If your New Year’s resolution was to start eating healthier, props to you. But while your goal is an admirable one, it doesn’t mean that you should have to suffer from boring, uninspired meals as a result of your new lofty ambitions. Here are some easy food swaps that will make any dish healthier, without eliminating the flavor.
Avocado in place of mayonnaise
So your sandwich leaves a little something to be desired? Instead of reaching for the mayo, try adding a few slices of avocado. It packs a flavorful punch, plus a dose of the healthy fat that your diet needs.
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Unsweetened applesauce in place of sugar
It sounds crazy, but when you’re baking, try subbing unsweetened applesauce in place of sugar. You’ll save a significant amount of calories, without sacrificing the taste of the final product. Just make sure that for every cup of applesauce you use, you’re cutting the amount of liquid in the recipe by ¼ cup.
Applesauce is done and it's delicious! Better yet, our house now smells like apples and cinnamon 🍎 This recipe is super easy clean eating with no added sugar! All you need is: 🍏A variety of 6 medium to large apples cored and sliced (we used Granny Smith, Fiji, and Pink Lady apples) 🍏1/2 cup of water 🍏2 tablespoons lemon juice (optional) 🍏1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional) Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours. For an even consistency, use an immersion blender right after cooking (I did this right in the slow cooker). This made 4 one cup servings.
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Balsamic vinegar instead of fatty salad dressings
It’s easy to think of a salad as a healthy meal, but when you’re drowning it in creamy, fatty dressings, all of a sudden that nutritious choice isn’t so low-cal anymore. To help preserve the sanctity of the salad, choose balsamic vinegar as your dressing option instead of heavier picks like Thousand Island or Ranch.
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Stevia in place of sugar
This option is lower in calories than regular sugar, and much sweeter too.
Each SweetLeaf Stevia Sweetener packet is as sweet as 2 tsp. of sugar. Just a little bit of this #sugarfree sweetness goes a long way!
Zucchini noodles in place of pasta
Zucchini noodles are a satisfying meal choice, perfect for topping with your favorite sauces (or try throwing them into a stir fry!) but without the carb overload that comes with regular spaghetti.
Put down that takeout menu -- you can whip up this chow mein in 30 minutes flat! INGREDIENTS: For the Noodles: - 2 medium zucchini - 1 cup celery, thinly sliced - 1 cup shredded carrots - 1 cup shredded green cabbage - 1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced - 2 T toasted sesame oil For the Sauce: - 4 T coconut aminos - 1 t coconut sugar - 1 garlic clove, minced - 1/2 t ginger, grated Optional toppings: - Chopped cilantro - Sesame seeds INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Using a spiral slicer on 3mm blade, slice zucchini into noodles and place into a bowl. 2. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add celery, cabbage and carrots. Cook 5 3. Whisk ingredients for sauce in a small bowl. Pour sauce into skillet and stir. Cook 3 minutes. 4. Add scallions and zucchini noodles. Stir again. Cook 4-5 minutes longer. Finish with sesame seeds and cilantro.
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Ground turkey in place of ground beef
It’s healthier in terms of both calories and saturated fat. You can also try turkey bacon for a healthier option when you need your bacon fix.
Bring the fiesta to your mouth! Find this Fiesta Chili recipe on JennieO.com. #FiestaChili #easymeals #chili
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Lauren Levine is a freelance writer who has contributed to publications and websites including The Huffington Post, Hello Giggles, Bustle, Thought Catalog, The Charlotte Observer, U.S. News & World Report, and others. She’s also the co-host of The Margarita Confessionals podcast. Say hi on Twitter, @lifewithlauren1.