Tasty Tricksters

Food swaps showcase unexpected ingredients in a healthy new light.

Ditch the same old, same old for nutritious new twists. Superfood switcheroos perform culinary sleight of hand by fooling you into eating healthy. Try transposing this tired flavor for that crafty stand-in, and reinvent mealtime.

Tofu As Scrambled Eggs

Sprinkle turmeric over drained, mashed extra firm tofu. Pan fry as you would scrambled eggs. For a convincing omelet version, toss in garlic, diced vegetables, cumin, sea salt and pepper.

Cauliflower As Mashed Potatoes

Boil florets until tender, drain and mash with salt, pepper and butter.

Cauliflower As Smoky, Cheesy Popcorn

Inside a Ziploc bag, shake florets along with nutritional yeast, turmeric, onion powder, cayenne powder, sea salt, cracked pepper, stevia and coconut oil. Place in a dehydrator at 135°F for one hour.

Cauliflower As Pizza Crust

Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Pizza Crust is comprised of nutty, riced cauliflower and corn flour. Cornstarch, potato starch, olive oil and sea salt bind this gluten-free dough and total a scant 80 calories per slice. Serve as breadsticks, too. ($4/10.6 ounces)

Broccoli As Guacamole

Simmer broccoli over medium heat for 15 minutes; then drain. Process Greek yogurt, garlic, jalapeno, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, pepper and salt in blender for one minute. Add diced tomatoes.

Spaghetti Squash As Spaghetti Pasta

Cover seeded spaghetti squash halves with aluminum foil, and roast at 425°F for 20 minutes. Uncover, and roast an additional 35 minutes. Further mimic spaghetti strands by scraping squash flesh with a fork. Top with sauce, meatballs and Parmesan.

Carrots As Hot Dogs

Briefly boil in an umami (broth-flavored) marinade. Add soy sauce, chipotle and maple syrup. Cook for 10 minutes until glaze forms, char on grill and top with fixings.

Black Bean As Brownies

Zema’s Madhouse Black Bean Brownie Bites exploit the deep, dark flavors of black bean and cocoa powder mixed with teff flour, a high protein ancient grain. Hemp, chia and flaxseed add an extra energy kick. ($7/baking mix)

Bananas As Ice Cream

Purée frozen, chopped bananas in a blender, and voilà—rich ice cream flavor. Uncanny!

More Sly Substitutes

  • Grab Greek yogurt over high-calorie mayonnaise for tuna salad.
  • Spiral cut zucchini to replace heavy pasta noodles.
  • Versatile broccoli also works in slaw, smoothies, muffins and as “tater tots.” popsugar.com 
  • Exchange oil in baked goods for your choice of applesauce, avocado, bananas, beets, black beans, pumpkin, prunes, tofu, yogurt or zucchini.

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