ingredient replacements

One of the biggest enemies of calorie reduction is loss of flavor. Who would be interested in cutting carbs and eating more vegetables if the taste is bland? Not us! Part of the reason your favorite foods taste so yummy is that they’re loaded with high calorie ingredients like butter, cream and sugar.

We’re here to show you a few tips that you can use today to increase the flavor without increasing the calories with these ingredient replacements.

Chicken Stock

You’ll be surprised at how much flavor this adds to your recipes.  And, yes, homemade is best but store bought isn’t so bad either. If you’re in a real pinch and only have bouillon cubes, go ahead and mix those with hot water because you will add a flavorful stock to soups and stews. You can use chicken stock with proteins and grains.

Miso Paste

If you’d like a flavor that’s rich and salty, miso paste is a perfect addition. One of the best ways to use this flavor enhancer is as a glaze for a protein like salmon.


Since fresh herbs are available any time of the year in grocery stores, there’s no excuse for not using them.  There’s nothing quite like a little shredded fresh basil over your weekday Bolognese sauce or even some mint infused water for refreshing drink.

Bulbs Galore

Bulbs like shallots, leeks and scallions are the perfect aromatics to add to just about any dish.  If you’ve never had the chance to make potato and leek soup, try to do that this winter because it’s inexpensive and delicious. The good news is that all of these aromatics are packed with vitamin C and other antioxidants which help keep you healthy and strong.


Spices are the dried version of herbs and have their own place in your kitchen. They’re wonderful on pasta, salads and even sprinkled on garlic bread.


A squeeze of lemon or lime on top of your meal will brighten the taste of any recipe.  It’s almost like adding salt but without the extra sodium. If you’re making shrimp scampi, make sure to pop a squeeze of lemon all over the plate before you serve, and add a lemon wedge or two on the side.


At one calorie per slice, this is a great way to serve a spa-like beverage to your guests. Put several slices into a water pitcher and make sure some of those slices end up in your guests’ glasses.  Cucumbers have vitamin C, A, K and iron.

Bring on the Heat

Whether you like it mild or spicy, hot sauce is a great addition for flavor without the calories. Here’s something new for your air popped popcorn: A few shakes of hot sauce will go a long way to replace the salt and butter.

It’s all about the flavor and if you can add it without piling on more calories, all the better.


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What are some of your favorite ingredient replacements?