Cleveland Clinic Digestive Health Team Recipe Substitution Guidelines

  • Recipe Calls For: Bacon
    • Substitute with turkey bacon
  • Recipe Calls For: Baking Chocolate
    • Substitute with 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa or carob powder plus 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • Recipe Calls For: Browning or sautéing meat
    • Substitute with water or non-stick cooking spray instead of margarine, butter, or oil
  • Recipe Calls For: Canned fruit
    • Substitute with fruit in water, natural juice, or light syrup
    • Substitute with fresh or frozen unsweetened fruit instead
  • Recipe Calls For: Canned vegetables or beans
    • Use no-salt added canned vegetables
    • Rinse canned vegetables
    • Use frozen or fresh vegetables instead, or dried beans instead
  • Recipe Calls For: Cheese
    • Low-fat cheese
    • Stronger flavored cheese but only ½ the amount called for in recipe
  • Recipe Calls For: Chocolate chips
    • Substitute with half the amount called for in recipe and use mini chocolate chips
  • Recipe Calls For: Cottage cheese
    • Substitute with low fat cottage cheese or non-fat ricotta
  • Recipe Calls For: Cream or half & half
    • Substitute with non-fat dry milk mixed double or triple strength
    • Substitute with undiluted evaporated skim milk
  • Recipe Calls For: Egg, 1 whole
    • Substitute with 2 egg whites
    • Substitute with ¼ cup egg substitutes
    • Substitute with 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons water
  • Recipe Calls For: Evaporated milk
    • Substitute with Fat-free evaporated milk
  • Recipe Calls For: Gelatin or pudding mixes
    • Substitute with 90% lean ground beef (choose round or chuck)
    • Brown, drain, and rinse to decrease fat content
  • Recipe Calls For: Ground beef
    • Substitute with 2 egg whites
    • Substitute with ¼ cup egg substitutes
    • Substitute with ground turkey breast (without skin)
  • Recipe Calls For: Melted butter, melted margarine, or oil in baked goods
    • Substitute with Fat-free plain yogurt or sour creams
    • Substitute with Applesauce or pureed fruit (banana or prune) – use ½ to ¾ as much fruit puree as fat called for in recipe (works best as oil replacement)
    • Reduce amount by one-third
    • Substitute with healthier fat like canola oil
  • Recipe Calls For: MSG (monosodium glutamate)
    • Eliminate
  • Recipe Calls For: Salt
    • Substitute with one-half or omit entirely (except for yeast breads/rolls)
    • Eliminate and use lemon juice as seasoning instead in cooking recipes
    • Substitute with herbs, spices, fruit juices, or salt-free seasonings or herb blends instead
  • Recipe Calls For: Seasoned salt (like garlic salt, onion salt, or celery salt)
    • Use salt-free versions – like garlic powder, onion powder, and celery seed
  • Recipe Calls For: Soup or broth (canned)
    • Substitute with reduced sodium, fat-free broth
    • Substitute with reduced sodium, reduced fat soups
  • Recipe Calls For: Sour cream, for baking
    • Substitute with fat-free/low-fat sour cream
    • Substitute with plain fat-free yogurt (Greek or regular)
  • Recipe Calls For: Sour cream, For dips and dressing
    • Substitute with fat-free/low-fat sour cream
    • Substitute with one part plain fat-free yogurt + two parts low-fat cottage cheese
  • Recipe Calls For: Sour cream, For casseroles or meat dishes
    • Substitute with fat-free/low-fat sour cream
    • Substitute with plain fat-free yogurt + 1 teaspoon cornstarch (per cup of yogurt) to prevent curdling
  • Recipe Calls For: Sugar
    • Substitute with sugar by one-third
    • Substitute with half sugar and half Splenda® (or use alternate calorie-free sweetener if desired)
    • Substitute with more vanilla, cinnamon, or nutmeg to enhance reduced sugar recipes
  • Recipe Calls For: Sweetened condensed milk
    • Substitute with fat-free or low fat sweetened condensed milk
  • Recipe Calls For: Whipped cream
    • Substitute with fat-free whipped topping like fat-free Reddi Wip® (with no hydrogenated oils)
  • Recipe Calls For: White flour, In baking
    • Substitute with ¼ to ½ of white flour with whole wheat flour or ground oatmeal, ground oat bran flour, or ground bran cereal flour (can be made in food processor)
  • Recipe Calls For: White flour, for thickening in cooking
    • Substitute with cornstarch instead of flour (1 Tbsp. cornstarch = 2 Tbsp. flour) – 35 vs. 50 calories
    • Substitute with pureed cooked vegetables to thicken soups and sauces (carrots, potatoes, lentils, beans, or cauliflower)
  • Recipe Calls For: Whole buttermilk
    • Substitute with fat-free or low fat buttermilkk
  • Recipe Calls For: Whole milk
    • Substitute with fat-free milk
    • Substitute with fat-free buttermilk diluted with equal amounts water
    • Substitute with reconstituted nonfat dry milk

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