Ingredient Makeover

  You know by now, that I love new recipes!  What you may not know, is there are a few “changes” that these recipes automatically go through, before they are made at our house.

These substitutes are as follows:

  107Whole White Wheat Flour used in place of All Purpose flour:  White Wheat has the same nutritional benefits as Whole Wheat, without the heavy Wheat taste.  This is because it comes from a lighter colored stalk of wheat.  If you can find a hi-gluten version, it can be used in everything from making a roux for white sauce, to baking a cake.  This is one of the ways I can feel better about making my family a coffee cake, for example, because I know it has some nutritional value now.  I get my Whole White Wheat Flour Hi-gluten, from Glen’s Bulk Food Store in Pleasantview.


Sea Salt or Kosher (or Coarse) Salt in place of Iodized:  Sea salt is harvested from evaporated seawater and receives little or no processing, leaving intact the minerals from the water it came from. Sea Salt is a fantastic choice, especially if you can find a good quality one that does not contain any anti-clumping agents and other additives.  It contains many essential minerals, (up to 80 trace minerals such as iron, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc and iodine) which the body heavily depends on. These minerals help the body to neutralize acids and to regulate the functions of muscles. 

  Don’t think you can tell a difference between sea salt and iodized salt?  Next time you have the sniffles, try making up 2 separate saline solutions in warm water using different salts, I GUARANTEE you, you’ll experience a difference.  Iodized burns like you got pool water in your brain, sea salt is just mildly salty and very soothing.  

  Kosher salt isn’t iodized either, so it doesn’t impart the weird iodine flavor that table salt has.  Kosher salt brings out foods’ natural flavors, while regular table salt just makes things taste salty.  I use Kosher for making meat rubs & seasoning pasta water.

Olive Oil instead of Vegetable Oil:  With the exception of Extra Virgin, Olive104 oil, can be used in any recipe in the place of Vegetable Oil, and you’ll never taste the difference. 

  Ok, that’s not true.  I make ONE thing that can’t use olive oil, and it’s Spiced Crackers.  This HAS to have veggie oil or its super gross.  BUT other than that, this is the only oil we use for everything including desserts.  I get it at Aldi’s. 

Spiced crackers

   A lot of people seem to think that anything labeled as “vegetable oil” is good for you. NOT AT ALL! Most of what is labeled as “vegetable oil” is simply heavily refined soybean oil (processed under high heat, pressure, and industrial solvents).  Olive oil is more than good fat; with the increasing popularity of the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet, olive oil has become one of the most studied cooking oil. Rich in the good monounsaturated fats, olive oil has been identified as a heart disease preventative as it lowers cholesterol.

Real Butter vs. Margarine:  One of the most healthy whole foods you can butterinclude in your diet is butter.  I know what you are saying, “Isn’t butter bad for you? I thought margarine and spreads were better because they’re low in saturated fat and cholesterol?”  NOPE!  Butter is truly better than margarine or other vegetable spreads. The list of butter’s benefits are impressive: providing Vitamins A, E, K & D, and rich in trace minerals, especially selenium, a powerful antioxidant.  Cholesterol is needed to maintain intestinal health, but is also needed for brain and nervous system development in young children.  While vegetable oil spreads may be cheaper, you’d never eat them again if you knew how they were made….

  All margarines are made from assorted vegetable oils that have been heated to extremely high temperatures. This insures that the oils will become rancid. After that, a nickel catalyst is added, along with hydrogen atoms, to solidify it. Nickel is a toxic heavy metal and amounts always remain in the finished product. Finally, deodorants and colorings are added to remove margarine’s horrible smell (from the rancid oils) and unappetizing grey color.  Gross!  Click here for a full article.



Raw Organic Sugar rather than Refined White Sugar:  While no sugar is “healthy”,  Raw sugar has more of the vitamins and minerals that are naturally-occuring in the sugar cane, which means that it’s less of an ’empty carb’ than white sugar. White sugar is made by adding chemicals to bleach it out and processing it to make it look uniform. Raw sugar is made by evaporating sugar cane juice without adding chemicals and with a lot less factory processing.


102Whole Milk rather than Skim or Reduced fat:  We choose to do raw whole milk from the farm, but if this isn’t an option for you, at least get whole Vitamin D milk for your family. 

