What ‘Healthy’ Substitutions Do You Actually Enjoy?

What ‘Healthy’ Substitutions Do You Actually Enjoy?

Food is fuel, but that fuel is only effective if one consumes it. While it’s all fine and good to suggest you eat a thick piece of cauliflower instead of a steak, that suggestion is devoid of joy, and I happen to think joy is pretty important part of eating (and life). However, there are some healthy swaps out there that aren’t as dismal, and I bet you all know some good ones. As always, I have some questions.

  • Fad diets and the like always lead to a veritable slew of substitutions. Do you have a favourite sub or swap you learned from a diet or “lifestyle change”? I have not tried a “diet” in over 10 years, but I do I like the fact that you can eat chicken wings on Whole30 as long as you use ghee.

  • “Replacing foods with cauliflower” is very popular for some reason. Do you have a cauliswap that makes your mouth happy? I have yet to find a cauliflower pizza crust or “rice” that didn’t make me a little sad, but I don’t mind cauliflower mashed into potatoes, and I really, genuinely enjoy Buffalo-style cauliflower. (Not as much as I enjoy Buffalo chicken wings, but it’s a very good bar snack.)

  • What is your favourite Pinterest-y swap you’ve found during your time on the internet? I love that frozen banana and cocoa powder “ice cream.” It’s like a spoonable chocolate covered banana! Who wouldn’t like that?

  • Which vegetable makes the best fake pasta? I like a spiralled butternut squash pretty well.

  • What’s your favourite vegan substitution? I will tell you something: there are a few vegan cheeses I enjoy a whole lot, particularly of the fermented cashew variety. I also love nutritional yeast on every savoury food imaginable. (If you’ve never had “nooch,” sprinkle it on popcorn and watch your life change.)

  • What’s your favourite use for coconut oil, cream, or milk? I love coconut milk in cocktails, but I am pretty much obsessed with this coconut dulce de leche.

  • Is there a vegetable “fry” you prefer more than the french fried potato? No.

  • Have you found a truly good gluten-free bread? Pao de Queijo — know also as “Brazilian cheese bread” — is just that.

  • What is your favourite non-dairy “milk”? Coconut, to be quite honest.

  • Have you tried the egg-free miracle that is aquafaba? Chickpea liquid can be used to give fluffy volume to egg-free desserts or other baked goods. Plus “aquafaba” is fun to say.

  • What’s your favourite meat-free way to add umami? Our own A.A. Newton has a lot of great tips here, but I am a fool for a deeply-roasted mushroom.

  • Have you ever had a vegetarian or vegan dish that was “better than the real thing”? There is a burrito place near me that makes a soy curl burrito that is loads better than any of their carnivorous offerings. I also enjoy a soy curl rice bowl drenched in peanut sauce. Soy curls — texturized soy protein that take real well to frying — are pretty great, is what I’m saying.

Feel free to answer as many or as few of the questions above as you like, and ramble on about anything even remotely related to our topic. I just want to talk about swaps (of the food variety).

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