- Evaporated milk for cream This works for soups and sauces, but not making actual whipped cream.
- Ricotta cheese for cream Thank you Skinny Bovine!
- Neufchatel for cream cheese It's the exact same thing except it's made with skim milk instead of whole. I do not buy cream cheese. No one has noticed. (When I tried fat-free cream cheese there was rebellion, plus it's full of preservatives and complex unidentifiable ingredients. Low fat is good enough for me.)
- Olive oil for butter Yes it doesn't taste quite the same, but you can keep the butter flavor by cutting the butter down by 2/3rds and filling in the remainder with olive oil. Sometimes it's fine to cut out all of the butter. Experiment.
- Canola oil for vegetable or corn oil. This one works when you have to have oil. Canola and olive are the healthiest oil choices. Again, I do not buy vegetable oil.
- Apple sauce for oil. Great for muffins and cakes.
- Plain yogurt for oil.
- Apple juice for oil.
- Orange juice for oil.
- Orange juice concentrate for shortening. This won't work for pie crusts, but some baking. For Easter I made some carrot cake with this method and it tasted even better with the OJ instead of the shortening. (Shortening grosses me out. I avoid it at all costs.)
- Pureed vegetables as sauce/soup thickener instead of flour or cornstarch. Sometimes a winner, sometimes not. (Sometimes a woman has to resort to deception to get her family to eat healthy things. It's a don't ask, don't tell policy.)
- Wheatberries for all or part of the ground beef in a recipe. This won't work for beef jerky, but I've tried with positive results in tacos, enchiladas, hamburger helper, casseroles and lasagna. I HEART it in tacos, so much less grease. I can't go back to the old way. For enchiladas I blend the wheatberries with some sauce for improved texture.
- Part oat or wheat flour in a recipe.
And here's a post I did previously on substitutions for alcohol in cooking, a few of which were also mentioned at our little healthy substitutions pow-wow.
Does anyone else have any great secrets they'd like to share?