Anyone who’s tried and failed to follow a fad diet will tell you that depriving yourself isn’t a permanent solution to losing wealth or being healthier. What’s about 100 times more realistic: Living your life and training yourself to make better, more thoughtful choices when you eat. To that end, we’re sharing five simple cooking hacks that will make your favorite comfort foods a whole lot better for you. Keep scrolling for these genius recipe makeovers.
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Mashed Potatoes = Mashed Cauliflower
Mashed potatoes piled with the typical fixings—butter, cheese, and, sure, sour cream too—are loaded with simple carbs and saturated fat with few nutrients to balance them out. Steamed and fork-mashed (or pureed) cauliflower, however, is a perfect substitute for potatoes—cauliflower is low in carbs and calories, but high in folate, fiber and vitamin C. Flavor it with fat-free or reduced-fat sour cream and chives, as in this recipe from Paula Deen.
Read More: Great Ideas for Natural Healthy Food Recipes
Chocolate Mousse = Avocado Chocolate Mousse
Satisfy your chocolate fix healthfully with this vegan take on chocolate mousse, full of good-for-you monounsaturated fats, vitamins B, C and E, and potassium. By subbing avocado puree for heavy cream and eggs, and raw cacao powder for chocolate, you eliminate cholesterol and the majority of the “bad” saturated fat in traditional chocolate mousse.
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Spaghetti Marinara = Spaghetti Squash Marinara
Pasta, in addition to being chock-full of simple carbs, is easy to overdo when you’re eating it as a main course. (A proper portion size is about a half-cup.) Mimic spaghetti marinara by replacing the noodles with spaghetti squash; it’s as easy as roasting the squash with a little salt and pepper, scooping out the flesh and topping it with marinara sauce.
Read More: HFG Chicken Satay
Ice Cream = Fat-Free Greek Frozen Yogurt
You can convert virtually any ice cream recipe into fat-free Greek frozen yogurt for a satisfying dessert full of protein and probiotics—just eliminate the milk and cream and replace it with store-bought yogurt. Making fro-yo with an ice-cream machine (a decent machine costs about $50) gives the best result.
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But if you don’t have an ice-cream maker, then you can mix the yogurt with fruit puree, add stevia or honey to taste, cover it, and stick it in the freezer for at least four hours. We love this recipe for almond pistachio frozen yogurt.
Brownies = Black Bean Brownies
Black beans and cocoa powder can replace all the flour and most of the chocolate chips in your traditional brownie recipe. Black beans are high in protein and fiber, low in calories, and have a ton of antioxidant vitamins and minerals. Check out this recipe; to lower the cholesterol content, replace the chicken eggs with flax eggs.