Here’s how you can modify most ingredients and tailor nutrition to your needs. For example flax seed meal substitutes for eggs. Pureed prunes substitutes for fats in baking. And dehydrating cookies, crackers, or flat breads made with ground sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and sesame seeds can substitute for baking with higher heat.
Many mainstream consumer magazines, cookbooks, TV cooking shows and newspapers won’t tell you how to modify recipes. Are you getting tired of health food shows and some cookbooks that keep telling you to use agave syrup instead of sugar all the time?
Perhaps you’d rather sweeten muffins or cookies with a pinch of stevia for those who can’t have any type of sugar, even fruit sugars. For others, two bananas, some coconut water, or 1/2 cup of carrot juice may be enough to sweeten muffins, cakes, brownies, or cookies.There are healthier alternatives in cooking that have a special type of nutritional value that you can tailor to your individual requirements.
Also check out the cooking instructions on holistic health cooking TV shows, but even with those shows, some hosts aren’t aware of the latest findings on various substitutions used to sweeten foods and the effects on your kidneys, uric acid levels or other organs. One example might be studies on how fructose impacts the body. Your goal might be to find the healthiest type of modifications of popular recipes for foods familiar to most people.
Here’s how to bake cookies with pureed pumpkin and/or sesame seed tahini as a substitute for milk or other liquids in any type of cookie, cake, or brownie baking. As an alternative to milk products, use sesame seed tahini, a puree of sesame seeds ground either in your blender with some water, or buy it from a health food store, whole foods grocery, or supermarket. See the egg-free baking article in PDF format. Learn how to modify recipes.
Tofu (liquefied in a blender) is a substitute for eggs. Lecithin granules and mashed prunes are substitutes for oils or fats in baking.
A great-tasting brand, found in health food stores is Artisana raw, organic tahini. For vegan vegetarians, a substitute for eggs can be tofu. Or a mixture of prunes and lecithin may substitute for fats and oils.
If you want a vegan cookie without eggs that still holds together well, substitute flax meal (ground, milled flaxseed), powdered soy lecithin, soft silken tofu, GF soy yogurt, pureed fruit such as prunes mixed with two tablespoons of lecithin per cup, or Ener-G Foods “Egg Replacer”. Also see a copy of Carol Fenster’s book, Special Diet Solutions. It also provides guidelines for changing recipes to exclude eggs (and other common allergens).
It’s high in calcium and iron. Use it instead of milk in all your baking. Any brand of tahini also works. It’s a nondairy alternative that’s used instead of milk or liquids in baking. Also, it can be used as a topping or sauce for savory dishes such as fish or crab cakes when mixed with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.
Want a cookie with no eggs, no sugar, no milk, and whole grain meal instead of flour, and lecithin granules instead of fat? Try my no-salt added and natural fruit sweetening cookie recipe.
Use oat bran, flax seed meal, and oatmeal instead of flour. No eggs, baking powder, soda, or dairy products. Instead of eggs and fat or oils, in cookies and cakes, substitute 1/2 package of tofu (or about a half cup) blended with water or any other liquid, such as fruit juice or a banana. Liquefy in your blender.
To substitute a healthier ingredient for lard, butter, rendered chicken fat, or other fats or oils, substitute ¼ cup to ½ cup of mashed or pureed prunes, either soaked or cooked and two to three tablespoons of lecithin granules instead of the lard, vegetable shorteing, oil, or butter.
Tofu, when liquefied with water or juice takes the place of eggs. Lecithin granules and prunes takes the place of oils and fats, and at the same time sweetens cookies and cakes with a tart, yet sweet dried fruit flavor. And it’s rich in potassium.
1 scoop rice bran powder (about 2 tablespoons)
2/3 cup sesame tahini paste
1/2 tub tofu made with calcium sulfate instead of magnesium chloride (about a half-pound) substitutes for eggs. Or if you’re not vegan use three egg whites, beaten until in stiff peaks like meringue 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of apple juice concentrate.
