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Which healthy substitutes actually taste better to you?

f
fara Aug 4, 2007 09:56 AM

Please indulge me here - Now that Americans need a lot fewer calories to get through the day, what kind of single- product substitutions from the typical American diet do you make? For example, I was averse to the idea of using soy milk in my morning coffee: latte with soy milk? isn't that just for vegans or people with severe health problems? But the "original" flavor soy milk actually tastes better in my coffee than 2% milk. It's also much better for me. Another example, I eat american cheese now because I love the horizon organics cheese slices.

Opinions?

  1. j
    jhuston Aug 25, 2007 06:49 AM

    Steel cut oats vs. regular oatmeal. The first time I made steel cut oats, I did it as a "healthier" alternative to regular old-fashioned oats. I was prepared to "tolerate" it for the sake of feeling nutritionally virtuous, but then wow! I was totally and happily blown away by the taste and texture. Like night and day. Now I make sweet as well as savory versions for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks. . . As for the little sugary packets of instant oatmeal -- horrible. My mom used to buy those and even as a child I thought they were too sweet and gummy. Yuck.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jhuston
      n
      nutrition Aug 27, 2007 01:38 AM

      What is PORRIGE?

      Some like it hot and some like cold!
      Some like in the pot nine days ol old!

      It is Steel Cut oatmeal. Make up a pot and you can eat it hot or cold, just like Brown Unpolishd Rice. Both have all the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and Protein. Plus the breakdown to glycose is over a longer period of time keeping the blood sugar levels up without the LOW BLOOD SUGAR, that results from fast digestion.
      For a real taste treat, try the Iriish Oatmeal, that comes in a silver can/box with the World Exposition Gold Medals on it.

      I

    2. p
      piccola Aug 23, 2007 08:32 PM

      Pretty much all the healthier options taste better to me, EXCEPT:

      fat-free cheese (cottage cheese and cream cheese are fine, but not the others)
      butter/margarine
      lite bread (lite muffins and other baked goods can be great)
      sugar-free sweets
      whole-grain bagels (I usually prefer the ww bread, but in this case, the texture's wrong)

      3 Replies
      1. re: piccola
        goodhealthgourmet Aug 23, 2007 08:39 PM

        fat-free cream cheese? yikes! every kind i've tried is dry & gummy & tastes like plastic or rancid milk. plus, while you may be avoiding the saturated fat in the regular stuff, you're replacing it with all sorts of additives, i.e. fillers, stabilizers, preservatives, flavorings...not really a 'healthier' choice when all is said and done.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
          p
          piccola Aug 24, 2007 04:28 AM

          Well, it's not really cream cheese - I sub quark cheese, which is naturally fat-free and without all that extra crap. I'm so used to thinking about it in terms of "cream cheese" that I didn't make the distinction.

          1. re: piccola
            goodhealthgourmet Aug 24, 2007 04:47 PM

            a-ha...BIG difference. i love quark too :)

      2. tatertotsrock Aug 17, 2007 09:54 PM

        Reduced fat Ruffles.
        This is the funniest thing since I am all about "fat is flavor" but there is something so light and crispy about these...the originals are kinda gross, greasy (in not a good way),
        and way too salty (and I love salt!!!).
        The reduced fat ones are so much better and I would not be caught dead with a reduced fat or fat free chip...so I eat the whole bag as fast as I can.
        Also, Cascade Fresh Fat Free Yogart vs their full or low fat yogart which again, does not make any sense since I love Woodstock Buffalo Yogart which is practically a tub o' fat and so good.

        1. ktmoomau Aug 16, 2007 12:47 PM

          I like the low cal tostitos chips just as much as regular.
          I also really like TJ's meatless meatballs.
          I also now use plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream for a lot of things I liked sour cream on.
          I like Ben and Jerry's chocolate fudge brownie frozen yogurt just as good as the real thing.
          I like smart balance.
          I also like the low sugar oatmeal made by quaker as much as the normal packets I used to bring to work. Kashi has good low cal oatmeal too.
          I also love the 1/2 sugar orange juice (not the minute maid one the other one) and cannot drink full sugar OJ anymore.
          I also really like 1% milk, not near as watery as skim.
          I have a horrible love of orange soda now and then and found fanta zero.

          Also the BF loves coke, but wanted to lose a few pounds and drinks a lot of cokes a day so he switched to diet vanilla black cherry (I think maybe reg diet black cherry) and says it is almost as good as the real thing.

          I grew up with an amish nanny drinking full fat milk and eating full fat foods, but I work in an office and am sedintary so I like to watch what I eat and if I can find some things to make my not so healthy likes a little better I do. I also love terra chips. I try also to keep lots of fruit around.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ktmoomau
            goodhealthgourmet Aug 16, 2007 08:43 PM

            go easy on the terra chips, they're just as fattening as traditional potato chips.

            1. re: ktmoomau
              n
              nutrition Aug 17, 2007 09:02 PM

              If you and your BF want to be healhtier, I would think the soft drinks would be the frist to go, and start drinking Green or Rooibos teas. There are many naturally flavored ones, that work wonders. There is even FREE shipping on all the teas at www.specialtea.com including the no caffeine Iced Tea Rooibos, which are a real treat over sodas. They will reduce the cellulite and fats in the body over time. It will take a few days for the taste buds to improve and adjust as the dependence on sodas is replaced by a HEALTHY natural flavors. So don't make your decision on the first days taste. Give it a serious trial of a week and you will be happily surprised at how much better you feel, and with time looking better, since the skin will regain it's elasticity and the wrinkles decrease or disappear. NO kidding here.

              1. re: nutrition
                ktmoomau Aug 19, 2007 09:01 AM

                Yeah I have gona soda free for years at a time, but am in law school at the moment so diet coke and coffee are pretty much staples of my diet which is horrible, but sometimes it is the only thing keeping me going through class. The BF though grew up in Georgia with coke loving parents so it is a hard habit for him to kick. I got him a teavana tea maker and lots of loose leaf teas to make iced or hot tea. It still has caffeine but isn't quite as much like motor oil in your stomach with lots of yucky stuff. I just have to make changes to his diet slowly so he can get used to them. Plus he is just hitting the late 20's metabolism slump so he is a little better about change.

                As a snack he goes for goldfish crackers over potato chips which is good, they are less calories and a little better for you. I try just to be really good when I am in the grocery store because if it isn't bought then it won't be eaten, except maybe a day we don't have time to pack lunch.

                In the winter I also love those progresso soups that have veggies and aren't that many calories. The vegetable soup with the pasta is one of my faves, that and oatmeal help make it easier to splurge on dinner or the weekends.

            2. Miss Needle Aug 15, 2007 11:44 AM

              Brown rice pasta as opposed to wheat pasta. Not saying that brown rice pasta is "healthier" than wheat pasta, but healthier for me as I have a slight gluten intolerance.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Miss Needle
                n
                nutrition Aug 15, 2007 02:13 PM

                More people have an allergy to wheat, then to Brown rice,

                1. re: Miss Needle
                  goodhealthgourmet Aug 15, 2007 11:58 PM

                  just be sure to read the ingredients when buying "alternative" pastas. believe it or not, unless they're clearly labeled "gluten-free" some of them still contain wheat-related ingredients such as spelt flour, etc.

                  have you tried any of the pastas made with quinoa, corn, or bean flours? there are quite a few options now...

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                    Miss Needle Aug 16, 2007 12:03 PM

                    My brown pasta that I eat is Tinkyada -- love that stuff. I only cook it for 10 minutes as opposed to the recommended 15.

