Healthy Recipe Substitutes

Try not to overdo it this holiday season by checking out some healthy recipe substitutes


By Maddy Bond


As the holiday season approaches again, it’s hard to ignore the sweets and pastries that come with it. It’s okay to enjoy these treats in moderation, but the abundance of goodies can be frustrating when you’re trying to manage your weight or achieve a specific health-related goal. Luckily, there are alternatives to the rich, fattening holiday recipes that can help make your holiday season just a little bit easier. Here are five healthier options you can incorporate into your recipes to help fight the holiday weight gain.

Use oil instead of applesauce

Next time you bake a cake, try substituting half of the oil in the recipe for applesauce. The consistency helps to keep your baked goods moist and delicious, while cutting down a lot of the calories.

Swap sour cream for plain Greek yogurt

While this may sound surprising, we promise they taste the same! Greek yogurt is lower in calories and also has more nutrients per serving. So next time you make Mexican food and need that dollop of sour cream, try using plain Greek yogurt instead.

Ground turkey or chicken

Turkey and chicken are leaner than beef. They carry just as much protein and a fraction of the fat. Try using ground turkey or chicken in your spaghetti sauce for a healthier option, and see what you think.

Hummus instead of mayonnaise

When it comes to flavor, we’ll admit these two ingredients are pretty different. Mayo is filled with unhealthy fats and very little of anything else. On the other hand, hummus is full of protein, contains healthy fats, and comes in different varieties. So next time you make a sandwich, try spreading some hummus on your bread instead of mayo. Maybe a garlic hummus or spicy pepper flavor are what your sandwiches are missing.

Frozen bananas instead of ice cream

We’re serious. Next time your bananas get too ripe, instead of throwing them out, cut them into chunks and freeze them.

When you next get an ice cream craving, throw the frozen bananas in a food processor, add some cocoa powder, and you’ll be surprised to find you’ve made chocolate ice cream! Shockingly delicious and healthy. Try experimenting with flavors or adding different toppings to see what amazing non-ice cream you can make, without all the unnecessary fats and sugar.

Maddy has worked in the health and fitness industry for 5 years. She has a bachelors in Exercise Science and has recently received her Masters in Exercise Physiology. She has worked with a wide demographic of clients as a Personal Trainer and loves helping people reach their goals and continue to grow.  She is an outdoor enthusiast and dedicates her workouts to rock climbing, hiking and whatever new experiences may come her way.

Main Photo Credit: Liliya Kandrashevich/; Second Photo Credit: mama_mia/; Third Photo Credit: Tatiana Volgutova/