1 cup chopped walnuts
½ cup almonds
½ cup frozen blueberries
½ cup frozen strawberries
1 cup oat bran
1 cup oat meal—old fashioned rolled oats uncooked
½ -2/3 cup flax seed meal
3 tablespoon of lecithin granules
½ soaked, pureed, cooked, or mashed prunes
Place in a bowl the oat bran, protein powder, lecithin, and flax seed meal, stir, then finally the oat meal, then add all the fruit and nut ingredients. In a blender blend the apple juice concentrate and tofu. Add sesame seed paste. Pour into the large glass bowl.
Stir everything. Pour all ingredients into the bowl and mix with a large spoon.
If you need more sweetness, consider fruit, but please go lightly here. You don’t want sugar to raise those insulin levels. The fruit juice concentrate and the banana sweeten it.
Use pieces of fresh dates, chopped apples, or figs to sweeten more, if you require a sweeter taste. You can serve the cookies smeared with with almond butter, peanut butter, or other high protein or nut butter topping if you wish.
The addition of the Omega-3 oils in the form of flax seed meal, is helpful, and at least helped me. This is a nutritious nut and fruit cookie that can supplement a meal on the run.
Brush two or three of your cookie sheets with the extra virgin olive oil. I use glass cookie sheets. Bake in a 350 degree F. oven for 40 minutes or from 30 to 45 minutes, until the undersides of the cookies are a light brown.
Use a metal spatula to lift the warm cookies and place into a cake dish or other glass bowl. Cover and let cool. The world’s most nutritious cookie is served warm. It’s delicious. The key ingredient is the rice protein powder and the absence of granulated white sugar, fruit juice concentrate, or dairy fat.
Garbanzo bean flour, Flax Seed, Oat Bran, Raice Bran, and Almond Meal Halloween Cookies
Bake a more nutritious Halloween treat cookie using garbanzo bean flour, flax seed meal, raw oat meal, or oat bran, rice bran, and almond meal. Instead of oils, use 2 tablespoons of lecithin and two handfuls of chopped, uncooked prunes.
If you’re vegan, substitute for eggs 1/2 cup of tofu blended with an equal amount of water to form a thick paste. If you want to substitute the oil for another type of ‘fat’, try two or three tablespoons of lecithin granules mixed with pureed prunes. It takes the place of ‘fat’ or ‘oils’ in a cookie.
This Halloween serve cookies made of whole grains and legumes and sweetened only with chopped dried fruit, ground nuts, and if you really need more sweetness, a tablespoon of apple juice concentrate or a 1/4 cup of mashed, ripe banana. The healthier recipes are great for children to bake with parents or students with teachers by learning how to make substitutions of ingredients.
For example, prunes and lecithin may be substituted for fats. Or tofu pureed with pumpkin may be substituted for eggs for vegan vegetarians. Children can mix the ingredients to taste by adjusting the pureed dried fruit or pumpkin, or add a pinch of stevia to sweeten the batter, or turn pumpkin brownies browner by adding two tablespoons of carob powder to the batter.
Friends can be invited to parties to try out recipes for healthier snacks such as cookies or brownies made with flax seed meal and almond meal or oat bran, oat meal, rice bran, dried fruit, pumpkin puree, stevia, and carob powder instead of flour and sugar. They can learn the secret of some chefs: how to substitute pureed prunes and a tablespoon or two of lecithin granules for butter, oils, or fats in making cookies, cakes, or brownies. Or substitute pureed tofu in a blender with a little pumpkin and/ or other liquid instead of using eggs to hold cookie dough together.
Another idea, instead of white flour, use garbanzo bean flour. The slightly nutty taste is one way of adding legumes to a cookie, brownie, or cake. Or go flourless by using meal or bran in a cookie or brownie instead of flour. You even can add sprouted grains and legumes to your meal or bran. Or mix garbanzo bean flour with flax meal and almond meal to make a cookie dough. Here’s the cookie or brownie recipe using meal, bran, garbanzo bean flour, nuts, and seeds.
Winter Holiday Cookie or Brownie Recipe
Mix these ingredients together
• 1 half cup of flax seed meal
• 1 half cup oat bran
• 1 half cup raw oat meal
• 1 half cup rice bran
• 1 half cup garbanzo bean flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill available at many health food stores
• 1 half cup of almond meal (optional). Make your own by putting raw almonds in a masticating blender using the crush screen or blend with a small about of water in a regular blender and drain out the water.