                    I haven't tried the quinoa, corn or bean pastas yet. Corn is also not the best grain for me (only discovered this tidbit doing an elimination diet) so I'm trying to avoid this as well.

                    And the wheat allergy thing tends to be more common in areas of the world where people consume vast amounts of wheat. In East Asia, rice allergies are a lot more common than wheat allergies.

                    1. re: Miss Needle
                      goodhealthgourmet Aug 16, 2007 08:38 PM

                      yep, corn is another common intolerance among those of us who are sensitive to gluten.

                      tinkyada's a great brand, but if you ever get bored with the rice pasta try some of the other varieties from ancient harvest, heartland's finest, mrs. leepers, etc.

                      as you pointed out, excessive consumption can lead to intolerance...wouldn't want to see you develop one to rice as well! :)

                2. a
                  andlulu Aug 14, 2007 12:06 PM

                  I pretty much consume the "healthy" version of everything at this point, but the only thing I cannot get passed is natural peanut butter. It tastes like sticky saw dust to me. I prefer no peanut butter to the natural thing.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: andlulu
                    goodhealthgourmet Aug 14, 2007 02:25 PM

                    you can always doctor up the natural peanut butter to suit your tastes. add a pinch of sea salt & a drizzle of honey or agave nectar. it'll still be much better for you than the processed stuff. i even stir in some crushed flaxseeds for added omega-3s & a little texture...

                    1. re: andlulu
                      f
                      fara Aug 14, 2007 05:24 PM

                      try raw almond or cashew butter. cashwew butter is much smoother.

                      1. re: andlulu
                        Amuse Bouches Aug 14, 2007 05:57 PM

                        I will say that I can't stand any of that "ground right in front of you!" natural peanut butter. I was raised on Laura Scudders/Smuckers, and that and Trader Joe's are the only brands of natural PB I'll eat.

                      2. e
                        ExtraCheese Aug 14, 2007 03:07 AM

                        Diet Coke

                        1. f
                          fara Aug 10, 2007 03:30 PM

                          substitute: A product that can be used in place of some other product because, to a greater or lesser extent, it satisfies the same consumer wants.
                          wps.aw.com/aw_rohlf_econreason_5/0,5759,11635-,00.html

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: fara
                            j
                            jordana Aug 11, 2007 03:34 PM

                            I love Dr. Praegera products especially the veg burgers.

                          2. Amuse Bouches Aug 10, 2007 02:13 PM

                            I'm generally not one for substitutions - I generally prefer whole foods to those that have been chemically processed substitutes. I have always preferred whole wheat bread to white, particularly for toast and pb&j, natural peanut butter to the hydrogenated stuff, and 2% milk in coffee and tea, or skim with cereal or smoothies, to whole. That's not a substitute so much as the way I eat though.

                            I will say that I prefer vegetarian frozen corn dogs to regular -- they taste the same and are less greasy. I also prefer vegetarian breakfast sausage to most American breakfast sausage -- the texture and taste are closer to British bangers, with a higher proportion of grain.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Amuse Bouches
                              d
                              debbiel Aug 11, 2007 10:34 AM

                              Mmm...I remember a past life in which I loved an occasional corn dog in the summer. I haven't had one since I went veg. Which brand do you buy?

                              1. re: debbiel
                                Amuse Bouches Aug 11, 2007 10:57 AM

                                I slightly prefer Trader Joe's to Morningstar Farms because TJ's are slightly less sweet and cheaper, but if you don't live near a TJ's, Morningstar will do in a pinch. They're also much better baked than microwaved, but I will admit to taking them as a portable breakfast after a minute or two in the microwave.

                            2. ajs228 Aug 10, 2007 02:12 PM

                              I only make sandwiches on whole wheat bread. I can't stand the thought of turkey on white bread, all mushed together into a bland mess. Whole wheat or 12-grain just has a better texture.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: ajs228
                                revsharkie Aug 10, 2007 02:15 PM

                                I only use whole wheat bread for everything. Never have liked white bread.

                                1. re: revsharkie
                                  ajs228 Aug 10, 2007 03:18 PM

                                  An addition: I do like Italian and French breads, which I guess can be considered white. But again, I like them for their crunchy crusts.

                                  1. re: ajs228
                                    revsharkie Aug 11, 2007 03:40 PM

                                    I guess I should make the same qualification. But they have coniderably more personality than your average white bread.

                              2. m
                                meetmeat Aug 10, 2007 10:39 AM

                                I love the taste of Earth Balance "butter" much more than any margarine I've tried. It's not real european butter or anything, but I use it for my usual butter needs and in lots of my baked goods as well.

                                http://www.earthbalance.net/product.html

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: meetmeat
                                  Emme Aug 10, 2007 03:50 PM

                                  Love Earth Balance as well, particularly the omega-3 one.

                                2. rcallner Aug 10, 2007 08:36 AM

                                  I often use ground turkey in place of ground beef or pork, and find the result surprisingly delicious and more, well, pleasing to digest. Just tonight I'm making turkey burgers mixed with sauteed onion, garlic, rubbed sage, lemon zest, a luscious mix with all the burger satisfaction without the sense of having consumed Portland cement. The other night (the turkey was on a two-for-one special) I made a version of mapo tofu with turkey, fresh grated ginger and garlic, soy sauce, brown bean sauce, minced green onion, mirin, diced shiitake, cubed silky tofu, thin chopped asparagus and a whole bunch of arugula (it was on hand) to green up the dish. Very delicious over rice....

                                  10 Replies
                                  1. re: rcallner
                                    revsharkie Aug 10, 2007 10:34 AM

                                    You can have my share of the ground turkey, too. I don't even like the smell of it cooking. I use the leanest ground beef I can get, usually 93/7, for most things, although not for hamburgers. For those I look for a little more fat.

                                    1. re: revsharkie
                                      Karl S Aug 12, 2007 10:52 AM

                                      I use ground turkey (not ground turkey breast - ick!) and ground buffalo for my AAA (Almost All American) Chili, which is low-fat but so flavorful that no one believes it has no beef in it.

                                      For hamburgers or meatloaf, using beef that is too lean is not worth it.

                                      1. re: Karl S
                                        revsharkie Aug 12, 2007 04:03 PM

                                        I agree with you about hamburgers, but there's enough stuff added to meatloaf that I'm reasonably happy with 93/7 there.

                                        What's the fat content of ground turkey that's not all white meat?

                                        1. re: revsharkie
                                          goodhealthgourmet Aug 12, 2007 04:47 PM

                                          as with other ground meats like beef and pork, the fat content varies. ground turkey contains anywhere from 7-17% depending on the ratio of white to dark meat, whereas ground turkey breast is only 1-3% fat.

                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                            revsharkie Aug 12, 2007 04:57 PM

                                            If that's the case, then, unless you're eating all-breast ground turkey, there's not necessarily a health reason for eating ground turkey over ground beef. So, I guess, eat it if you like the taste.

                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                              n
                                              nutrition Aug 13, 2007 11:41 PM

                                              Ground turkey and fat % is more then light and dark meat. When I learned that the turkey skin can be ground up into it, I choose to avoid it. Just the thought was enough to make up my mind. Not just the fat %!

                                            2. re: revsharkie
                                              Karl S Aug 12, 2007 04:56 PM

                                              Ground turkey is normally at least 7% fat, whereas ground turkey breast is no more than 3% fat. Seems small, but that's over a 100% difference, and the addition of lean dark meat is critical for flavor and texture.

