What do you substitute when cooking?

Jeanette Terry
By Jeanette Terry Latest Reply 2016-01-13 09:23:21 -0600
Started 2014-03-19 14:29:31 -0500

I am trying to get back into cooking healthy. I used to substitute ingredients in some of my favorite dishes to make them healthier but I stopped doing it a while back. So now that I am ready to start again I am looking to expand my options when it comes to substitutions. I was wondering what some of the most common substitutes are that you use in your recipes?

32 replies

WASHED OUT 2016-01-13 09:23:21 -0600 Report

Crushed pork pig rinds for breading on pork chops. Mix with very little flour, taste great less carbs and an addition to the fats we need for LCHF diet.

haoleboy 2014-03-28 23:54:22 -0500 Report

here's a favorite …
crazy good and healthy pancakes (gluten free)
3-large eggs
2-tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1-ripe medium banana (very or over ripe)
mash banana well, add pnut butter and eggs. mix thoroughly.
cook just as you would pancakes.
makes about 12 small pancakes

47 calories, 3.1 g carbs, 1.7 g sugar, 2.4 g protein, 2.9 g total fat (0.8 g saturated)

I eat them straight up but I suppose you could use some agave nectar or maybe sugar free syrup.


larry A
larry A 2014-03-21 14:17:02 -0500 Report

we have moved to panko bread crumbs calorie count is low and it works well with most things that you need to crust. Also have tried eating gluten free.

GabbyPA 2014-03-20 14:46:37 -0500 Report

I cut flour back at least by half with almond flour. I am learning to use coconut flour too, but it has carbs in it. But if you like a "breading" on things, almond flour can be a good switch.

I often combine cauliflower with the mashed potatoes and the family doesn't protest too much. It also makes a good rice substitute. But I also use barley and quinoia instead of plain rice for dishes that need an extender. I try to stay away from pasta pretty much.

I replace tortilla chips with crunchy veggies like celery, but did you know that dehydrated zucchini makes a yummy chip? They have a natural salt in them when they are dehydrated. You can also substitute popcorn with seasoned dehydrated cauliflower. You toss small pieces of cauliflower in some olive oil and seasoning (I like garlic and salt) and dehydrate it. That is very good.

I just made a neat recipe where I used a scrambled egg "pancake" as a wrap for my hot dogs. That was very good. I did mine plain, but you could add some green onion or garlic powder to the eggs to add flavor.

I also am learning to use kale in fresh foods. I don't like it cooked and it took some getting used to the flavor, but now I use it on sandwiches and in salads all the time. It's a great source of nutrition.

LRD 2015-10-04 14:33:32 -0500 Report

Cannot find coconut flour or almond. Where do you find these? Health food store? Very expensive there. If on a tight budget.

GabbyPA 2015-10-04 20:23:51 -0500 Report

They are expensive anywhere you may buy them. I make my own almond flour and I purchase my coconut flour from Sams. You may want to try Amazon.com

ashley50 2014-03-19 21:37:00 -0500 Report

We use coconut oil to fry with, we replaced olive oil with coconut oil.

Michael_1960 2014-03-29 16:02:02 -0500 Report

Is coconut oil better than olive oil, I use olive oil, I don't use it to fry but to saute, since olive oil burns a lot faster with high heat.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-03-19 20:25:03 -0500 Report

I have substituted I Can't Believe Its Not Butter in veggies but it separated so I went back to butter. I have tried Splenda with baking and my cakes did not rise as well so I went back to Sugar. I use Kens Low Fat Vidalia Onion salad dressing in meat loaf and to marinade pork instead of buying the flavor packs. Less sodium and the meat stays moist with a wonderful onion flavor. It has bits of onion. I also use Low Sodium Italian Dressing to grill chicken. Adds a burst of flavor.