Or buy almond meal in most health stores. It comes a package of almond meal. It’s cheaper to make your own almond meal. Just buy raw, unsalted almonds. Put the nuts in a blender with some water. Roughly grind. Pour out water and drain. Or grind the almonds in a coffee grinder.
Cookie Recipe Variation
• 2 egg whites or 2 whole eggs
• 1/4 cup of pureed prunes
• 3 tablespoons of lecithin granules
• 1/2 cup chopped prunes or other dried fruit
• 1/2 cup safflower seeds, cashews, or raw unsalted nuts of your choice.
• 1/4 cup of raisins or chopped pitted dates.
• 1/4 cup chopped dried nectarines or apricots (or any other dried fruit)
• Use pureed or canned pumpkin to substitute for liquid, about a cup or small can of pumpkin to wet the meal until it forms a crumbly paste to shape into cookies. If too wet, add more meal to form a dough you can shape with your hands.
• Cookie sheet oiled with 1 tablespoon or more of olive or grape seed oil just to coat cookie sheets. Or spray the cookie sheet with your healthiest non-stick coating for cookie sheets. Instead of oil, you can line the cookie shieet with sesame seeds. Or bake on parchment paper. Choice is yours. A little grape seed oil is fine on the cookie sheet.
• One handful of sesame seeds
• One handful of shelled raw unsalted sunflower seeds.
Sunflower seeds go in the batter. Sesame seeds are sprinkled on top of each cookie just before baking.Optional: sweeten more if needed to taste with either some mashed ripe banana or a tablespoon of apple juice concentrate. Add 1/4 cup of olive oil or grape seed oil(optional) to the meal and also the two whole eggs or just the two egg whites, depending on whether you eat whole eggs or just the whites (as they do in a spa breakfast).
Optional: If the dried fruit isn’t making a sweet enough cookie for your taste, add a pinch of stevia to the batter. Vegans that don’t use eggs can use lecithin and prunes to substitute for oil or fat in the cookie and ½ cup of tofu blended with ½ cup of water, liquefied to a thick paste consistency to substitute for the eggs.
If you don’t like to make cookie shapes, bake as brownies by pouring the batter over the entire cookie sheet and cutting the dough paste into squares or diamond shapes before baking. Use the cookie recipes. If you want brownies to be brown and taste somewhat like chocolate, but without the stimulants in chocolate, use two tablespoons of carob powder and a pinch of stevia to sweeten the cookie/brownie dough/paste.
You need either tofu or eggs to hold the cookie together as it bakes. Add water, almond milk, or fruit juice to make a paste. Bake at 350 degrees F. until cookies are light brown on the bottom and not wet on the top. Check the cookies after a half hour in the oven. The cookies should be chewy. Cool and serve.
Bran-Based Vegan Cookies
If you’re looking for a no-flour, bran-based vegan cookie that is low-sodium and contains only natural fruit sweetening…bake my vookie. A vookie is a vegan cookie. Use oat bran, flax seed meal, and oatmeal instead of flour.
In one of the cookie recipes, there are no eggs, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, or dairy products, no transfats or saturated fats, and no white flour or sugar. If you want to go totally vegan and don’t use egg whites, substitute 1/2 cup of tofu puréed in a blender with enough water to make a thick paste.
This tofu paste substitutes for the eggs in letting the cookies hold together when baking. The cookie dough may be enriched with a scoop of protein powder as you mix the dry ingredients together before adding any liquid ingredients.
Add nuts of your choice or add two tablespoons of lecithin granules and two tablespoons of chopped or mashed cooked prunes instead of any fats or oils. Use extra virgin olive oil if you wish to add fat to your cookie. And sweeten with dried fruit and a little cherry juice because cherry juice helps to ease arthritis.
Instead of flour, you’re using bran. Also alternate flours in case you want to mix the different types of bran with a more nutritious flour could be flour made from sprouted lentils or much easier to obtain in most health food stores, Bob’s Red Mill garbanzo flour.