   The world’s healthiest foods are whole foods — foods that have not been processed. Why? The nutrients in whole foods have a natural synergy with one another — that is, they work best in and are most beneficial to the body when they are taken together. So when you pull some or all of the fat out of milk, you throw its nutritional profile out of whack. Basically, you discard all of the health benefits when you discard the fat.  Read more.


  Guess what, healthy dietary fat will NOT make you fat. We’ve been taught for years that dietary fat is the root of all evil. But we need healthy fat in our diet for proper body composition and long-term weight maintenance. The key factor here is knowing the difference between good fats and bad fat. 

  Dieting or not, did you know 20% of your daily calories should be in healthy fats? Like real milk, butter, eggs, cheeses, avocados, fish & nuts. 

  Did you know your body goes into “fat storage mode” if you don’t provide it with these things?  That last 10 pounds you are wanting to lose may just stay there for good, because it’s your bodies last attempt to keep some of the fat you are denying it, to absorb vitamins, digest properly, maintain health, give you energy and create healthy skin, hair, and nails.

Brown Rice in place of White Rice:    I get Brown Basamati Rice in bulk from Smith’s 003Market and put it in freezer bags and stick it in the deep freeze. This ensures it stays fresh until I use it.

  Brown rice is higher in fiber than white, because it still has some of the bran attached.  Plain white rice has far less Vitamin E, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folacin, Potassium, Magnesium, Iron and over dozen other nutrients than brown. 


  Brown rice is not only better for you, but it’s better for the environment than white rice too.  So what’s the difference? Read the full article here.

    These simple “Ingredient Makeover” steps are an easy way to feel better about the things you feed your family while still allowing you full flavor, full fat, and just the right kind of salty, DELICIOUS foods!!!! 

Wild Rice Soup



4 thoughts on “Ingredient Makeover

  1. Funny thing. The other day Marvin had cooked some mushrooms and onions up. He started making that a lot when he was on his diet as part of his daily Vegitable intake (had to eat about 6 cups of veggies a day) anyway by the time I finished nursing Meadow there were none left for me (which by the way has happened a lot lately which make Mommy feel really unimportant if they can’t leave any food for me when I am done feeding the baby??? Last week I got out the frozen portions of the meal you brought us when we had Meadow and the Meal Amy Hall brought us and defrosted them and heated them and was so so so so looking forward to tasting yours again because I told you it is a lot like an old family favorite special recipe my Grandma always made) So I get done feeding Meadow and there is none of yours left and only 2 bites of Amy’s left 2 bites that is all I had left for dinner WHAT???? LOL

    So anyway I went to cook up some more mushrooms and onions and I accidentally cooked them in Vegie Oil not realizing Marvin had always been cooking them in the Olive Oil, IT tasted WAY different than the way they taste when cooked in Olive Oil. Almost ruined it for me!!!!

    Great Tips Tonya. We do a lot of Whole Milk in our house Tucker only gets Whole Milk because he is 3 1/2 and not yet 30 lbs that kid does not need any reduced fat anything!!!!

    Marvin and I have talked tons of times about how funny all these different diet crazes go. When we were growing up it was reduce the fat, reduce the fat, reduce the fat!!!! Now it is the carb craze, what will the decide next is the way to go???? Why does anyone believe them because every 10 years or so they change their minds about what is healthy and good for you and what is not???


  2. Tonya, way to go, I agree with you on all of it. Another GOOD fat, & one prescribed for me from Lisa, my practitioner in Des Moines, is Virgin Coconut oil. We love it & use it instead of butter in many things–one being grilled sandwiches!! But it must be the truely Organic Virgin kind, prepared the “old” way, like the kind Tropical Traditions sells. or phone 1-866-311-2626. I use it in baking as well.

  3. Pingback: Works For Me Wednesday: Kitchen Curtain Makeover | 4 little Fergusons

  4. wow this helps a lot, thanks for sharing. turn out that anything we have in traditional market here in Indonesia is better than the processed, factory made ones sold at fancier supermarket. like sea salt, and organic sugar, it’s cheaper in the market than the white one ,but people still tend to buy the fancier ones in the supermarket which is nicer and cleaner

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