LRD 2015-10-04 14:36:53 -0500 Report

I tried a sugar substitute and it tasted bad. I also went back to sugar. I use Ken's Walnut vinegarret? for a dressing. It is pretty good if you like Kens. By the way, how do they make the brownies and cakes with splenda in the box mixes taste good? I tried also and it tasted, like I said, bad.

mjhorgan 2014-03-19 18:49:37 -0500 Report

We make mashed potatoes using 1/2 real potatoes and 1/2 mashed cauliflower, we also use spleanda for baking. It measures the same as sugar. When the recipe need sugar for consistency we use half splenda and half sugar. My wife has a couple o good sugar free desert recipes, One is or a cheese cake and the other i=s for a flour-less chocolate cake. dlife.com has some great ideas. They have a pancake recipe that is just eggs, banana, and nuts, nothing else. It taste great.

haoleboy 2014-03-19 18:08:22 -0500 Report

we make "lasagna" using long slices of zucchini and/or yellow summer squash. tend to eat mostly vegetarian and make a mean vegetarian using eggplant an okra in place of the meat.


GabbyPA 2014-03-20 14:37:14 -0500 Report

I love that replacement. It is very yummy and I find if I dehydrate them just a little bit, I don't get a runny dish.

Michael_1960 2014-03-19 17:40:43 -0500 Report

I saute veggies like red, green, yellow bell peppers, onions, mushrooms in a pan with olive oil until good and tender, then I add shrimp, and chicken strips, and that is about what I eat most of the time, I am a fish and chicken person really, maybe boil some brown rice, a slice of tomato, homemade salad with boiled egg (chopped) diced onion, and belle pepper, pamesian cheese, garlic powder, lemon pepper, diced tomato, topped with fat free zesty Italian dressing, I bake my chicken breast in the oven with my favorite seasonings.

calayx 2016-01-13 04:46:07 -0600 Report

Would you be willing to come over and cook for me ?
I'm not allowed shrimp but Iove the rest of your menu !

Glucerna 2014-03-19 17:13:17 -0500 Report

The key is to think about what you want to achieve by using substitutions. If you want to decrease carbohydrate, using sugar substitute in baking, or using less sugar in a recipe, or the spaghetti squash instead of spaghetti (I love this idea!) all will meet your goal. I like to use plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream to get more protein and calcium. ~Lynn @Glucerna

Rmj814 2014-03-19 16:20:16 -0500 Report

Another one, if you don't mind me saying so, is Spaghetti squash instead of Spaghetti. It works great with a little tomato sauce and a little Parmesan cheese

calayx 2016-01-13 04:49:42 -0600 Report

This Italian lady , I'm sorry can not substitute squash for real pasta. I've tried, just not working for me .

Rmj814 2014-03-19 16:17:49 -0500 Report

I also have used Splenda or Equal instead of sugar when making Cole Slaw. You mix a small amount of vinegar to your low fat mayonaisse, mix until smooth, add the Splenda, mix well together, pour over cole slaw mix. I've done this when I worked in a kitchen at a Nursing Home, the residents loved it, ( Not knowing I substituted the sugar. ;-)

Rmj814 2014-03-19 15:58:33 -0500 Report

I've used applesuce instead of oil, when I bake breads, like banana bread or zucchini bread

jayabee52 2014-03-19 16:12:55 -0500 Report

good one! I used that one before I had diabetes, When I was making my whole wheaf pancakes for breakfast I would do that.

jayabee52 2014-03-19 15:30:27 -0500 Report

Howdy Jeanette
I have seen cauliflower cooked and mashed to add to mashed potatoes. Eggplant
or zucchini slices or mashed cauliflower, suggested to substitute for a pizza crust. I cannot think of any more at this time, but more may come to me eventually

God's best to you and yours


MountainMan1 2014-03-19 14:38:44 -0500 Report

What are you wanting to substitute?

Jeanette Terry
Jeanette Terry 2014-03-19 15:04:28 -0500 Report

I don't have a specific recipe. I am just wondering what kinds of things you can substitute without ruining a recipe.

Michael_1960 2014-03-30 09:59:14 -0500 Report

You could just try experimenting with different things, try it with small amounts first to see if you like it or not.

jayabee52 2014-03-19 15:24:36 -0500 Report

That, Jeanette, is pretty much up to you and your taste buds. What one person will see as an acceptable substitution another thinks it ruins the flavor.

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