You can use only bran when making vookies (vegan cookies). But you can substitute flour or meal for any type of bran. Other flours could be oat flour, brown rice flour, or soy flour. What I like about using just bran is that the cookie has more fiber and people who don’t want to consume white flour or sugar can substitute flax meal or oat bran for the nutrition and fiber value.
Protein-fortified vegan fiber cookie
1 scoop rice protein powder (about 2 tablespoons)
1 tub tofu made with calcium sulfate instead of magnesium chloride (about a pound) or three egg whites, beaten until in stiff peaks like merengue
1/2 to 2/3 cup of pink grapefruit juice. Buy a freshly squeezed carton of juice or juice your own grapefruit.
1 cup walnuts 1/2 cup almonds 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil cold pressed and not rancid or old.
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup oat bran 1 cup oat meal–old fashioned rolled oats uncooked
1/2-2/3 cup flax seed meal
1 tablespoon of lecithin granules (optional)
Place in a bowl the oat bran, protein powder, lecithin, and flax seed meal, stir, then finally the oat meal, then all the fruit and nut ingredients. In a blender blend the grapefruit juice and tofu. Pour into the large glass bowl. Stir everything.
Pour all ingredients into the bowl and mix with a large spoon. If you need more sweetness, consider fruit, but please go lightly here. You don’t want sugar to raise those insulin levels.
You may like it without additional sweeteners. Use pieces of fresh dates, chopped apples, or figs to sweeten more, if you require a sweeter taste.
Serve cookies with almond butter, peanut butter, or other high protein or nut butter topping if you wish. The addition of the Omega-3 oils in the form of flax seed meal, is helpful, and at least helped me.
This is a nutritious nut and fruit cookie that can supplement a meal on the run. Coat 2 or 3 cookie sheets with the extra virgin olive oil. (I use glass cookie sheets).
Bake in a 350 degree F. oven for 40 minutes or from 30 to 45 minutes, until the undersides of the cookies are a light brown. Use a metal spatula to lift the warm cookies and place into a cake dish or other glass bowl.
Cover and let cool. The world’s most nutritious cookie is served warm. It’s delicious. The key ingredient is the rice protein powder and the absence of granulated white sugar, fruit juice concentrate, or dairy fat.
Raspberry/Carrot Cookie Recipe with Rice Bran, Oat, and Flax meal.
Low-sodium and only natural fruit sweetening. No bleached flour ingredients.
Use oat bran, flax seed meal, and oat meal instead of flour. No wheat. No baking powder, soda, salt, or dairy products.
Fruit and nuts sweeten the cookie. Lecithin granules and prunes substitute for any fats or oils. Or use extra virgin olive oil, macadamia nut oil, or sesame seed oil if you want to use oil in the cookie or to grease the cookie sheet.
2 scoops rice protein powder (about 2 tablespoons)
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk.
1/2 to 2/3 cup of frozen or fresh red raspberries blended with a cup of soy milk.
1 peeled banana 1 cup walnuts 1/2 cup almonds 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil cold pressed and not rancid or old.
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup peeled baby carrots
1 cup oat bran
1 cup oat meal–old fashioned rolled oats uncooked
1/2-2/3 cup flax seed meal 1 tablespoon of lecithin granules
2 or 3 egg whites.
Or if vegan substitute 1/2 tub tofu (blended to a creme) for eggs or 1/2 cup stewed prunes in their syrup and 2 tablespoons of lecithin granules if you don’t eat egg whites.
In a blender blend the almond milk and fruit. Add the peeled baby carrots. Liquify. Taste it and it will taste like a rather tart soymilk product. Pour into a large glass bowl.
Add two or three egg whites to a bowl and add the soy milk and fruit blended to a thick smoothie consistency. Add to the bowl the oat bran, protein powder, lecithin, and flax seed meal, stir, then finally the oatmeal, then all the fruit and nut ingredients. Mix in bowl.
Or if you’re a vegan, substitute 1/2 pound tub of tofu or 1/2 stewed prunes in their syrup and 2 tablespoons of lecithin granules for the egg whites that will hold the cookie paste together. Stir everything.
Pour all ingredients into the bowl and mix with a large spoon. If you need more sweetness, consider fruit, but please go lightly here. You don’t want sugar to raise those insulin levels. You can serve with almond butter, peanut butter, or other high protein or nut butter topping if you wish. If you need additional sweetening, add a pinch of stevia to the batter.
