Make Smart Substitutions


I am excited to share with you that I completed my first Fresh Formula publication outside of my blog.¬† ūüôā¬† I completed an article for the Adjunct Faculty Association spring newsletter, The Connection,¬†and was among only five adjuncts selected to write in the health and wellness section.¬† Today, I thought I’d share that article with you.

If you’re a regular¬†subscriber of The Fresh Formula, some of the article’s content¬†won’t be new information, but a refresher never hurts.¬† I also included the recipe for my chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie, which was one of my first blog posts.¬† Click the link above to see the original article or read the text below:

On my plant-based living blog, The Fresh Formula, I share information and recipes for healthy eating.  One of the easiest changes we can make to our diets is to consider healthier substitutes for the items that we are using regularly.  Below, I have listed some examples of substitutions that I have made in my own kitchen:

  • White flour¬†–> Whole wheat flour, spelt flour, graham flour
  • White granulated sugar¬†–> Turbinado sugar, maple syrup, agave syrup, medjool dates
  • Iodized table salt¬†–> Pink Himalayan sea salt


  • Nut butters with additives¬†–> Nuts-only nut butters
  • Eggs¬†–> Chia seeds or ground flaxseed (mixed with water), bananas, steamed apple puree
  • Dairy milk¬†–> Unsweetened almond, cashew, coconut, grain, and hemp milks
  • Canned beans¬†–> Dry beans or unsalted canned beans (beans only)
  • White rice¬†–> Brown rice, farro, quinoa, wheat berries, cracked wheat, barley
  • Prepackaged popcorn¬†–> Bulk popping corn (made on the stovetop)


  • Vegetable or canola oil¬†–> Coconut, avocado, sesame, peanut, and olive oils
  • Boxed/canned stock/broth¬†–> Unsalted homemade stock (can also be used as a flavorful substitute for water when cooking whole grains)

While many of these substitutions are more expensive, some are cheaper than their preservative-laden brethren; I believe that the health benefits are worth it either way.  I adopted a plant-based lifestyle because I had high cholesterol, so eggs, for example, were one of the first items to cross off of my shopping list.  Chia seeds, by contrast, are cholesterol-free sources of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and calcium.

I have included my irresistible chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie recipe incorporating many of the aforementioned substitutions.  It is so decadent, it can serve as dessert, but is a healthy option for a meal or snack, too!


Serves 2-3

  • 2 frozen bananas (or fresh bananas and a few ice cubes)
  • ¬Ĺ cup peanut butter (nuts only)
  • 1 heaping tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 2 pitted medjool dates
  • Unsweetened almond milk to achieve desired consistency (start with ¬Ĺ cup)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until silky smooth.


For more valuable health tips, information on plant-based living and eating, and tons of delicious recipes, visit and subscribe for regular updates.  Cheers to good health!