                                        2. re: rcallner
                                          ArikaDawn Aug 10, 2007 11:56 AM

                                          Mmm, I love turkey burgers. Mine are typically a bit simpler with just lots of minced onion, pepper, and basted with bbq sauce. I typically eat them sans bun, but plate up with lots of greens, sweet onion, and sliced tomato. Heaven.

                                          1. re: rcallner
                                            chowmeow Aug 11, 2007 06:03 AM

                                            Your mapo tofu sounds delish!

                                            1. re: chowmeow
                                              rcallner Aug 12, 2007 10:11 AM

                                              'Twas. 'twas, and if my diners weren't some hot-food-averse relatives, I'd heat it up a smidge maybe with some form of chili oil.

                                          2. Caitlin McGrath Aug 9, 2007 03:15 PM

                                            It's been interesting reading all the responses in this thread. I grew up in a relatively "no junk food" household - I never once ate fast food in my childhood, and my parents didn't buy soda or candy, though there were plenty of homemade treats - just nothing made from mixes and no frozen foods. And we used butter, real maple syrup, brown rice, whole wheat flour, natural peanut butter, and there was a preference toward dark chocolate and non-supersweet sweets (at Halloween, my mother would buy Hershey's miniatures and take out all the Special Dark bars and divide them up between the family).

                                            I never rebelled against any of this, so I didn't have to "learn" to prefer natural peanut butter or whole grain bread or dark chocolate, as they've all been my preferences since I was a child. I still use butter, but far less of it; it comes out when I'm feeling indulgent, and otherwise, I use olive or grapeseed oil for cooking. When I was growing up, I drank 2% milk, but for years I've been using only skim or 1%, and a couple of times when I've been given a glass of whole milk it's felt like I might as well have been drinking cream. Like some others who've, I actually prefer the taste of low-fat milk (to be honest - 1% is much tastier to me than skim). While I have found that I can make good muffins and quickbreads using more healthful ingredient substitutions (whole wheat flour, good oils, pureed pumpkin, applesauce, etc.), and I actually prefer many muffins to have the extra toothiness that comes with making them from whole wheat pastry flour, I do break out the butter and cream when I'm making a fancy dessert. There are times where "healthy substitutes" will never taste better.

                                            1. k
                                              KateC. Aug 8, 2007 08:59 PM

                                              Mmm, lard and butter are so much tastier than partially hydrogenated oil and much better for you too! Seriously.

                                              1. Glencora Aug 7, 2007 03:59 PM

                                                I love meatless meatballs in my spaghetti. Ground beef has always tasted metalic and icky to me. I also prefer a portobello mushroom burger to a beef burger. Corn tortillas instead flour...does that count? Dark chocolate instead of milk? Red wine instead of white? (Okay, maybe that's pushing it.)

                                                1. mrjeffmccarthy.com Aug 7, 2007 11:19 AM

                                                  I prefer butter in my coffee and heavy cream on my cereal. But seriously folks, never sacrafice flavor for low fat, low sodium, or anthing like that. Baked potato chips? C'mon!You wanna live forever!?!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: mrjeffmccarthy.com
                                                    izzizzi Aug 8, 2007 03:59 AM

                                                    Actually, I buy baked potato chips at Earthfare and they're really good. Just because you don't like them doesn't mean they're bad. I use the real stuff all the time, but sometimes I've found that I also enjoy the "healthier" items. If I was having people over for chips and salsa I wouldn't buy baked, but if it's just me, sure...why not?

                                                  2. s
                                                    swsidejim Aug 7, 2007 05:36 AM

                                                    Olive oil over other vegetable oils. Thats it,

                                                    I think there is no acceptable substitute for butter, whole milk, heavy cream, cheese, beef, pork, eggs, sugar, etc. This is my humble opinion.

                                                    All "diet", or "lite" items taste terrible to me, and are never found in my kitchen, pantry, or fridge. I think most "substitutes" are overly processed

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: swsidejim
                                                      revsharkie Aug 7, 2007 03:40 PM

                                                      Artificial this, chemical-substitute that--it seems to me we're allowing ourselves to be experimented on. Eat less of the real stuff, if you have to, or do without. I'm afraid we're going to find out down the road that a lot of this artificial stuff is actually poison.

                                                      1. re: revsharkie
                                                        m
                                                        mojoeater Aug 7, 2007 11:26 PM

                                                        Already did re: margarine v butter. It's still amazing how many people eat the tub o' stuff thinking it's good for them.

                                                        1. re: mojoeater
                                                          s
                                                          stolenchange Aug 7, 2007 11:42 PM

                                                          I grew up in a family that adored Country Crock. When I was younger, we even baked with the stuff! I remember eating real butter on a fresh roll in my teenage years and being amazed at the flavour of it. There was no going back to margarine after that.

                                                          1. re: stolenchange
                                                            revsharkie Aug 10, 2007 10:32 AM

                                                            I grew up on real butter. My mom kept oleo around, mainly for baking in a few recipes that didn't seem to work otherwise, but we never ate it. My grandparents always had Parkay or something in a tub. We never had it anywhere else.

                                                        2. re: revsharkie
                                                          s
                                                          swsidejim Aug 10, 2007 05:28 AM

                                                          I agree with you. I also think we will start seeing studies showing "health" foods are really not that healthy & probably cause more problems than the item they are trying to replicate. Read the labels of what some folks eat eat, the more preservatives, and chemicals that the manufacturer uses to try to make a "healthy" food item taste like what it is trying to copy, the worse it is for you.

                                                          There is no substitute for beef, butter, lard, whole milk, sugar, etc.

                                                      2. izzizzi Aug 7, 2007 03:39 AM

                                                        smart balance instead of butter and barilla + pasta, turkey burgers, sometimes replace the mayo in tuna salad w/ cottage cheese (esp. if making melts), Newman's Own "light" dressings are pretty good, baked instead of fried tortillas.

                                                        1. Chef Casper Aug 6, 2007 11:26 PM

                                                          Well personally in my cooking and consuming I never compromise on ingrediants. I always use full fat butter, pure suger, whole milk, (unless baking requires otherwise) and generally keep healthy by never really eating pre-packaged or processed foods or snacks.
                                                          However this is considering that we're only talking about literal "substitutions"; i.e. splenda, rice dream, etc.... Ido enjoy HEALTHY foods all the time, such as I've noticed that people say the like oatmeal or brown rice which aren't really SUBSTITUTES for anything.

                                                          1. anhdeluxe Aug 6, 2007 10:55 PM

                                                            I just switched to agave syrup instead of stevia when needing to sweeten my coffee/tea and other foods. Natural Sugar is good for you but not good for me.

                                                            1. s
                                                              stolenchange Aug 6, 2007 10:35 PM

                                                              Morningstar Veggie Sausage Patties.

                                                              I buy these by the 24 pack at Costco. Absolutely love them. So close to regular sausage that you wouldnt know the difference unless you were told - or noticed the lack of gristle.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: stolenchange
                                                                vorpal Aug 7, 2007 05:43 AM

                                                                I don't know if it was Morningstar I was eating, but when I was living in the US, I found some all-natural sausage patties that I decided to try on a whim (not being a vegetarian, but just wanting something new), and they were *heavenly*! After that I never bought meat sausages again - not for health reasons, but simply because I strongly preferred the veggie ones.

                                                                1. re: vorpal
                                                                  choctastic Aug 7, 2007 09:15 AM

                                                                  Along similar lines, I prefer Boca Burger's "McRib" over the real McRib. First, you can get it any time of the year. Second, I like the sauce better, sort of sweet bbq sauce. Third, it's lower in calories and has a tiny bit of fiber. Sure, it's still processed/refined junk food, but then so is the original.