The addition of the Omega-3 oils in the form of flax seed meal, is helpful, and at least helped me. This is a nutritious nut and fruit cookie that can supplement a meal on the run. Coat two or three cookie sheets with the olive oil. I use glass cookie sheets.
Bake in a 350 degree F. oven for 40 minutes or from 30 to 45 minutes, until the undersides of the cookies are a light brown. Use a metal spatula to lift the warm cookies and place into a cake dish or other glass bowl. Cover and let cool.
Serve this nutritious cookie warm. It’s delicious. You can bake the cookie as a brownie by pouring the batter over the entire cookie sheet and cutting the dough paste into diamond or square shapes before baking. The key ingredients are the rice bran and rice protein powder and the absence of granulated white sugar, fruit juice concentrate, or dairy fat.
Apple avocado salad with oat bran corn meal muffins.
First chop three apples and add sliced or diced peeled avocados. If your guests can’t chew the apple skins, peel the apples first. Then add 1/2 cup of finely chopped kale. You can roughly blend the kale in water in a blender. Then drain off the water in a strainer and use the finely chopped kale to mix with the chopped or diced raw apples. Add a dash of cinnamon.
Next, add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, juice of two small lemons, and one tablespoon of Vegenaise® grape seed oil mayonnaise. See, Follow Your Heart – Products – Vegenaise. Mix well and toss the salad. Chill and serve with a side of muffins, if desired.
Oat bran corn meal muffins or grain-free muffins using coconut flour and garbanzo bean flour
If you want to substitute grain-free meal, use 2 cups of garbanzo bean flour, 3 tablespoons of flax seed meal, and 1/2 cup of coconut flour instead of oat bran and corn meal. You could also use sweet potato flour instead of coconut flour.
For those who can tolerate grains, here’s how to bake oat bran corn meal muffins or cake without adding white flour, table sugar and oil to your batter. Mix a cup of oat bran and a cup of organic corn meal in a bowl with 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. Mix.
In your blender put 1/2 cup almond milk or carrot juice with a cup of organic peeled baby carrots, two eggs and three bananas. You could also add fresh corn kernels to the batter after you’re finished blending the rest of the ingredients. If you need more sweet, use a pinch of stevia or more ripe mashed banana pieces.
Blend the bananas, carrots, eggs, and almond milk to a thick liquid paste. Add this liquid to the dry ingredients. Stir until all the dry ingredients are coated with the wet ingredients. Spices such as cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger, or pumpkin pie spices can be lightly sprinkled into the batter or on top, about 1/4 teaspoon of each powdered spice. If your batter is too thick, add a little more liquid by the spoonful as you don’t want too wet a batter. It has to bake solid in the middle.
Pour into either greased muffin tins, paper muffin cups, or an oiled pie plate and bake at 350 degrees F. until solid to the touch and slightly golden brown or chewy and not wet in the middle. Since you didn’t use lots of baking powder, it could take a hour or less. When a fork or knife comes out dry in the middle, it’s done.
You now have a type of corn muffin or cake that’s made without adding table sugar. The bananas and carrots sweeten the muffin or cake. You can slice and serve with breakfast much like corn bread. What you’re doing is substituting oat bran for flour.
You also could make pancakes with this recipe by frying tablespoons of the batter in hot olive oil. Or using less oils or fats, bake the batter until solid and dry in the middle. Serve warm with tea or herbal hot drinks for a healthier corn muffin without white flour, table sugar, or lots of salt.
If you don’t eat eggs, for example a vegan, substitute two tablespoons of flax seed for each egg in the dry ingredients before adding the wet ingredients. For those not eating grain flours, garbanzo bean flour can substitute for oat bran as a mixture with the organic corn meal or with coconut flour or sweet potato flour. Makes a great substitute for bread or a dessert with a school lunch.
Note that fresh baked, peeled and mashed sweet potato can be used for liquid instead of milk or almond milk or any other liquid when mixing the batter for muffins. If you need 1/2 cup of liquid, you can use 1/2 cup baked, mashed sweet potatoes.