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20 Easy Real Food Switches and Substitutions {with Free Printable Chart}


By Mindy [2], Contributing Writer

Are you working to ditch processed foods and put more real food on the table? This month we’re running a series called Real Food Made Simple: A Beginner’s Guide to Eating Better [3]. Our goal is to answer the questions [4] you might have and make the transition a whole lot easier!

Starting out on a real food journey can be very overwhelming–especially when all of your old favorite recipes call for less than ideal ingredients, and you just don’t know what to cook anymore.

Well, I have some good news for you! Most recipes can easily be adapted to include real, whole food ingredients to not only be healthier, but also taste better!

Over the past few years, I have worked to cut bad, processed ingredients and foods from my family’s diet. During this time, it has become second nature to me to read a recipe and substitute the bad ingredients for healthier ones.

Today, I’m going to share a handy (printable) list with you of 20 different real food ingredient switches and substitutions.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is a starting point that should help you in turning almost any recipe into a “real food” recipe.

I also want to note that this substitution list could look different for different families.  If your family is gluten free, for example, then you would obviously not use whole wheat flour to substitute for all-purpose flour. This list is just a general substitution list that you can adjust to meet your family’s needs.

Click on the chart to access the free printable PDF, which includes links to the homemade ingredients.


Tips for Substituting Ingredients:

Simple Apple Crisp: An Example of Substituting Real Food Ingredients

To help inspire you, and show you how easy it is, I have made up a chart showing how I switched out real food ingredients for less than ideal ones in this apple crisp recipe.

Click on the recipe chart to access the free printable Apple Crisp recipe.



Other posts in the series:

Real Food Made Simple: A Beginner’s Guide to Eating Better [4]

First Steps to Real Food [7]

What Is Real Food? [8]

Cutting Your Kitchen Prep Time in Half — Or More! [9]

Confessions of a Formerly Picky Eater [10]

How to Read Food Labels [11]

The Grain Controversy: Should We Eat Them or Not? [12]

Second Steps Towards Eating Real Foods: Switching Your Food Sources [13]

Sweeteners: How They Affect You, Which Ones are Best, and How to Use Them [14]

Simple Steps to Begin Cooking Homemade: Pantry Staples [15]

5 Strategies to Help Your Husband and Kids Transition to Real Food  [16]

7 Foods to Avoid [17]

Finding Real Food in the Grocery Store [18]

First Steps to Eating for Fertility [19]

Keeping Costs Down in a Real Food Kitchen [20]

Raising Kids on Real Food [21]

5 Ways to Get More Fruits & Veggies into your Diet [22]

Food Is Not Cheap: 4 Steps to Budgeting in Real Food [23]

Simple Steps to Begin Cooking Homemade: Baked Goods [24]

Simple Roast Chicken (And Fabulous Side Dish Recipes!) [25]

17 Homemade Spice Mixes {with Recipes & Why You Should Use Them!} [26]

5 Ways Green Living and Real Food are Connected [27]

Simple Steps to Begin Cooking Homemade: Soups, Sauces, and Simple Dinners [28]

Do you have any substitutions to add to this list? Do you enjoy taking recipes and turning them into “real food” recipes?