                                                                  Oh and I also prefer the "cornstarch ice cream" over the normal 6 egg yolks version. While I think eggs are okay in moderate amounts, 6 egg yolks is a lot of calories and makes for an eggy taste that I can't stand. I prefer the cornstarch version because of its lighter, clean flavor and extra-creamy texture. As I said in the cornstarch ice cream thread, I'll never go back.

                                                                2. re: stolenchange
                                                                  ArikaDawn Aug 7, 2007 06:23 AM

                                                                  I am also a fan of these though my SO says the amount of pepper I put on them is abusive. They're also great crumbled into egg beaters and scrambled up.

                                                                3. m
                                                                  mojoeater Aug 6, 2007 08:59 PM

                                                                  I have always preferred juice, milk or even water to sodas. Never drank soda as a kid and still don't like it.

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: mojoeater
                                                                    vorpal Aug 7, 2007 05:42 AM

                                                                    I find anyone who gives pop up for any significant amount of time often no longer finds it appealing when he or she tries it again. I used to drink a couple of cans a day, but quit a few years back, and now it just tastes disgustingly sweet. If I want a sugar fix, there are far more pleasurable ways to get one that generally have significantly less.

                                                                    1. re: mojoeater
                                                                      danna Aug 7, 2007 06:04 AM

                                                                      Ditto. Hate the stuff. Wouldn't drink it as a child, even though Coke is my Mother's sole vice. Atlanta would never have risen out of the ashes on the wings of Coca Cola if everyone was like me.

                                                                      1. re: mojoeater
                                                                        q
                                                                        queencru Aug 7, 2007 04:48 PM

                                                                        I stopped drinking pop as a kid and now even one sip tastes disgusting. I can't really take the carbonation anymore either. It's just too much.

                                                                        1. re: mojoeater
                                                                          c
                                                                          cerealpancakes Aug 7, 2007 06:21 PM

                                                                          I prefer drinking aloe vera juice that's slightly sweetened with honey, or just water. If you really need to drink soda, you might as well just get carbonated water or mix that with something sweet, but I don't even find that appealing.

                                                                        2. aching Aug 6, 2007 06:27 PM

                                                                          I generally prefer brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and whole grain bread to their whiter counterparts (although on occasion, only the white stuff will do). I love tofu, not as a protein substitute, but just for what it is - a really yummy, versatile food. My SO and I both love whole grains like bulgur and quinoa - we would never even consider less nutritious sides like mashed potatoes or polenta anymore. And both my SO and BF prefer low-sugar apple or cranberry juice to the regular stuff.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: aching
                                                                            f
                                                                            fara Aug 6, 2007 07:08 PM

                                                                            I'm so glad some of the posters "get" the question. obviously i wasn't adovcating nutrasweet. There are traditional foods like cow milk, white bread, white rice that have their place, but a lot of people prefer certain alternatives and find them more satisfying. What is ambiguous about that?

                                                                            Also cheesemonger, I shouldn't have to point this out - but it is perhaps the case that I eat other cheeses besides american. I happen to have never liked conventional cheese slices but have a thing for horizon organic cheese slices. There they are in my fridge, alongside caccio di capra, parmigiano reggiano, and fulvi romano.

                                                                          2. c
                                                                            cheesemonger Aug 6, 2007 05:30 PM

                                                                            While I too question the original assumption, I'll play.

                                                                            I have a local dairy nearby, so I get the milk that I can skim the cream from, but that's another story. I have no idea what the fat content is of that stuff, but it is "skimmed" milk. I could be shaking it up and having it all together...

                                                                            I too find "substitutes" to be nasty and/or evil. Eat good whole foods and stop eating processed stuff. It's about the body being able to process natural foods rather than making substitutes that your body can't metabolize.

                                                                            But the biggest "subsititute" I've made: A dinner plate used to have 3 main parts- MEAT-about half the plate, a starch- about 1/4 of the plate, and veg- the other 1/4.

                                                                            I change the proportion. The meat becomes 1/4, And generally, the veg is the other 3/4 of the plate, and sometimes there's a starch, and it's usually a potato, rather than a processed starch like white rice.

                                                                            And give everything FLAVOR. If you don't make your food hit your tastebuds, (salt, sour, sweet, salty), you will be hungry again sooner, and less satisfied at the time.

                                                                            But cheese- I would rather be dairy free than eat processed "american slices", whatever those are. Eat actual cheese, just eat less.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: cheesemonger
                                                                              Karl S Aug 6, 2007 05:41 PM

                                                                              Creamline (unhomogenized) milk is apparently easier to digest than homogenized milk. Family members report having much less lactose intolerance with creamline milk. It's just dang hard to get.

                                                                            2. amyzan Aug 6, 2007 05:00 PM

                                                                              It's probably not all that much healthier than regular semisweet chocolate chips, but Tropical Source makes a chocolate chip with tofu or some such soy product in it that's really smooth as a result. (It's not just soy lecithin. I'm sorry I don't currently have a bag to say what exactly the soy ingredient is.) It behaves just a little differently when baked in cookies, too--stays gooey a little longer, which is all good by me.

                                                                              1. c
                                                                                cheetobrain Aug 5, 2007 09:30 PM

                                                                                I have found that while I used to tolerate tofu as a good protein substitute, now I positively love it. I don't even really have to season it that much, I just love it a bit fried or baked, mixed with some sauce in a stirfry dish. yum!

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: cheetobrain
                                                                                  bards4 Aug 5, 2007 10:11 PM

                                                                                  I'm a big fan of Mintz's blintzes, which have a tofu filling instead of ricotta. And I, too, almost always use low fat (NOT fat free) sour cream and fat free (NOT lowfat) milk. I have tried lowfat sweetened condensed milk in some recipes, and they have turned out pretty good. Also, we use turkey bacon, which is not nearly as good as real bacon, but it's healthier and the kids like it.

                                                                                2. d
                                                                                  dalaimama Aug 5, 2007 05:00 PM

                                                                                  Substituting applesauce for half the oil in many baked goods. I make a great apple cake, but it calls for a cup of oil. I sub half a cup of applesauce with no ill effect. I have experimented and discovered that you can't substitute any more than about half of the fat in cakes and such without the baked good getting really dense and awful.

                                                                                  This works in boxed mixes like brownies and cupcakes, etc. I have a theory that it doesn't work as well for non-mix items that depend on creaming butter and sugar together to make a tender crumb. It works best as a replacement for oil. I've tried it with cookies and scratch cakes and it makes them resemble doorstops.

                                                                                  We also only drink organic milk. I'm not a huge stickler about organics, but I have a small child and we drink alot of milk and I think the skim organic is much more flavorful than the non-organic.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: dalaimama
                                                                                    j
                                                                                    jordana Aug 5, 2007 08:04 PM

                                                                                    i agree withyou about the applesauce. Sometimes if a recipe calls for a lot of butter I replace 1/2 of it with a mashed banana but i cream the butter sugar and banana together. This doesnt work so well for pastry dough but I do it for cakes all the time.

                                                                                  2. m
                                                                                    MobyRichard Aug 5, 2007 04:49 PM

                                                                                    Quinoa over brown rice. Oh, and quinoa makes fabulous fried rice.

                                                                                    18 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: MobyRichard
                                                                                      f
                                                                                      fara Aug 5, 2007 07:23 PM

                                                                                      wow, i'll have to try the quinoa fried rice.

