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The best healthy recipe substitutes and swap-outs from cauliflower rice to celeriac mash


Enjoy traditional recipes with creative ingredient trades.

From a stodge-less pasta to a fruit and peanut butter-only ice cream, we've found 10 delicious dishes with a new superfood spin.

1. Swap rice for cauliflower

Image: BigRedKitchen via Pinterest

As children, we found cauliflower to be the "yackiest" vegetable - bulbous, watery and nowhere near as cool as beetroot.

Now we're grown-up, we've found that pulverising it and lavishing the ricey results with lime, coriander, salt and pepper is a delicious substitute for the grain - for when you don't have a spare half hour to make the stuff or are just craving a lighter alternative.

Find a cauliflower rice recipe here.

2. Swap pasta for courgette

Image: CanadaGirlEatsPaleo via Pinterest

Pasta makes us happy. It's a serious contender in the game of 'if you could eat only one food for the rest of your life...' and we'll never give it up - but it can sit heavily.

Every so often we appreciate a tasty vegetable substitute. Some recipes use carrot or squash but for us, courgette is that vegetable. Tear off strips with a potato peeler like this Lakeland number, or invest in a pro spiral slicer from the Richmond Cookshop and team with your usual garlic, herbs, oil and tomato or cream-based sauces.

Find a courgette 'pasta' recipe here

3. Swap white pizza flour for wholemeal

Image: Sally'sBakingAddiction via Pinterest

We don't care what anyone says, pizza is a superfood. It makes us feel better when we're ill. No two slices are the same ... it's great for sharing ... you can find it in fancy restaurants or staggering home after a night out ... the list goes on.

However, we swapped our white bread sarnies for the healthier wholemeal variety in around 1997, yet pizza has never really caught up. Sally's Baking Addiction food blog spent two weeks perfecting a light, soft wholemeal base that involves a dollop of honey in the mixture.

Find the wholemeal pizza recipe here.

4. Swap white potato for sweet potato fries

Image: TheArtOfDoingStuff via Pinterest

Sometimes it seems like sweet potato is the boring, healthy cousin of the awesome spud, but all it takes is a little chopping, oiling and baking before it becomes a hot, crispy bowl of deliciousness.

It's also sweeter and more nutritious than your average fries.

Find the sweet potato fries recipe here.

5. Swap mayonnaise for Greek yoghurt

Image: TheYummyLife via Pinterest

Mayonnaise is one of those ingredients we like to have in our sandwiches - if we don't know that it's there.

If you share our love/hate relationship with the creamy stuff, try swapping it for a dollop of Greek or natural yoghurt. Add herbs, seasoning and lime or lemon juice for that moreish flavour and even a spoon of mayo if you want to reduce the amount, but not cut it out completely.

Try an egg 'mayonnaise' Greek yoghurt sandwich recipe here.

6. Swap ice-cream for frozen bananas

Image: TwoPeasAndTheirPod via Pinterest

It's hot outside (touch wood) and we want to eat ice cream. All. Day. Long.

For a less sugar-packed, dairy-laden alternative with the same frozen hit, puree some bananas with peanut butter and put the mixture in the freezer for a few hours. That's it.

Flakes are optional but highly recommended.

Find the recipe here.

7. Swap croutons for nuts

Image: GI365 via Pinterest

We're forever being reminded of the health benefits of nuts - they make our skin glow, hair shine and even help us live longer, according to this 2013 study published in the New England Journal - but unless they're wrapped in Cadbury's chocolate and presented in bar form we rarely eat enough of them.

One way around this is chopping them up and scattering them into our food - similar to the trick our elders tried to pull with vegetables when we were children. Salad can usually benefit from some crunch, so try swapping out the oily, starchy croutons for healthy nuts.

Find the recipe here.

8. Swap mashed potato for celeriac mash

Image: ThingsMyBellyLikes via Pinterest

It might be one of the most gruesome and intimidating looking vegetables around, but when you've tackled it and pulled off the peel, celeriac is rather beautiful - an ideal potato substitute with a delicate, nutty, celery-like flavour.

Celeriac mash is a light, summer alternative to the traditionally stodgy variety.

We like the caramelised onion dish, found here.

9. Swap chocolate for cacao nibs

Image: DollyandOatmeal via Pinterest

Cacao nibs are raw chocolate - so all the good stuff without the sugar, milk and processing. They might be a slight shock to the tastebuds if you're used to household name chocolate, so start by using them in baking.

We're craving this coconut macaroons recipe from Dolly and Oatmeal.

10. Swap tacos for lettuce

Image: IHeartNapTime via Pinterest

Romain lettuce leaves may not be quite as satisfyingly crunchy or moreish as taco shells but they are built like mini dishes, so it's only natural to fill them with food. Tacos are made from corn and wheat, so if those ingredients are off the menu, or you just want an especially healthy take on the Mexican classic, plump for a plant leaf.

Find a taco lettuce wrap recipe here.



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