It’s been almost a year since I encountered the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon – a book which has completely changed my family’s life, sending us on a journey to seek out real, traditional, unprocessed food.
Here are 10 Real Food Substitutions to help remove processed, harmful foods from your diet and replace them with nourishing alternatives.
10 Real Food Substitutions
I’ve been using Plain, Natural Yoghurt in place of Mayonnaise for a while now. I find that taste testers can rarely tell the difference and plain natural yoghurt doesn’t have any of the scary ingredients that store bought mayo does. I particularly like to use Natural Yoghurt in place of Mayo in Egg & “Not” Mayo.
2. Sweet Treats
Making brownies and other sweet treats with dried fruit and nuts instead of being laden with processed sugars and flours is a nourishing sweet treat alternative.
3. Fruit Yoghurt
My Mum loves fruit yoghurt and so I came up with this substitution for her – instead of buying berry yoghurt full of artificial ingredients, get yourself some plain, natural yoghurt and then use a pouch of organic baby fruit puree for the fruity sweetness. A little crazy I know… I wouldn’t suggest doing this often, but once in a while it is a nourishing alternative to those sugar sweetened, artificially coloured fruit yoghurts.
Unfortunately vegetable oils (including canola and sunflower) are detrimental to our health.
Substitute with coconut oil for cooking/heating and olive oil for drizzling over salads or cooked dishes.
Coconut oil does well with high heats and is divine… once you’ve fried eggs in coconut oil you will never go back!
Processed sugar, high fructose corn syrup and other refined sweeteners are “empty calories” best avoided and substituted with nourishing sweeteners like Raw Honey, Rapadura, Coconut Sugar or Palm Sugar. Dried fruit or apple puree could also be used in place of refined sugars in sweet treats.
For a number of reasons, I no longer feed my family cereal for breakfast in the morning. (You can read about the research which brought me to the conclusion that cereal is a food best avoided here.) For a more nutritious alternative, homemade granola (without oats if you’re grain free) is a sensible option, otherwise forget cereal/granola all together and go for eggs for breakfast instead.
The first ingredient on many jam jars is sugar, so this seemingly innocent spread can very quickly send the kids on a sugar high. Homemade Jam is super simple to make and you are in control of how much sugar (or other natural sweetener such as Raw Honey) goes into the spread. My kids adore Rhubarb Jam and, best of all, Rhubarb is a vegetable so they are actually consuming a serve of vegetables when they enjoy their pancakes spread with Homemade Rhubarb Jam.
We have switched to Full Fat Dairy and haven’t looked back. Not only does full fat dairy taste richer and more wholesome, it doesn’t have the (usually) processed, artificial sweeteners added to low fat dairy needed to sweeten it. See 6 Secrets You Didn’t Know About Skim Milk from Butter Believer if you need a little more convincing to get rid of low fat dairy.
Switching meat products to Grass Fed (as opposed to grain fed) and (ideally) Organic promotes better health for you and (should) mean a happier existence for the animal, as they’re free to roam and explore natural pastures (as opposed to being stuck in a giant barn being fed potentially harmful grains).
10. Broth & Stock
Ditching stock cubes/ready made stock and making bone broth or homemade stock instead will reward you with dishes rich in natural vitamins and minerals. Once you’ve made your bone broth see 10 Ways To Get Your Kids To Consume More Bone Broth for inspiration to get more nutritious broth into your kids.
I’d love to hear from you. Please share your favorite real food substitutions in the comments below.
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