                                                                                      1. re: MobyRichard
                                                                                        Emme Aug 5, 2007 09:20 PM

                                                                                        In that vein, barley over brown rice. And, barley makes fabulous "barley [rice] pudding."

                                                                                        1. re: Emme
                                                                                          amyzan Aug 6, 2007 04:54 PM

                                                                                          Do you use pearled barley for the pudding? I'm going to try this when the weather cools off.

                                                                                          1. re: amyzan
                                                                                            Emme Aug 6, 2007 07:23 PM

                                                                                            Yeah just traditional pearled bag barley... cook up a batch, and I like it well cooked rather than toothsome, but that's a personal preference. I mix it with FF cottage cheese, sweetener, cinnamon, and vanilla, then nuke it all til gooey in the microwave, but I imagine it would work well in a standard "rice pudding" recipe.

                                                                                            1. re: amyzan
                                                                                              jeni1002 Aug 7, 2007 08:53 AM

                                                                                              I've also used pearled barley and Arborio rice in rice puddings with good results ... if you like your pudding creamy, try soymilk - it makes for a creamier texture. I'm not a big fan of somilk, but it does make a difference in rice pudding :)

                                                                                          2. re: MobyRichard
                                                                                            Karl S Aug 6, 2007 02:38 AM

                                                                                            Bulgur over brown rice. Brown rice is not terribly better for you than white rice.

                                                                                            1. re: Karl S
                                                                                              goodhealthgourmet Aug 6, 2007 03:51 PM

                                                                                              you're comparing apples to oranges, though. bulgur is wheat - an entirely different grain than rice.

                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                Karl S Aug 6, 2007 05:39 PM

                                                                                                People often think brown rice is far healthier than white rice. It's moderately more nutritious, but it still is not one of the better choices among the grains. Bulgur has almost twice the amount of fiber as brown rice, but is easier to cook than white rice - when I realized this, I stopped buying brown rice and keep bulgur around. It's just a win-win improvement over brown rice.

                                                                                                1. re: Karl S
                                                                                                  f
                                                                                                  fpark Aug 6, 2007 10:38 PM

                                                                                                  I too agree that there are much more nutritious alternatives to brown rice, as I love bulgur wheat, barley, quinoa, etc. However, as an alternative to rice, brown rice is more nutritious, especially in foods such as sushi.

                                                                                                  1. re: Karl S
                                                                                                    goodhealthgourmet Aug 6, 2007 11:15 PM

                                                                                                    the purpose of my comment was merely to point out that the op was specifically substituting one type of rice for another, whereas barley is an entirely different species of grain. all whole grains - amaranth, barley, corn, oats, quinoa, kamut, spelt, teff, wild rice, whole wheat and any other variety you can think of - offer distinct nutritional benefits. the smartest and healthiest thing one can do is incorporate as many varieties as possible into the diet.

                                                                                                    1. re: Karl S
                                                                                                      a
                                                                                                      Anne H Aug 9, 2007 08:11 PM

                                                                                                      Karl, I'd love to hear what you are doing with bulgar. Last winter I learned how to use quinoa (and got my family to like it) and I'd be very happy to do the same with bulgar. I'm pretty sure my kids won't eat it plain, but if I dressed it up right, I imagine I could integrate it into the family meal plans. Can you get me started with a few suggestions? And, do you buy it in bulk, or in a box (any brand advice?), or how? Thanks for any ideas.

                                                                                                      1. re: Anne H
                                                                                                        Emme Aug 9, 2007 08:52 PM

                                                                                                        Not Karl, but...

                                                                                                        How gorgeous is this (and tasty!) http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/a-beautiful-bulgar-and-spinach-pilaf-recipe.html

                                                                                                        Use it in meatballs as a binder instead of rice or breadcrumbs

                                                                                                        Apple Cobbler
                                                                                                        Cook bulgur in milk and sugar. Set aside. Make an oaty crumble topping (oats, flour, sugars, butter) and make a large crumb crumble. Layer bulgur in casserole dish, topping with apple slices and raisins, then top w/ crumble and bake.

                                                                                                        Crust for quiche
                                                                                                        mix mashed baked potato, flour, egg, fine ground bulgur, a little olive oil, and any herbs or spices you like. add filling and bake!

                                                                                                        Fried Squares (a la polenta
                                                                                                        )cook bulgur with water or milk (and optional brown sugar); spread on pan to let cool. cut into squares and fry in butter, serve with honey or maple syrup, or you can do a savory version with pesto or cheese and tomatoes.

                                                                                                        Lentil and Bulgur Stew

                                                                                                        Also,
                                                                                                        muffins (http://www.sunnylandmills.com/cgi-bin...
                                                                                                        )pancakes
                                                                                                        tabbouleh
                                                                                                        salads or pilafs
                                                                                                        veggie burgers
                                                                                                        addition to chili...

                                                                                                        1. re: Anne H
                                                                                                          aching Aug 10, 2007 11:02 AM

                                                                                                          I'm not Karl either, but I did want to chime in to say that I got my SO hooked on bulgur by feeding him a recipe the combines it with grilled asparagus, shredded chicken, goat cheese, artichoke hearts, and parsley, tossed with olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and salt and pepper. It's absolutely fabulous. If you want, I can post the recipe on the Home Cooking board...

                                                                                                          I buy organic bulgar in bulk from Whole Foods. It keeps forever in an airtight container.

                                                                                                          1. re: Anne H
                                                                                                            Karl S Aug 12, 2007 10:50 AM

                                                                                                            Basically, anything you could do with long grain white rice you can substitute bulgur. Bulgur is cracked wheat that has been partially pre-cooked and redried - it therefore is very simple to cook. You simply simmer it in liquids (water, broth, stock, et cet.) of your choice - you can even simply soak it in very hot liquid for 20 or or minutes and pour off what remains. I find it friendlier to cooks and tastier than white or brown rice. You can also mix it in with white rice in any proportion you like and cook it along with the white rice.

                                                                                                            I buy it in the bulk section. Coarse or medium bulgur (save the fine bulgur for tabbouleh). If you have Middle Eastern markets near you, head right there for a good selection.

                                                                                                      2. re: Karl S
                                                                                                        amyzan Aug 6, 2007 04:56 PM

                                                                                                        While brown rice doesn't have near as much fiber as many other whole grains, it is significantly more nutritious in terms of vitamins and minerals than processed, white rice.

                                                                                                        1. re: amyzan
                                                                                                          Karl S Aug 6, 2007 05:37 PM

                                                                                                          Not by a lot. 3g of fiber compared to 1g, for example. Better. But not worth the effort compared to bulgur, which has 5-6g fiber and is as easy to cook (even easier) than white rice.

                                                                                                          1. re: Karl S
                                                                                                            amyzan Aug 6, 2007 08:18 PM

                                                                                                            Actually, yes, by a lot, Karl. What I was saying, if you read my post is that brown rice is significantly more nutritious than white rice. It is, indeed, healthier than white rice. I acknowledge, as I did in my original reply, that other whole grains are higher in fiber than brown rice. But there are other concerns with nutrition in addition to fiber. Brown rice has more B vitamin content, trace minerals like manganese, magnesium, and zinc, as well as fatty acids, vitamin E and more, all contained in the bran. Some white rice processors will fortify their rice, others do not, but none of them puts back everything in that little nutritional package that is rice bran. When people wash their white rice, they often wash away much of the fortification anyway.

