Years ago, we lived 12 miles from the closest grocery store so it wasn’t always convenient to go to the store for one item that was missing from a recipe. That’s when I learned to make simple ingredient substitutions to recipes.  In the process I realized that these simple substitutions didn’t sacrifice taste. Our children were my best taste testors and sometimes my worst critics. They would never hesitate to tell me something tasted “ickey”…their favorite term for bad! Most of the time they couldn’t taste the difference.

Arizona Farm Bureau’s is an online directory of farm products, farmers’ markets, nutritious news and recipes. If you are trying to create healthy recipes, first look at what’s on-hand in your own pantry. You may have what you need to create a healthier recipe.

Here are a few substitutions to help reduce the amount of fat, sugar and calories as you prepare healthy recipes.

The recipe calls for                        Substitute with

Butter, margarine or oil                    Applesauce for half of the called-for butter or shortening

Cream                                             Fat-free half and half, evaporated skim milk

Eggs                                                Use eggs, they are good for you; Two egg whites

Mayonnaise                                     Plain low-fat yogurt or reduced-calorie mayonnaise salad dressing

Sugar                                              Half the amount of sugar in baked good. Then add vanilla, nutmeg or cinnamon to intensify sweetness

Salad dressing                                Fat-free or flavored vinegars

Sour cream                                      Low-fat yogurt

Cream Cheese                                 Low-fat cottage cheese pureed until smooth

Editor’s note: For more information on our member benefits including our regional benefits go to Arizona Farm Bureau’s member benefits page online. Or, download the Member Benefits app to your smart phone for easy, everyday access to your benefits.