5 Healthy Cooking Swaps
by Vickie Chin on Jan 22, 2019
Looking for ways to make healthier choices in the new year? We’ve got you covered. Check out our top 5 healthy swaps for you to make to take your health to the next level. For the most part - your tastebuds won’t know the difference, but your body definitely will!
Is There Anything A Coconut Can’t Do?
Ditch: Refined Sugar
Dine: Coconut Palm Sugar
WHY? Ditch the refined sugar for something a little healthier, like coconut palm sugar! Coconut palm sugar is the perfect replacement for traditional white sugar in all of your favourite recipes. It scores lower on the glycemic index - meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar levels as quickly as refined white sugar and may actually help with blood sugar management. Coconut palm sugar also contains inulin - a fibre that may help slow glucose absorption, keeping your blood sugar levels in check. This fibre also has the ability to stimulate and promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines (hello gut health!).
Unlike refined white sugar, coconut palm sugar also contains trace amounts of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients!
You Say Cocoa, We Say Cacao. Same Same - But Very Different:
Ditch: Baker’s Cocoa
Dine: Raw Cacao
WHY? Switching from cocoa powder to raw organic cacao powder is one of the easiest swaps you can make to add a host of benefits to your favourite recipes. Baker’s cocoa is used in all of your favourite homemade desserts and baked goods to achieve that rich chocolate flavour. Although we’ve heard time and time again that chocolate is packed with antioxidants and is good for you (which is true!) - they’re not referring to cocoa, which has little to no nutritional value. Raw organic cacao powder on the other hand, is exactly what people are referring to when they say that chocolate is a superfood! To read more about the difference between cocoa and cacao, check out this blog post from our archives
Us @ Whole Flaxseeds: You’re Doing Amazing Sweetie, But You Could Be Doing Better:
Ditch: Whole Flaxseeds
Dine: Sprouted + Milled Flaxseeds
WHY? Flaxseeds are an excellent source of fibre, both soluble and insoluble. However, if you’re consuming your flaxseeds whole, your body is only reaping the benefits of the insoluble fibre. Left whole, flaxseeds pass through the body and digestive system without being digested, therefore you’re missing out on all of the wonderful benefits that these little seeds contain. By cold milling your flaxseeds, you’re essentially unlocking all of their benefits, including the protein, iron and omega-3 fatty acids found inside. Taking it one step further and sprouting the seeds before milling them allows your body to better absorb and digest all of those nutrients, which can often be difficult for your body to do - especially when it comes to seeds. Sprouted and milled flax seeds increase the bioavailability of the nutrients and won’t leave you bloated and uncomfortable, an issue that many people face when they consume seeds like flax and chia. Sprouted and milled flaxseeds can be easily incorporated into all of your favourite recipes and can even be used to make the perfect vegan ‘egg’ substitute! To learn more about the benefits of sprouting, check out our blog post here.
It Won’t Be As Bad As When You Think They’re Chocolate Chips But They Turn Out To Be Raisins:
Ditch: Chocolate Chips
Dine: Cacao Nibs
WHY? Opting for cacao nibs in place of chocolate chips in your cookies, muffins, brownies and more is an easy switch, but one that might take a little bit of getting used to. Unlike some of our other swaps that your tastebuds will have a harder time noticing, the switch from chocolate chips to cacao nibs is an easy one to spot - but you won’t regret it once you do! Chocolate chips are often high in sugar with little to no nutritional value. They’re also highly processed and often contain emulsifiers and hydrogenated oils, which are big no-no’s if you’re trying to reduce inflammation and the risk of illness and disease. Cacao nibs on the other hand are raw, unprocessed sources of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. They’re also a source of healthy fats and fibre. Their bitter taste might be an acquired one so maybe start small and reduce your chocolate chips by half and adding some nibs to the mix. They’ll add a rich chocolate taste and a great crunchy texture to your muffins, cookies, brownies and more.
Ditch: Processed, Hydrogenated Oils
Dine: Unrefined, Pure, Non-Hydrogenated Oils
WHY? This swap is one of the easiest ones to make if you’re trying to reduce inflammation in the body, fight illness and disease and increase your healthy fat intake - including those essential omega-3’s. Many vegetable oils such as canola, sunflower and safflower are genetically modified and either fully or partially hydrogentated. This means that they have been modified to increase stability and shelf life. The high heat and pressure under which these oils are made destroys their antioxidants and creates dangerous free radicals, causing these oils to be highly inflammatory. We’re learning more and more that inflammation is often found to be the cause of chronic illness and disease, so it should be an easy decision to swap your processed vegetable oils for pure and unrefined non-hydrogenated oils like extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil and flaxseed oil. When making the switch, just be sure you’re using the right oils for the correct cooking purposes and you’re paying attention to the heat you’re putting them under. For cold dips and sauces we recommend using extra virgin olive oil, for baking, sautéeing and stir-frying we recommend using the latter three. We know what you’re going to say - ‘flaxseed oil shouldn’t be heated at the risk of oxidizing and going rancid’, but we’ve got you covered. Our NEW flaxseed cooking oil has been made high heat stable by removing the lignans (those compounds that go rancid) found in flaxseeds through a cold-press filtration system, making it PERFECT for baking, stir-frying, roasting and more. Read more about our NEW flaxseed cooking oil here!