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Food Substitutions: To Begin With!


Food Substitutions: To Begin With! Substitutions are an easy way to kick up the nutritional content in a dish!

Have you driven down the gluten-free path or used flax as an egg substitute? Is it due to a physician’s diagnosis, allergy or personal desire to “eat healthier” or “fat-free?” Whatever your reason, it can be frustrating at times.  For instance, making changes to such things as replacing oil with applesauce or swapping coconut flour for wheat, you will find the end product to be slightly, or even drastically, changed.  Lets take wheat flour, it contains a high amount of protein – gluten. (I am sure your hands would all be raised with the correct answer there).  Gluten is the aspect that adds stretchiness to dough and gives it the ability to take shape.  So you can only imagine now, what craziness awaits if you completely trade out your wheat flour for one (or more) of the many choices of flours on the shelves today.

Personally, I have been playing around with different flours in my baking, (coconut flour being my favorite) and I have ended up with dense, mushy, flat, grainy, crumbly and yes, some amazing end products.  Through research and comparing other recipes, I am gradually learning how to perfect my favorite baked goods!  It may take a few tries to really figure out how to integrate substitutions into your personal recipes, but hopefully this starter list will begin to get your creative juices flowing!


Wheat flour Brown rice flour, coconut flour, chickpea flour, sorghum flour (many more!)
Oil Mashed avocado, applesauce
High fat meats Lean meats, meat substitute, combined bean & grain dish
Pork sausage Turkey sausage
Sour cream Low-fat/non-fat plain yogurt, cottage cheese
Mayonnaise Mustard
Sweet toppings Low-fat/non-fat vanilla yogurt
Vegetable oil/olive oil in dressings Tomato juice, broth, pureed cottage cheese, fruit juices
Egg ½ mashed banana, ¼ cup applesauce, flax “egg” (1T flax meal/3T water   & allow to sit for 1 minute before adding),
Mayonnaise or sour cream Non-fat plain Greek yogurt
Croutons Nuts & seeds
Bread crumbs Rolled oats
Pasta Zucchini ribbons or spaghetti squash
Peanuts/peanut butter Walnut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, sesame butter (tahini),   coconut butter, hazelnut butter, pistachio
Cream sauces/soups Thicken clear broths that will replace the creamy sauces with corn   starch
Pastries/pie crusts Phyllo dough
Butter/margarine Pureed fruits, pureed pumpkin/zucchini/butternut squash


This list is only a starting point. I hope with your help, it can grow to become a great, quick reference right here at Super Healthy Kids.

One important aspect that should be remembered is: READ LABELS! When it comes to allergies, medical diagnosis and food sensitivities, you do not want to overlook what could be in the food product.  Also, if you feel you have a gluten sensitivity, it would be beneficial for you and your family to see a doctor so you may be given a formal diagnosis and referral to a Registered Dietitian for help with meal planning.

So, what are your favorite ways to substitute? Please share! Do you need some ideas for another food not mentioned here, we can help you, just ask!

Food Substitutions: To Begin With! Substitutions are an easy way to kick up the nutritional content in a dish!

Some of the places I have visited:

Super Healthy Kids:


Here is a lengthy list of substitutions (spice mixes too!):


Great for gluten substitutes and recipes for gluten-free living:




Other places to look for substitutions:

Egg substitutes & kids (they even explain what eggs specifically do for the food product):


Food Substitutions: To Begin With!

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I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your website.
It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me
to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme?
Great work!

I used coconut flour once while making a banana bread and it turned out awful! So thick, heavy and sticky! I’ve been put off it since – perhaps I’ve used it incorrectly?! What do you make with it?

Hi Nicola,
It is my understanding that when using coconut flour, you will use much less; approximately 1/4 cup coconut flour/one cup grain flour. In addition, you will also need more liquid or eggs (whichever the recipe calls for). I had once seen a recipe for banana bread that called for only 1/4 cup coconut flour and I believe it was 5-6 eggs. It is a substitution that would take some playing around, or looking for recipes that have been designed for coconut flour.

how do you substitutes butter if you make chocolate chip cookies , for white sugar i use honey or maple syrup but butter didn’t think it was that bad for you so how do you do it without making everyone hate my cooking

Hi Molly, I love using coconut oil. Just be sure that when you melt the oil, you avoid heating it. If it becomes too warm, it will harden once the eggs (cold ingredient) are mixed in. Enjoy!

What happened to your bean-meal page? It’s not to be found! I had a bunch of really old, hard, uncookable beans and lentils I wanted to grind up and use, but I don’t have a whole lot of ideas how to use them. Can you help?

Hi Jeanne, we took that post down because of the health risks associated with eating raw or under-cooked beans, including bean flour. I’m sorry to disappoint but we no longer recommend grinding beans. <3