by Cameron Greene

Can you believe that it's November already and that the holidays are quickly approaching? Whether or not you've started decorating, any holiday shopping, or binging holiday movies yet, that time will be here before you know it. Let's get to the first order of business-- how to eat cleaner during the holidays. Today, we are going to share healthy holiday cooking substitutes that you can use for all of recipes over the next few weeks.


1) Substitute coconut milk for heavy cream

Lots of holiday soups like pumpkin stews and crab bisque have heavy cream in them. When you substitute heavy cream with coconut milk, you'll still get the same amount of creaminess and texture but for half the amount of calories. And no, the coconut taste won't dominate the soup.


2) Substitute cacao nibs for chocolate chips

Cacao nibs are antioxidant-rich bits that are from the unprocessed parts of cocoa beans that are used to make chocolate. Use this healthier substitute in place of chocolate chips to cut out sugar and dairy. Best part is, you won't notice any sweetness missing.


3) Substitute meringue for frosting

Instead of dumping an entire box of confectioner's sugar into your mixer, create a healthier frosting with a fat free meringue by combining two egg whites and four teaspoons of sugar and blend. Now you have an icing without the guilt


4) Substitute fresh tomatoes for a jar of marinara sauce

That jar of store bought tomato sauce has lots of added sugar inside. If you're thinking about cooking a delicious lasagna during the holidays for company, consider using fresh tomatoes and making your own sauce.


5) Substitute unsweetened applesauce for oil

Reduce the amount of oil in your holiday baked goods by using applesauce as a substitute instead. Applesauce is a fat free puree that can be used cup for cup as a replacement for oil in recipes for breads, muffins, and even boxed brownies and cakes.


6) Substitute vanilla extract for white sugar

Are you baking any crisps, cobblers, or pies this holiday season? You can skip white sugar altogether by substituting it for vanilla extract, which adds more flavor and calories than sugar.

Tip: Use two tablespoons of vanilla extract for every cup of sugar!


7) Substitute nut flours for white flour

Feeling daring with a recipe? Try a recipe swap instead of an ingredient swap in this case. Nut flours are high in fiber, protein, gluten-free, and contain omega-3s unlike white flour.

Tip: Nut flours don't rise like regular flour and can't be swapped cup for cup, so it's important to find a recipe that calls for this specific flour.

Cameron Greene
Cameron Greene