                                                                                                            I eat lots of different whole grains, especially quinoa, oats, and brown rice. None of them are bothersome, but some require more planning on the part of the cook. Brown rice takes 45 minutes at least, more than an hour in my rice cooker. Quinoa will cook stovetop in 15 minutes, and is a great tasting nutritious grain for the time crunched. I'm sorry if this is more information than you're interested in, but brown rice is deserving of its status as a healthy food. Fiber is not the only criteria.

                                                                                                        2. re: Karl S
                                                                                                          n
                                                                                                          nutrition Aug 7, 2007 02:22 AM

                                                                                                          I still can not believe refined white rice is as good as Brown Unpolished Brown Rice, which contains all the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein!
                                                                                                          There should be less difference between Bulgur and Brown unpolished Rice, then there is between refined white rice and unrefined brown rice.

                                                                                                      3. JessKidden Aug 5, 2007 02:36 PM

                                                                                                        I prefer no salt potato chips to salted ones. They taste like potatoes and once you kick the salty ones and try them again, all you taste is the burn of the salt on your lips. (My current favorite are Utz).

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: JessKidden
                                                                                                          j
                                                                                                          jordana Aug 5, 2007 04:40 PM

                                                                                                          When I am eating a dip I will only dip with vegetables. This is fine and it can do the trick for me. I when i get a latter i always mix skim and whole milk with more skim than whole. I get the flavor and richness of whole milk. I like to use feta cheese when I need a cheese fix because its lower in fat than most hard cheeses. I use whole wheat pasta and its tastes fine to me.

                                                                                                        2. l
                                                                                                          Lizard Aug 5, 2007 01:51 PM

                                                                                                          Avoidig the problematic assumptions here, I will say that I've been positively addicted to strawberries and goat's milk yoghurt (in place of cream). It's lower in fat, but rich, thick, creamy full of flavour.

                                                                                                          Claims that fruits taste better than pizza and crisps are less convincing, not because fruits aren't delicious (I also happily eat grapefruit for desert) but because these are not satisfying the same urges. Similarly, skinless chicken won't satisfy my desire for strawberries and cream; different cravings.

                                                                                                          1. s
                                                                                                            sweetnspicy Aug 5, 2007 11:37 AM

                                                                                                            What I've learned is in a lot of low or non-fat dairy products there is added HFCS I would rather have the fat then the sugar. So read the labels.
                                                                                                            I'm with you on the soy in your coffee. I've switched to that as well.

                                                                                                            There is a brand of sodas made with natural sugars called Boylans. I get it at my local TJ's

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: sweetnspicy
                                                                                                              a
                                                                                                              Anne H Aug 6, 2007 04:18 PM

                                                                                                              There are also sodas made with less sugar, with real fruit flavors-- some called soda, some called spritzers-- that I like way better than mainstream sodas, and which have significantly fewer calories (thought still you can't just guzzle them). I've bought some at Whole Foods and got one at a gourmet store-- I think one brand was called GUS -- grown up soda.

                                                                                                            2. EWSflash Aug 5, 2007 11:37 AM

                                                                                                              If it's fresh and sweet and good, corn on the cob doesn't need butter or salt. Some fresh lime juice is great, but not mandatory. Not exactly a substitute, just a lack of embellishment.

                                                                                                              1. ArikaDawn Aug 5, 2007 09:18 AM

                                                                                                                In general, I am drawn to healthier foods so I am pretty lucky that it is not too much of a struggle for me to eat healthily. However, I have a rather pronounced sweettooth, a SO who loves fatty food, and often a need for convenience. These factors have led me to try a lot of the products on the market touted as healthier options and a few have turned out to be preferable to the original. For instance, when my guy gets a bratwurst/sausage craving I now have a brand of chicken sausages I buy instead which are super lowfat/lowcal and easy to prepare quickly with just garlic, diced tomatoes, and artichoke hearts. Rather than traditional potato chips, we have started buying mr.krispers brown rice krisps which are super yummy, gluten free, low cal, almost no fat I beleive, and taste better than most any chips I have had. The fact that my chip loving guy prefers these over most chips is a testament to their flavor as he is skeptical of health food in general. Now, instead of buying our standard Jif, we go for more wholesome cashew butter that doesn't have all the artificial stuff and preservatives. This is one substitution that on occasion is shelved for a jar of Jif, but just on occasion =). We are big ice cream people and have it probably three nights a week. This can obviously lead to problems in the waist area so my guy now goes for stoneyfield farms lowfat or fat fre fro-yo and I LOVE Soy Delicious non-dairy frozen dessert. Noth come in lots of flavors, are lowfat, lowcal, and made with wholesome ingredients. There are lots of other more specific substitutes out there, but the MOST helpful thing has just been keeping good produce abundant and available in our home. Rather than sticking it in the drawer, when I return from the grocery I clen and prep a good deal of it. Who is gonna head for the drivethru when there is a mound of fresh cut pineapple or melon right in the fridge?

                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: ArikaDawn
                                                                                                                  goodhealthgourmet Aug 5, 2007 11:42 AM

                                                                                                                  mr. krispers chips rock! they're a godsend for gluten-intolerants.

                                                                                                                  this chicken sausage you've discovered...mind sharing the brand/source?

                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                    ArikaDawn Aug 5, 2007 01:35 PM

                                                                                                                    Applegate Farms has a really good organic spinaach and feta chicken sausage that is pretty readily available. I get it at my local natural grocer, but they have a product locator on their website. Also, Benetino's Bistro Sensation smoked mozzarella and artichoke chicken sausages, though not organic, are my personal favorite and can actually be found at my local super wal-mart. Theie ingredient list is not entirely wholesome, a couple preservatives, but they are just so darn good. It is the easiest quick dinner, literally just sausages, tomatoes, garlic, artichoke hearts and/or cremini's in a skillet until it is all warmed through. I cook a little angel hair for my SO to accompany the meat and veggies, but that's it and it's super satisfying in like 10 minutes. Also great w/a little side salad.

                                                                                                                    1. re: ArikaDawn
                                                                                                                      goodhealthgourmet Aug 5, 2007 04:30 PM

                                                                                                                      i love applegate farms' products...i buy their deli turkey all the time. now i'll definitely have to try the sausage.

                                                                                                                      thanks!

                                                                                                                2. flourgirl Aug 5, 2007 08:32 AM

                                                                                                                  I prefer reduced fat sour cream to full fat. I use different brands but I always buy reduced fat unles full fat is absolutely required (as in a few baking recipes etc.)

                                                                                                                  But generally I don't like reduced fat/reduced calories products. They almost always lose something in translation and it's just not worth it to me. Life is too short to eat crappy tasting food.

                                                                                                                  1. Romanmk Aug 4, 2007 11:32 PM

                                                                                                                    A perfectly ripe peach tastes better than an entire delivery pizza, can of pringles, or supersize meal. And I don't feel gross afterwards. My eating habits have improved substantially in the process of becoming a Chowhound. I really did enjoy mindlessly eating all those candy bars and bags of potato chips back in the years between 7th grade and 21 years of age. Now it's seared scallops over mesclun instead of fried chicken patties. Grassfed flank steak instead of greasy burgers, and so on.

                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Romanmk
                                                                                                                      e
                                                                                                                      ekammin Aug 5, 2007 07:58 AM

                                                                                                                      A bunch of sweet, seedless grapes.

                                                                                                                      1. re: ekammin
                                                                                                                        c
                                                                                                                        chef4hire Aug 5, 2007 09:28 PM

                                                                                                                        and freezing them or blueberries is great in the summer

                                                                                                                        1. re: chef4hire
                                                                                                                          a
                                                                                                                          Agrayf Aug 8, 2007 11:08 AM

                                                                                                                          I've been freezing peeled bananas this summer and eating them like popsicles. So good!

