Sensational Substitutions for Cooking and Baking

Is your motivation waning? Are you feeling deprived because your favorite recipes are off-limits? Meals should be satisfying, good tasting, pleasing to the eye, nutritious, and have a texture that is pleasing to your palate. Otherwise, you will feel deprived. The good news? It is easy to modify some of your favorite recipes by using the sensational substitutions listed below. You don’t have to eat a sparse and boring "diet meal" any longer.
 

Cooking Substitutions

 
Instead of… Try…

1 Cup Cream

1 Cup Evaporated Milk

Cream to Thicken Soups

Pureed Potatoes or Vegetables

Oil-Based Marinades

Citrus Juice or Flavored Vinegar

Stick Margarine

Small amounts of Olive oil, Canola oil or broth

2 ounces of Mild Cheddar Cheese

1 ounce Reduced-Fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese

White Rice

Brown rice, Bulgur, Kasha, Quinoa, Whole-Wheat Couscous

Meat or Poultry for Stir Fry

Tofu (Extra Firm, Cubed) or more Vegetables

Ground Meat

Ground Turkey Breast; Finely Chopped Vegetables with Less Meat; Crumbled Tofu, Tempeh, or Soy Crumbles; Beans

 

Baking Substitutions

 
Instead of… Try…

1/2 Cup Oil, Butter or Margarine

1/4 Cup Applesauce + 1/4 Cup Canola Oil, Butter or Margarine

1 Egg

2 Egg Whites

Sweetened Condensed Milk

Nonfat Sweetened Condensed Milk

Evaporated Milk

Evaporated Skim Milk

1 Cup Chocolate Chips

1/2 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips, Chopped Dried Fruit or Chopped Nuts

Frosting

Sliced Fresh Fruit with a dusting of Powdered Sugar

Sour Cream

Nonfat Sour Cream, Low-Fat Sour Cream, Pureed Low-Fat Cottage Cheese

Whole Milk

Skim Milk

Cream Cheese

Low-Fat Cream Cheese

Sugar

Artificial sweetener for some or all (follow manufacturer’s directions); 1/4 to 1/2 Less Sugar in the recipe

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Member Comments

Good article with helpful info. Report
thanks Report
Love the easy to read format. Report
Thanks for the great suggestions and handy table format!

Greek yogurt can substitute for sour cream well. It is available in low or zero fat. Report
Thank you for good suggestions. Report
MUSICNUT
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
thanks Report
Good article. Report
Great ideas Report
interesting Report
Love this! So convenient. Report
I used the suggestion of replacing 1/2 the oil in a cake recipe with Apple sauce. You would never know the difference. Good ideas. Report
Good info to have, thanks! Report
Good article. Report


 

About The Author

Becky Hand
Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. A certified health coach through the Cooper Institute with a master's degree in health education, she makes nutrition principles practical, easy-to-apply and fun. See all of Becky's articles.