A LIST OF SUBSTITUTIONS
FOR THE DAIRY, SOY, LEGUME, & GRAIN-FREE….
FLOURS (for baking, etc.)
Nut Flours (Almond, Walnut, etc. with the exception of Peanut).
Substitute 1/3 the amount of regular wheat flour and add an extra egg. You will need to lower the temperature and probably increase the baking time as well.
Substitute 1/4 of the amount of regular wheat flour and add an equal amount of additional liquid for each portion of coconut flour used. You can count liquid sweeteners as part of the additional liquid and you may also want to try adding an extra egg to help everything bind. Coconut flour is very dry & finicky, so this may require some experimenting. If you don’t have time for that, then look up a recipe that specifically calls for coconut flour to make sure you get it right.
FLOURS (for breading)
Nut Flour or Coconut Flour
Or you can try mincing & sautéing some onions, mushrooms, & garlic to top your protein of choice.
Cut in half and roast faced down with a little water. When it’s done, “fork” it out.
Zucchini or Yellow Squash
Julienne slice (or you can use a spiral slicer) and saute or steam.
Take a head of cabbage, slice it into thin pieces, and saute or steam.
Slice thin and use in place of lasagna noodless
NoOodles (Shirataki Noodles)
These work well for Pho or stir-fry. There is very little prep involved, but you do need to make sure to prep them well or they won’t have any flavor.
Mashed or Creamed Cauliflower
Cauliflower contains less carbs & starch, so this may be a good go-to option.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Try experimenting with white sweet potatoes since they are less “carroty” in flavor and will more closely resemble the texture you are looking for. They will still be sweet, but they are delicious!
When you don’t feel like sweet potatoes, try squash. For less work, check your grocery store for squash that is already peeled & chopped up. (Organic doesn’t matter much when it comes to anything that has a tough peel that isn’t really edible).
Mashed Turnips and/or Parsnips
Pulse in a food processor or Vitamix blender until it has reached a rice-like consistency. Drizzle with a small amount of oil and roast until soft or you can also saute it with some garlic and onions.
If you’d like to replace butter with an oil, use this chart as a guideline. However, I would suggest a different oil if using high heat.
The following are suitable for salads or drizzling over veggies, etc. Do not use these for cooking unless you are using very low heat:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Flaxseed Oil (for occasional use only)
The following are suitable for high heat cooking:
Unrefined or Virgin Coconut Oil
A great substitute for butter. I use this one for almost everything. For recipes that call for solid, cold butter, make sure to use solid coconut oil. If the recipe calls for melted butter, go ahead and melt your coconut oil. Costco carries a large tub of it for a great price.
This is different from coconut oil because it includes some coconut meat, making it a little drier which means you will need to add a little more moisture. It has a stronger coconut flavor than the oil.
Ghee or Clarified Butter
In baking, you can try substituting 6 Tablespoons of unsweetened applesauce in place of 1 stick of butter (8 Tablespoons).
Pureed Avocado or Banana
Or, in baking, you can also try pureed avocado or banana in place of butter (the ratio should be 1:1).
Combine 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 9 tablespoons of water and let it sit for 15 minutes, or until it gels. I wouldn’t recommend cutting out all the fat with this substitute. Instead, sub an equal amount of this mixture for half of the fat in the recipe.
Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
Unsweetened Coconut Milk
If you choose to use full-fat, please look for BPA-free cans (Native Forest or Natural Value). Or, make your own.
Unsweetened Coconut milk
Use the exact amount that’s called for in the recipe. If it says 1 cup of buttermilk, then use 1 cup of coconut milk.
Unsweetened Almond milk and Coconut Yogurt
1/2 a cup of almond milk with 1/2 a cup of coconut yogurt will also work to replace 1 cup of buttermilk.
If you happen to be okay with cultured dairy, Plain Whole Greek Yogurt makes a great substitute.
Chilled coconut milk
Add a few drops of lemon juice for that hint of sourness.