                                                                                                                          1. re: Agrayf
                                                                                                                            goodhealthgourmet Aug 8, 2007 08:47 PM

                                                                                                                            if you want to make it a bit more indulgent without breaking the calorie bank, dip them in [or drizzle with] some melted dark chocolate before freezing...and if you're feeling really saucy, sprinkle some chopped nuts on as well.

                                                                                                                            your treat is now chock full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and healthy fats...a dessert that will leave you feeling satisfied AND virtuous :)

                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                              tuxedo Aug 17, 2007 12:10 PM

                                                                                                                              I live at the jersey shore and chocolate covered frozen bananas on a stick has been a boardwalk staple for years!
                                                                                                                              I think it is hawked along side the cotton candy - although fried oreos have seem to gain popularity - hmm need to start a thread about the frying of ceratin foods!

                                                                                                                              1. re: tuxedo
                                                                                                                                goodhealthgourmet Aug 17, 2007 12:56 PM

                                                                                                                                i grew up in north jersey so i was more of a hamptons girl. anyway, your beloved bananas may have a following 'down the shore,' but i found out that they actually originated out here in southern california!

                                                                                                                      2. re: Romanmk
                                                                                                                        vorpal Aug 7, 2007 05:35 AM

                                                                                                                        Mmmmm... I agree completely. Now that peaches are in season here, I no longer find myself reaching for ice cream after dinner.

                                                                                                                      3. f
                                                                                                                        fpark Aug 4, 2007 09:42 PM

                                                                                                                        Ooh, and I forgot about whole grains - whole wheat bread, brown rice, etc- some people hate the taste of whole grains but I love the rich taste and heartier texture over white bread or white rice

                                                                                                                        1. f
                                                                                                                          fpark Aug 4, 2007 09:37 PM

                                                                                                                          Oven baked sweet potato fries or french fries over fast food french fries- less greasier and more flavorful without trans fat!

                                                                                                                          1. amymsmom Aug 4, 2007 06:28 PM

                                                                                                                            Skim milk - I'm so used to it that even 2% tastes too creamy to me.

                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: amymsmom
                                                                                                                              e
                                                                                                                              ekammin Aug 4, 2007 07:21 PM

                                                                                                                              I love oatmeal, but add no milk or sugar. Just a small shaving of butter, salt and pepper.

                                                                                                                              1. re: amymsmom
                                                                                                                                danna Aug 6, 2007 08:25 AM

                                                                                                                                Me too, I prefer skim milk in coffee drinks. When they accidentally give me whole, it tastes somehow cloying, and obscures the flavor of the espresso too much.

                                                                                                                                Cheese-its are better in the reduced fat version...not that I need to be eating Cheese-its at all. Dark chocolate is better than milk, assuming one buys into the chocolate for health theories.

                                                                                                                              2. q
                                                                                                                                qwertyu Aug 4, 2007 06:09 PM

                                                                                                                                I'm a little confused by the milk comment. I don't understand why people automatically assume soy milk is healthier than regular milk. It has no natural calcium in it, often contains a lot of added sugar, and is high in sodium. While I get that soy has its other benefits with the cancer prevention and whatnot, I still cannot view it as a suitable alternative for regular milk -- especially not for health reasons.

                                                                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: qwertyu
                                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                                  suzannep Aug 4, 2007 06:36 PM

                                                                                                                                  As far as I'm concerned, the "healthy substitutes" are often less healthy than whatever they're supposed to replace...whole foods are where it's at. I'd rather use full-fat milk from grassfed animals, eat steaks and delicious artisan cheeses. I hate the taste of artificial sweeteners, low-fat dairy products and the mouthfeel of anything with hydrogenated oils. I just supplement the good stuff with lots of fresh, local fruits and veggies to keep my caloric intake under control.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: qwertyu
                                                                                                                                    f
                                                                                                                                    fara Aug 5, 2007 07:57 AM

                                                                                                                                    hi, op here. thanks for responding.

                                                                                                                                    gwertyu - you are incorrect. apart from calcium and phosphorous, which I actually like to get from other dairy products like whole fat plain yoghurt and cheese, soy milk is far more nutritious than cow milk. also calcium and phosphorous are found in plenty of other healthier foods than cow milk.
                                                                                                                                    Soy milk has less fat, more protein, more natural vitamins and minerals. 1 serving of edensoy organic soy milk contains 4 % sodium, cow milk has marginally less. Whole-fat cow milk has much more sugar, 13 g vs 7 g in organic soy milk.
                                                                                                                                    Here are the ingredients in Edensoy organic soy milk: water, oranic soybeans, malted organic wheat and barley extract, calcium carbonate, kombu seaweed, sea salt. So the only minerals added are calcium and sodium - all other vitamins and minerals are inherent in the soy bean and the unprocessed seaweed(which is in low amounts)

                                                                                                                                    suzannep - the things you list as "healthy substitutes" are definitely unhealthy, good for you.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: qwertyu
                                                                                                                                      n
                                                                                                                                      nutrition Aug 7, 2007 02:14 AM

                                                                                                                                      "no natural calcium in " soymilk. It is just NOT true. It has more and is more available for absorption. No added sugar either or high in sodium. No MUCUS formation like with milk. After all milk are the pus cells from the cow's blood.

                                                                                                                                      I make soymilk for a couple of cents a quart without any of the things you mention, and it is better then milk for nutritional advantages. Milk is highly processed and deteriorates rapidly. Infants would have less ear infections after weaning by not drinking cow's milk.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: nutrition
                                                                                                                                        p
                                                                                                                                        Panini Guy Aug 7, 2007 06:14 PM

                                                                                                                                        Soy beverage info that would seem to contradict or at the very least qualify the above "nutrition" advice:
                                                                                                                                        Go Ask Alice (Columbia University):
                                                                                                                                        http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/1861.html
                                                                                                                                        Become Natural:
                                                                                                                                        http://www.becomenatural.com/blog/2007/03/soy-milk-vs-regular-milk/
                                                                                                                                        University of California, Berkeley:
                                                                                                                                        http://parents.berkeley.edu/advice/eating/soymilk.html
                                                                                                                                        The Diet Channel: http://www.thedietchannel.com/AskTheExpert/natural-health/Soy-milk-vs-cow-milk-Which-is-better.htm
                                                                                                                                        Cooking Light:
                                                                                                                                        http://www.cookinglight.com/cooking/h...

                                                                                                                                        Mind you, I didn't have to go searching for this. These were simply the first five listed links on Google for the phrase "Soy milk vs. cow milk nutritional values".

                                                                                                                                        YMMV.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Panini Guy
                                                                                                                                          f
                                                                                                                                          fara Aug 8, 2007 01:56 AM

                                                                                                                                          (!!) --- I used the USDA nutritional data base.

                                                                                                                                          None of the links you list are backed by nutritionists or the government. Milk is not technically cow "pus" but it is not an essential food for adults.
                                                                                                                                          In particular the "columbia" site, which has really strange and deviant advice (no nutritionist's names listed - advise to drink 3 1/3 cups of milk a day!) is way off the mainstream advice, even the government advice partially influenced by the milk producers. Children need milk, especially whole milk, for the fat, calcium, and phosphorous, and because they can digest milk proteins easily.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: fara
                                                                                                                                            p
                                                                                                                                            Panini Guy Aug 8, 2007 06:27 AM

                                                                                                                                            fara,
                                                                                                                                            Wasn't actually referencing your post - it was the one after it which obviously has some other agenda which spurred me to do the Google search..
                                                                                                                                            I personally don't care for soy beverage, but I don't have an issue with it except when somebody is pulling things out of the air to support their position for it (again, not suggesting your earlier posts, but others).

