Blog Post: Food Alternatives

It’s common to feel a little lost when looking to make changes to your diet.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is one of my all time favourite ingredients to use in baking, and in skin care. For so many years we have used vegetable oils in our cooking, but over the last decade or so, they have developed a bad reputation. Now it’s not fair to say that all vegetables oils are bad. The reasons why some may think vegetable oils have become the enemy, is because vegetable oils oxidise over time and also when they are exposed to oxygen and light. This process is then accelerated when they are heated, for example, when we use vegetable oils for frying.

Our bodies have a strong enough immune system to fight off any harmful substances that appear when we consume oils that have reached their smoke point, however, if our immune systems are busy fighting off the effects of over cooked oils, then we are left more exposed to diseases and infections. Why not just cut out the middle man and use oils that have a high smoke point? I love to use a good olive oil of salads, but when it comes to cooking, I always use coconut oil.

Xylitol

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is used as a sweetener, and is particularly popular among diabetics. It comes as a fine white powder, and can be used in the same way as traditional white sugar, although I feel it is slightly sweeter than sugar, and so you may want to use less.

I don’t use Xylitol very often as I don’t particularly like the taste, however I know many people who love it and have had great success with lowering their blood sugar levels when making the substitution.

Ground Almonds

Here is a great substitute for flour when baking cakes and cookies. It is light and fluffy enough to make a great cake sponge, but cooks very quickly to give cookies and biscuit a nice crunch. Almonds are gluten free and rich in magnesium and healthy fats.

Coconut Sugar

This is my go to sweetener! It is closest in colour, texture and taste to that of brown sugar.

Quinoa

Now I love couscous, but if you are planing on avoiding gluten, then unfortunately couscous will have to go. For me the next best thing is quinoa. Really easy to cook, can be mixed with lots of different flavours and can be served hot or cold.

Soya

Soya was once the go to product for people on a dairy free diet, however here is another example of food that has been given a bad name. Sales over soya milks and soya yoghurts have dropped over the last 10 years since the introduction of almond milk and rice milk in mainstream supermarkets, as well as the publishing of health scare articles.

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