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Healthy Alternatives for your Holiday Cooking

In the blink of an eye, an entire year has zoomed past! The holiday season has just begun and the rest of the year is sure to be filled with a lot of fun, celebrations and, of course, delicious food. It is indeed the most wonderful time of the year and you deserve to indulge in all your favourite food. If you want to avoid the holiday trap of unhealthy eating, these ingredients make GREAT alternatives to your regular ones without compromising taste.

Switch it up this holiday season and give your cooking and baking a healthy twist!

Chia Seeds for Egg: If you are looking for an alternative for eggs in your cooking and baking, you’ve just found it. Chia seeds make for a great egg substitute . Mix one tablespoon of chia seeds with three tablespoons of water and let them thicken for about 15 minutes. This healthy hack can be used in many recipes including muffins, cakes and cookies. Chia seeds are a superfood no matter how you use them. They are a rich source of fibre, protein and other minerals and make an extremely nutritious addition to your treats. 

Cacao Nibs for Chocolate Chips: Pure cacao in any form is gold! Cacao nibs are nutrient-packed and some of its notable benefits include improved digestion, reduced risk of diabetes and decreased blood pressure amongst others. Cacao nibs are the unprocessed bits of cacao beans. They are rich in antioxidants and are used to make chocolate. You can substitute chocolate chips with cacao nibs in one to one ratio in order to cut out processed sugar, dairy and additives. 

Quinoa Flour for All-purpose/ Wheat Flour: Quinoa is a superfood that has gained popularity in recent times. It contains many benefits, but most importantly, it is a complete plant-based protein, consisting of all the nine essential amino acids that your body needs for proper functioning. Switching out wheat or all-purpose flour with quinoa flour is a great way to cook or bake healthier. Use in one to one proportion and enjoy the benefits of quinoa without losing out on the taste of your favourite foods.

Applesauce instead of Oil: We use oil or butter in our baking all the time. Applesauce is a great substitute for the oil or butter requested in cake and brownie recipes. If you want to enjoy some treats without adding calories through the roof, this works perfectly without losing flavour or texture. Applesauce is fat-free and can be used in one to one ratio in breads, muffins, and mixes for brownies and cakes.

Brown rice instead of White Rice: White rice is universally used because of how easy it is to make it and how widely available it is. However, it has a glycemic index of over 70, which is considered extremely high and is especially unhealthy if you’re diabetic. Switch to brown rice which has a lower glycemic index and is loaded with fibre and nutrients, which also makes it more filling than white rice.

Vegan Yogurt for Sour Cream: The best way to make baked foods healthier is by minimizing the carbohydrates and bad fat content. One such substitute is Vegan yogurt. There are different kinds of vegan yogurt available in the market, including coconut yogurt, pea protein blend and oat based yogurt to name a few. These alternatives are also high in protein and lower in fat and make a phenomenal substitute for sour cream. The proportion depends on the recipe and isn’t always one to one. This requires a little bit of experimenting with different recipes to find exactly what proportions work, but it is definitely worth it!

Yacon Syrup for Sugar: We all share a love-hate relationship with sugar: It’s too good (to taste) and too bad (for health) at the same time. It is tough to eliminate all forms of sugar from your diet, but there are many ways to work around this. Using yacon syrup in place of sugar will ensure that the calories you are consuming from the sweetener is not empty, since yacon syrup is rich in antioxidants and FOS prebiotics. It is also low in calories and has a low glycemic index,   so it doesn’t increase your blood sugar levels like processed sugar does.

Ground flaxseeds for breadcrumbs: Packaged breadcrumbs often contain high amounts of sodium, corn syrup, hydrogenated oil and other ingredients and additives which aren’t very healthy. Although occasional usage is alright, if your cooking regularly requires breadcrumbs, try switching to ground flaxseeds. It is super easy to make at home – just crush them and throw in some herbs per your liking and you have yourself a healthier alternative for traditional breadcrumbs.

The above ingredients are easily available in any retail or online grocery store. Make this holiday a happy AND healthy one with these super easy ingredient swaps. For a wide variety of ancient grains and superfoods, visit  Miski Organics. If you’re looking for ready-to-consume healthy snacks that are also tasty, visit Miski GoodFoods.