WHIPPED CREAM/HEAVY CREAM
Full-fat Coconut milk
For whipped cream, only use the fatty part… chilled, whipped, and sweetened with a hint of raw honey, Grade B maple syrup, Stevia, natural jam or fruit juice.
For Heavy Cream, just use the fatty part of the coconut milk. No need to whip or sweeten.
HALF & HALF OR CREAMER
So Delicious has an original flavor that has a little added sugar but not much if you only use small amounts. Do not buy the flavored varieties as they contain more sugar.
Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
Won’t be as rich, but it will work.
This is a tough one. If you really can’t tolerate dairy, I’d advise you just skip the ingredient completely and don’t even try to imitate it. Just use something else give the dish more flavor or texture. You can use extra veggies such as sauteed onions and garlic (it really just depends on what it is). But if you’re really wanting some sort of substitute for that “cheese” flavor, try this:
Braggs Nutritional Yeast Seasoning
You can maybe even try mixing it with some full-fat coconut milk if you’re looking for creaminess.
If you’re okay with cultured dairy, then use Organic Plain Whole Greek Yogurt with a pinch of herbs and squeeze of lemon juice, or you can try making your own. But if that’s too much work, then try this:
Cut open and scoop out the avocado, then mash it up. It works great as a spread replacement.
If you can’t tolerate eggs, try one of these:
Combine 1 tablespoon with 3 tablespoons of water. Whisk until you get an egg white consistency and then let it sit in the fridge for 5-10 minutes before adding to your ingredients. This yields a perfect 1:1 substitute for eggs. So if you need two eggs, double the amount of flaxseed and water before whisking.
Combine 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 1 cup of water and let it sit for 15 minutes. This yields a perfect 1:1 substitute for eggs. However, I wouldn’t recommend substituting both eggs and butter with chia seeds in the same recipe!
Pureed Fruit or Fruit Juice
Applesauce, mashed bananas, or pureed apricots have plenty of natural sweetness. If replacing sugar in a recipe, exchange it for the same amount but make sure to reduce the liquids by 1/4 of a cup. Apple juice concentrate and orange juice probably works great too but you may have to reduce liquids even more, say about 1/2 a cup.
Pureed Veggies or Veggie Juice
Naturally sweet veggies like sweet potatoes or carrots can work with the right dish as well.
Chopped dates can add plenty of sweetness to a dish. Or a small amount of date “sugar” or syrup can work as well. Another idea is to puree them in a food processor and use 2/3 of a cup in place of 1 cup of sugar.
Substitute 3/4 cup of honey in place of 1 cup of sugar. Reduce liquids by 2 tablespoons and add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Also, you may want to lower the oven temperature by about 25 degrees.
Grade B Maple Syrup or Granulated Maple Sugar
Substitute 3/4 cup of honey in place of 1 cup of sugar. Reduce liquids by 3 tablespoons and add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda.
Use 1 1/3 cups of molasses in place of 1 cup of sugar. Reduce liquids by 5 tablespoons and add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda for every cup of molasses used. Do not replace more than 1 cup of sugar with molasses. Try combining with another natural sweetener instead.
Stevia (green leaf, extract, or glycerite)
1 cup of sugar = 1 teaspoon of liquid or powdered stevia. However, when replacing sugar with stevia in a recipe, you may have to account for the loss of bulk that sugar would normally provide. So, for every cup of sugar that is replaced by stevia, 1/4-1/2 a cup of bulk should be added. You can use bit of honey, applesauce, pumpkin puree, or anything that would taste right with the recipe and add some moisture for the bulk.
I believe the ratio here is a 1:1. Has a similar flavor to brown sugar.
Such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or vanilla. They aren’t sweet, but they can still add some flavor so that less sweetener is desired.
Coconut sugar and Arrowroot
Blend together 1 cup of coconut sugar and 1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder in a very good blender (Vitamix) until powdery & light brown.
If you’re trying to sweeten a frosting, try adding some mashed bananas.
