You’ve probably seen lots of ready-made low-calorie substitutions at the grocery store – things like spiralized zucchini noodles or riced cauliflower. While adding these items to your meals can be an easy way to increase nutrient density, prepping them at home is pretty quick and can save you money in the long run! Here are 7 easy low cal & nutrient-dense food swaps to make at home:
1) Zucchini noodles – the prettiest spaghetti alternative
Spiralized zucchini is a great way to add colour, fibre, and extra nutrients to your spaghetti dishes. You can make them quickly and easily at home with an inexpensive hand held spiralizer or even a regular vegetable peeler. You can use them as a low cal substitute for noodles or mix them 50/50 with spaghetti for more sustenance.
How to make zucchini noodles with a handheld spiralizer:
If zucchini isn’t your thing, you can spiralize just about any vegetable to brighten up your meals:
10 vegetables you can spiralize with a paderno spiralizer
2) Creamy dressings without the cream
Making your own dressings at home is not as intimidating as it can seem. Using a plain yogurt base can add protein, calcium and a nice tangy to a typically high-fat dressing. The downside is that they don’t keep as long as the store-bought kind so be mindful of how much you make.
How to make easy yogurt dressing (3 recipes)
- Add chopped fresh herbs, like dill, for extra flavour
3) Riced cauliflower – can be spiced up just like rice
Riced cauliflower can be easily made at home with a food processor or even a grater and used in stir-fries or bowls to substitute white rice, adding extra fibre and vitamin C.
How to prepare and cook rice cauliflower without a food processor:
..With a food processor: https://youtu.be/1Vbtn0cL0VM
Try adding cumin and black beans for a ‘beans and rice’ dish or stir-fry with onion, garlic, ginger and soya for mock fried rice.
4) Nice cream for your sweet tooth
If you are a fan of frozen treats or ice cream, it’s easier (and quicker) than you think to make healthy alternatives at home that still taste smooth and delicious. Adding frozen berries ups the antioxidant and fibre content, or go for cocoa powder to hot your chocolate craving.
Frozen yogurt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhm3A2MAIts
Vegan ice cream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQSF7XYp36U
5) Bake spaghetti squash and you won’t squash your goals;)
Baked spaghetti squash boats are a nutritious and easy alternative to try if baked pasta dishes are family favourite in your house. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bz9NLpXT3Ic
You can also fluff the “spaghetti” out with a fork and eat it for example with your turkey bolognese.
Spaghetti squash ups your fibre intake and is a great source of beta-carotene, an important nutrient for immune function.
6) Sweet potato toast, a sweet deal for nutrient-value
Using slices of sweet potato as a substitute for bread when making toast adds a ton of vitamin A and fibre to your meal. Plus, sweet potato is very versatile and can be paired with both sweet and savoury toppings.
How to make sweet potato toast slices:
7) Rice paper rolls or nori to rock your fusion burritos and wraps
Rice paper rolls or nori (seaweed rolls) are inexpensive, long-lasting and easy alternatives to traditional wrap sandwiches. Nori is lower in carbs and includes iodine, vitamin C, vitamin B12 (a rare find in non-animal products), potassium, iron, and zinc.
How to make Vietnamese fresh rolls
How to make a sushi “burrito”
Are you getting all your nutrients? Do you need modifications to your menu plans and recipes that support your health needs and goals?
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