From making more sustainable choices to reducing carbs and going vegan, it is impossible not to notice the trend for food swaps, food substitutes and fakeaways the list goes on. But one thing is for sure we seem to be looking for alternatives to the traditional and tried and tested food favourites.
Now I love experimenting in the kitchen so it probably comes as no surprise that I am a fan of a food swap, for many reasons. Firstly, it brings some variety to my cooking, and depending on the swap can add more nutrients to my favourite dishes…..or even reduce the sugar or fat content so that I can eat more of my favourite treats. It gives me the flexibility to use what is either in season or what is in stock. And ethically it allows me to make more sustainable choices, by picking alternatives that have a smaller carbon footprint or do less environmental damage in their production. And finally, it helps me to reduce food waste by using what I already have.
Over the years there have been some hits and misses with these swaps, so here my tried and tested alternatives that always go down well:
- Swap Rice for Cauliflower or Broccoli, as an easy alternative. Just break your chosen vegetable into florets, whizz in a blender and then heat on a low heat with or without oil on the hob. I like to add some chili flakes and coriander to mine to give it an extra kick.
- Pearl Barley makes a fantastic nutrient rich alternative to Risotto Rice. It has a higher fibre and protein content compared to traditional risotto, providing you with extra nutrients without compromising taste.
- If you’re going vegetarian or vegan, Lentils make a tasty, nourishing and filling alternative to Mince, making meat free Monday all the more satisfying.
- From Courgette, to Carrots to Butternut Squash if I can get a vegetable to spiralise it is replacing Noodles or Spaghetti in all my dishes, the extra veg ups the nutritional content of my meal and leaves me feeling just as satisfied as noodles.
- Sweet Potatoes have been a staple in my cooking for years, from mash to jackets to dauphinoise 9 times out of 10, I reach for a sweet potato over a standard Potato, unless of course I’m making roast potatoes I have yet to find an alternative to that favourite!
- Mix up your guacamole by replacing your usual Avocado with Aubergine. It has a slightly bitter and smoky flavour which I personally love, and once you’ve added it to your fajita’s you won’t be able to taste the difference. To make it, roast a whole aubergine in the oven at gas mark 5, for 30 minutes. Once cooled peel the skin off of the aubergine, and use in place of avocado in your favourite guacamole recipe.
These are just a few of my favourite swaps, I’d love to hear your swaps and what makes you chose an alternative?
Bye for now!