                                                                                                                                        2. re: nutrition
                                                                                                                                          p
                                                                                                                                          phisherking Aug 8, 2007 05:52 AM

                                                                                                                                          How do you make soy milk? Would you be able to share with us? I'd love to make my own since I always seem to run out!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: phisherking
                                                                                                                                            p
                                                                                                                                            piccola Aug 9, 2007 02:57 PM

                                                                                                                                            I think it's pretty straightforward: soak soybeans, purée in water, strain. Not sure on the beans-to-water ratio, though. (FYI, works for almond milk, too.)

                                                                                                                                          2. re: nutrition
                                                                                                                                            Amuse Bouches Aug 10, 2007 02:04 PM

                                                                                                                                            Pus cells? Are you unfamiliar with the mechanisms of milk production in mammals? It's not all white blood cells (the white "pus" that responds to an infection.) Lactation and infection are not related.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Amuse Bouches
                                                                                                                                              Romanmk Aug 16, 2007 08:13 PM

                                                                                                                                              I think the "milk is pus" crowd's misinformation stems from the rBST/bovine growth hormone issue. Apparently cows all jacked up on hormones can develop swollen udders and teats that become infected. Pus can then get into the milk during the milking process. Saw this in the documentary "The Corporation".

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Romanmk
                                                                                                                                                Amuse Bouches Aug 17, 2007 11:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                As a soon-to-be lactator, I'm a bit sensitive about the properties of milk!

                                                                                                                                                Another reason to only by rBST free milk -- even if you're not buying organic, rBST free is fairly easy to find.

                                                                                                                                        3. Melanie Wong Aug 4, 2007 03:02 PM

                                                                                                                                          Butter instead of margarine made with partially hydrogenated oils.

                                                                                                                                          1. Emme Aug 4, 2007 02:16 PM

                                                                                                                                            These are of course very *personal* preferences:

                                                                                                                                            Spaghetti squash over pasta
                                                                                                                                            Mashed cauliflower (no butter or cream) instead of potatoes
                                                                                                                                            Butternut squash instead of yams/sweet potatoes (not necessarily "healthier" but lower calorie per serving)
                                                                                                                                            egg whies to whole eggs
                                                                                                                                            Non-fat frozen yogurt (soft serve NOT hard pack) instead of ice cream

                                                                                                                                            1. ipsedixit Aug 4, 2007 01:59 PM

                                                                                                                                              Low-fat granola cereal (regular versions taste too much like crumbled cookie)

                                                                                                                                              Baked Lays (regular versions are too greasy)

                                                                                                                                              Low-fat Wheat Thins (again, the regular version are a bit too greasy)

                                                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                                                                                flourgirl Aug 5, 2007 08:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                Don't like those baked Lays at all. They just don't taste like potato chips to me.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: flourgirl
                                                                                                                                                  a
                                                                                                                                                  Anne H Aug 6, 2007 04:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Some people like the baked chips, but to me they might as well be sawdust. Reduced fat chips, though, are better than full-fat, often.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: flourgirl
                                                                                                                                                    vorpal Aug 7, 2007 05:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                    IIRC, Baked Lays also contain many more artificial agents and crap than regular Lays, probably to compensate for the fact that baked potato chips are an unappealing mess.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                                                                                    goodhealthgourmet Aug 5, 2007 11:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                    as is the case with so many 'light' or 'reduced-fat/low-fat' versions of foods, low-fat granola often isn't any healthier than its full-fat counterparts because they replace the fat with additional sugar, often in the form of evil ingredients like HFCS.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                                                                                      amyzan Aug 5, 2007 11:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Reduced fat potato chips, yes, but the "baked" ones? Only good for a salt fix, the texture is horrible, like Pringles, which to me are "kid food," food that's made for kids' immature taste buds.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: amyzan
                                                                                                                                                        m
                                                                                                                                                        mojoeater Aug 5, 2007 08:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                        I'd rather eat Pringles than Baked Lays.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mojoeater
                                                                                                                                                          flourgirl Aug 6, 2007 05:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Me too.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: flourgirl
                                                                                                                                                            vorpal Aug 7, 2007 05:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                            Thirded. I'd rather not eat than eat Baked Lays.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: mojoeater
                                                                                                                                                            amyzan Aug 6, 2007 04:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                            They taste pretty similar to me, but I must admit I haven't had either in years.

                                                                                                                                                      2. p
                                                                                                                                                        Panini Guy Aug 4, 2007 10:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                        This may sound like splitting hairs, but I don't understand the lead sentence, "Now that Americans need a lot fewer calories to get through the day...".

                                                                                                                                                        If you're suggesting that you're one of a large percentage of Americans that consume more calories than they need, that's a different thing that suggesting some genetic biological change overcame the entire country last week that changed the collective metabolism of every citizen, which is sort of how the sentence currently reads to me.

                                                                                                                                                        In either case my response would be: Over the past decade I've actually gone back to full fat versions of everything because it tastes better. I just learned I don't need to stuff myself and have used that to bring my weight down a little and to control it. Chips will undo everything ;-)

                                                                                                                                                        The two areas where I'm still experimenting is with oils and figuring out how to use both healthier oils and to use them more efficiently so less oil remains in the food, and trying to do without egg yolks where I think they're not absolutely necessary for cholesterol control.

                                                                                                                                                        Whether I need 1500 calories or 2000 depending on what I'm burning, I'd figure it out and eat smaller portions of stuff I like than substitute things that aren't as tasty.

                                                                                                                                                        Thankfully I like the taste of coffee so I have no need for a latte when a macchiato or a straight black cup of a good single origin would do. That way I can save my daily cow's milk intake for my cereal.

                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Panini Guy
                                                                                                                                                          f
                                                                                                                                                          fara Aug 4, 2007 11:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                          I meant that the average person needs fewer calories to maintain their weight due to a more sedentary lifestyle than 50, 100 years ago.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Panini Guy
                                                                                                                                                            p
                                                                                                                                                            plivnik Aug 4, 2007 11:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                            I'm with you on the smaller portions--most low-calorie substitutes taste nasty and/or are unhealthy (e.g. sweeteners) and just aren't worth it. That said, I do sometimes use low-fat ricotta or milk in recipes without sacrificing too much flavor, and sometimes I use less oil or butter than recommended.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Panini Guy
                                                                                                                                                              goodhealthgourmet Aug 5, 2007 11:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                              ground flaxseed/meal is a great, healthy substitute for eggs in a wide range of baked goods, from muffins and cupcakes to breads and crackers.

                                                                                                                                                              unfortunately if you're looking for an egg yolk replacement in recipes for sauces [i.e. aioli, bearnaise, zabaglione] or custard-like preparations, it wouldn't quite work :)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Panini Guy
                                                                                                                                                                t
                                                                                                                                                                traceybell Aug 5, 2007 09:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Depending on what you're making, you can use low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock to stretch out oil.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Panini Guy
                                                                                                                                                                  f
                                                                                                                                                                  feelinpeckish Aug 6, 2007 07:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Well put, I agree entirely.

                                                                                                                                                                2. sandrina Aug 4, 2007 10:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  I've been a big fan of buttered noodles since childhood. I know seem to enjoy them more with a drizzle of good olive oil and a sprinkle of fresh parsley, and perhaps a bit of freshly grated cheese on top.

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