Spring and summer are quickly approaching and many of us are now taking the appropriate measures to diet and even go as far as restrict ourselves from some of our favorite foods in order to shed any extra winter weight. But many times going on “diets” and restricting ourselves from some of our favorite foods can backfire.
No one wants to spend their evenings eating a bowl of steamed vegetables, so I found 4 kitchen hacks that will help you eat healthier while still enjoying some of your favorite recipes. I shared these hacks in a recent segment on Windy City Live and you can watch the video below:
To paraphrase the segment, check out these 4 kitchen hacks to help you eat healthier!
- Using avocado instead of dairy: Many of us have dairy sensitivities or allergies, are trying to eat more of a plant-based diet which includes minimizing dairy consumption, or we’re simply trying to reduce the amount of cheese we eat throughout the week. SO – instead of adding cheese, sour cream, and milk to your recipe, try using avocado instead. Here are a few examples of how you can do so:
- Add avocado to your smoothie instead of Greek Yogurt: Try this concoction – 1 or 2 handfuls of spinach, 1/2 an avocado, 1/2 a banana, 1 cup of almond milk, 1 cup of ice. All you need to do is throw it all in a blender and enjoy!
- Use avocado in your next batch of brownies instead of butter. You can sub out 1/2 of the butter for your baked goods and use avocado instead. I promise you won’t taste the difference.
- Create an avocado cream by blending together avocado, garlic, basil, olive oil, and nutritional yeast – you can add this to soups and stews to give it extra creaminess.
- Use avocado as the cream base for your creamy pasta sauces. As shown in the Windy City Live segment, I created a dairy-free Alfredo sauce using avocado, basil, garlic, olive oil, soaked cashews, tofu, and a bit of apple cider vinegar. It tastes like the real deal.
- Prevent a carb-crash by using coconut oil: Sometimes it’s hard to completely cut out grains from our diet. The downside that comes with eating grains like pasta, breads, and baked goods is that these types of carbs digest fairly quickly in our digestive system and makes our blood sugar spike. This then causes a crash, making us feel groggy, and then leaves us craving more carbs. So try this hack next time you want to enjoy for example, a bowl of rice. A study has shown that adding 1 tsp of coconut oil to your pot of boiling water before you add the rice will increase its resistance starch. By increasing the level of resistance starch in the rice, it will then in turn cause it to break down and digest at a slower rate, thus reducing the sugar crash and carb craving.
- Cut out wheat in the morning by making flour-free banana pancakes: If you love having something ” carby” in the morning but don’t want to eat a big bowl of cereal, try making these flour-less pancakes. All you need to do is mash 1/2 a banana, mix it with two eggs, add some cinnamon, and cook it as you would a regular pancake. This way you are eating something with a similar consistency of a pancake, but with more protein and nutrients.
- Use applesauce instead of oil: If you want to enjoy a cookie here and there, try using applesauce instead of oil or butter. Most recipes using applesauce call for replacing half of the oil with applesauce, but you can replace all of it with applesauce. The only difference is that the cookie will be more dense. This way, you’re adding some antioxidants and vitamins into your next sweet treat.