Tips to Making Your Recipes Healthier

Modern kitchen cooking kitchenware and chef's hat with mixing boIf you are making any Valentine’s Day treats this week use these tips to guide you in making some of your favorite recipes healthier for you.  Simply replace some of the ingredients using the tips, ideas and resources below and then test the recipe.  Some varying of proportions may be necessary to get the desired results.  Keep in mind the fresher the ingredients, the healthier your dessert or meal will be.  Shop from a local farmer or at your local farmers market whenever possible!

TIP #1 – Look at fats

  • Replace all vegetable or canola oil with butter, ghee, olive oil, or coconut oil.  You can also play with fats like lard or tallow.
  • Replace margarine or shortening with butter or coconut oil for baking.
  • Read more about fats in my previous post “Fats are NOT Bad for You

TIP #2 – Look at flours

  • Replace white flour with a whole grain flour – spelt, kamut and even whole wheat are possible alternatives. Often you will need more whole grain flour than recipe calls for or less. liquids.  Gluten-free flours such as coconut flour, arrowroot flour, brown rice flour, and nut flours can also be used.
  • Explore the use of nuts as well as combinations of grains and nuts.
  • Explore soaking of grains for easier digestibility.  Visit for more about soaking grains.

TIP #3 – Look at sweeteners

  • Replace white sugar with a natural sweetener.  Try coconut palm sugar, Sucanat, maple syrup, raw honey or molasses.  If using a liquid sweetener then you may need less of the liquid ingredients in the recipe, or more of the flour.  Stevia also can be used and works especially well in combination with other sweeteners so you don’t need as much.

TIP #4 – Look at meats

  • Use grass-fed, organic, or free-range meats instead of commercial meats laden with antibiotics and hormones. Grass-fed preferred versus grain-fed for better nutrient profile and it’s healthier for the animals.  Learn more at
  • Buy processed meats that are free of nitrates and nitrites such as bacon and lunch meats such as from Applegate Farms.

TIP #5 – Look at dairy products

  • Use whole milk, organic dairy products -Try to find low-heat pasteurized such as Kalona (or raw dairy if accessible).
  • Replace condensed milk with real milk or yogurt and a natural sweetener
  • Use plain yogurt and add stevia or fresh fruit instead of buying sweetened yogurts
  • Use kefir instead of milk if you have digestive issues or substitute dairy all together with coconut milk or homemade nut milks

Keep in mind these additional tips:

  • Use natural, whole ingredients for your recipes
  • Avoid canned ingredients ( sometimes beans or tomatoes are fine – though I use glass jarred tomatoes personally)
  • Avoid the whites (sugar, flour, salt, pasta)
  • Shop for items at a health food store or health aisle of your local grocer to avoid items with unnecessary additives or preservatives
  • Buy items with only the ingredients you would recognize as necessary to make that item
  • Make sure you can pronounce all ingredients on the item you are buying to add to your recipe
  • Use organic items in your recipe if available





  1. Judy Matrundola says:

    Thank you so much for your guidance in recommending the most healthy products to use when cooking.

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