SPECIFICALLY REPLACING SUGAR IN A RECIPE
Use 1/2 the amount of sugar called for in the recipe. If the recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, use 1/2 a cup of honey instead.
SPECIFICALLY REPLACING BROWN SUGAR IN A RECIPE
Grade B Maple Syrup
Use 1/2 the amount of brown sugar called for in the recipe. If it calls for 1 cup of brown sugar, use 1/2 a cup of maple syrup instead.
Replace regular sugar with the same amount of coconut sugar.
FOR THICKENING (sauces, soups, etc.)
Mix 2 Tablespoons (or more if needed) with a little cold water before adding to your dish.
Coconut Cream (AKA Coconut Manna or Coconut Butter)
Mix 1 Tablespoon (or more if needed) with 1/2 a cup of hot water before adding to your dish.
Full-fat Coconut Milk
Use the fatty part of coconut milk, adding little by little until the right thickness and flavor is achieved.
(Almond butter, Macadamia butter, etc.) May give an undesired flavor but can work if it’s just a small amount.
Pureed Veggies or Canned Tomato Paste
Add small amounts at a time and allow the mixture to simmer for a couple of minutes. Add more if thickness is not achieved.
A Couple of Egg Yolks
Whisk a couple of egg yolks before adding to your mixture and then allow it to simmer for several minutes.
Whisk 1 tablespoon with 3 tablespoons of water before adding to your dish.
I do not recommend Braggs Liquid Aminos because it contains Soy.
*If you are making an Asian dish, you can also try adding some Toasted Sesame oil for extra flavor.
White wine is suitable for slow cooking or marinating. However, if you are really trying to keep alcohol completely out of your diet, try these substitutions instead (or even a combination of both):
Chicken, Beef, etc… just make sure it’s additive & sugar-free.
Apple, Grape, etc… also make sure these are additive-free with no additional sugars added.
Use this with a combination a few fresh chopped herbs of your choice for even bolder flavor.
Chili powder, Cayenne Pepper, Curry Powder, Red Pepper Flakes, etc. can all add a kick of flavor and substitute a good amount of salt.
Organic Sea Kelp Seasoning
Try this in place of salt for added flavor.
Replace a plain oil with a flavored oil like Walnut Oil, Pumpkin Seed Oil, or Sesame Oil to add subtle flavor and reduce some of the salt.
Spritzing your food with lemon juice can help result in a similiar taste as sodium since they trigger similar taste receptors.
Garlic & Onion
Substitute some sodium with a little extra garlic and onion powder.
Balsamic Vinegar Reduction
Simmer some balsamic vinegar in a pot until it’s reduced by half. Use this in place of sauces.
If you can find organic, sugar-free… that works. If not, try:
Organic fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
Use a combination of a good fat/oil, citrus, & herbs/spices to marinade your meat. Do not buy the pre-made stuff as it almost always contains sugar or loads of salt.
Lightly toss some kale in a high heat oil and sprinkle with some seasoning, then bake.
Sweet Potato Fries
PEANUT BUTTER (This is a legume, not a nut).
Unsweetened Nut Butters
Almond butter, cashew butter, walnut butter, macadamia butter, etc. If you have a good blender (Vitamix), you can try to make your own.
Unsweetened Sunbutter (Sunflower Seed Butter)
A great option for those trying to limit their intake of nuts.
Substitute an equal amount or try adding something else like chopped walnuts instead.
You can try making your own if you have an ice cream machine by using coconut milk/almond milk and some fruit or a sweetener like honey. You can also try adding coconut shreds, vanilla, and some unsweetened cocoa. Or if you like tart fro-yo, try making your own (using an ice cream machine) with Organic whole plain greek yogurt, honey, and vanilla.
This brand of ice cream is made with coconut milk but uses Agave which is okay in moderation but I really wouldn’t recommend having it all the time.
Other ice-cream-like options to try:
Freeze some bananas then puree with a bit of unsweetened cocoa.