderation" I don't ever use that term because everyone's idea of moderation is vastly different. Better to cut the BS and know yourself well enough to know when to pull back or stop altogether. Honestly, most of the enjoyment comes from the company we are in and the conversations being had. Are we eating crappy food and drinking too much alcohol as a way of escape or reward? Just my take on things, what do you think? Let me know...
Stay connected, hydrated, and hug lots of people