How to turn any Recipe into a Real Food recipe

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This is the question I get most often. How do I turn my old favorite recipes into Real Food recipes? With a few simple purchasing changes and a little elbow grease on some homemade items, you can make your favorite recipes and I guarantee they will taste even better!

There are of course exceptions to this rule. If the recipe included anything from a box mix (like cake mix, etc.), toss it and find an alternative “from scratch” recipe that will be easier to adjust.

Hopefully my tips will help you get started.

Fats

If a recipe calls for vegetable oil, substitute with…

If a recipe calls for margarine or vegetable shortening, substitute with…

Sweeteners

If a recipe calls for sugar or brown sugar, substitute with…

  • Raw honey, in equal measure
  • Grade B maple syrup, cut in half
  • Coconut sugar or Whole Cane Sugar (Rapadura) or Sucanat – I personally have not been able to tolerate these sweeteners so use them cautiously if you are trying to wean yourself off refined sugar
  • Note – if the recipe is for candy then this swap will most likely not work so find a recipe with the real food sweetener you want to use and try that instead
  • where to find quality sweeteners

Salt

If a recipe calls for salt (iodized or sea salt) substitute with…why?

  • Himalayan pink salt or Celtic sea salt or other whole mineral salts – where to buy salt

Broths and Stocks

If a recipe calls for boxed chicken or beef broth, substitute with…

Bouillon cube

Flours

Choosing flours can be tricky. Whether you are gluten-free or grain-free or eat whatever flour you like then be sure you know your flours and how they will impact your system. To keep this simple:

If the recipe is calling for a couple of tablespoons of white flour as a thickener for sauces, substitute with…

  • If grain free, 1 tbsp of coconut flour or arrowroot powder mixed with water to make a slurry
  • If you can tolerate some grains, then just use the white flour – it is more easily digestible than substituting a whole grain flour and a couple of tablespoons never hurt anyone – where to find flours

If the recipe is calling for white flour for baking, substitute with…

  • If you can tolerate some grains, experiment with sprouted spelt – it is lighter than whole wheat flour and also more easily digestible – where to find sprouted flour
  • If grain free – sadly – you cannot do a measure for measure swap to coconut or almond flour – try to find a new recipe for what you are trying to make to experiment with these new flours – where to find coconut products

Condiments

If a recipe calls for store bought mayonnaise, substitute with…

  • Homemade mayonnaise which is very easy to make and will make your recipe that much more delicious. You can cut down on the salt content in your recipe as your homemade mayo will add a lot of flavor. Store bought mayo, even if labeled as olive oil mayo, contains soy and other vegetable oils (read the ingredients).

If a recipe calls for ketchup, substitute with…

Pasta

If a recipe calls for pasta, depending on the recipe, substitute with…

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Dairy

If the recipe calls for any low-fat or no-fat dairy product, substitute with…

  • Full-fat grass-fed dairy, preferably raw to include vital enzymes which aid in digestion – where to find raw dairy

If the recipe calls for any fake dairy products like soy milk, cheese or fake cream (usually vegetable oils and chemicals), substitute with…

I also condensed all of this information into a nifty graphic which you can print out for your kitchen (or share online):

How to turn any recipe into a real food recipe

This post is featured on Monday Mania, Natural Living Monday, Make Your Own Monday, Fat Tuesday, Weekend Gourmet, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasteful Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Traditional Tuesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Thank Your Body Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Freaky Friday, Fill Those Jars Friday, Fight Back Friday, Small Footprint Friday, Sunday School, Motivation Monday, Sweet Sharing Monday, Scratch Cookin Tuesdays, Party Wave Wednesday

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I am a very busy real food mama! When I am not taking care of my 5 year old, I take time to share my real food recipes on my blog, Homemade Mommy. I finds the time for homemade cooking because eating this way has truly changed my family’s life. Ditching processed food has helped us all to heal from a number of ailments including asthma, allergies, recurrent sinus infections and ADHD. I buy organic, from family farms, local and grass-fed. I am passionate about achieving vibrant health and am happy to share tips, techniques and recipes in my eBook, The Real Food Survival Guide for Busy Moms which is an excellent resource for any busy mom (or dad) who wants to cook real food for their family but is not sure how to take the plunge.

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32 Responses to How to turn any Recipe into a Real Food recipe

  1. Thanks for linking to my article! This is a great post!

  2. What a great article! So many great tips. And thanks for linking to my article. Look forward to sharing this.

    :)

  3. These are really good tips. It can feel overwhelming when you’re trying to renovate your pantry and plate, but it all boils down to baby steps. Pick one ingredient in one meal and change it. Continue from there!

  4. Anne Kimball says:

    Hi, I’m Anne from Life on the Funny Farm (http://annesfunnyfarm.blogspot.com), and I’m visiting from Natural Living Monday.

    This is a great list, I’ve never seen one like it. I’m going to pin this.

    Anyway, thanks for posting this. I hope you can pop by my blog sometime to say hi…

  5. Mark Mauboules says:

    Do you have any information on baking with ground stevia leaves? What is the substitution rate versus sugar? How to alleviate bitterness when added to hot drinks?

  6. Lindsey, these are some great suggestions! I would love it if you would consider sharing it on my blog’s new linky – Waste Not Want Not, a place for real food and frugal living tips and ideas. Thanks :)
    http://www.poorandglutenfree.blogspot.com/

  7. […] How To Turn Any Recipe into a Real Food Recipe from Home Made Mommy. This is a great review of all the important ingredients and what to use instead of junk. […]

  8. Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures says:

    Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back tomorrow when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :D

  9. […] 3. How to turn any Recipe into a Real Food Recipe by Homemade Mommy. “This is the question I get most often. How do I turn my old favorite recipes into Real Food recipes.” […]

  10. Ann Power says:

    HI! I’m single and wondering if you have any tips for preparing Intro. Gaps and reg. Gaps. It seems so overwhelming. I realize I’ll cut the portions, but still make broth and freeze much more of it ahead than a large family could afford to do. Anything else?

  11. […] How to Turn Any Recipe Into a Real Food Recipe from Homemade Mommy […]

  12. Nancy Roberts says:

    Thanks for all the research on the substitutions. This makes for a great post as well as being super helpful. Blessings!! Nancy at livininthegreen

  13. Barb Hoyer says:

    Great post! I didn’t realize that white flour was more digestible than whole grain though it makes sense. The graphic is so helpful!

    Thanks for linking this up to Motivation Monday! I made sure to pin it and share it on my Frugal Local Kitchen FB page. Readers need to see how easy it is to make the substitutions.

  14. […] How to turn any Recipe into a Real Food recipe | Homemade Mommy. […]

  15. Lindsey! We’d love to use this post on our blog , where we focus on all natural, delicious gluten-free baking, cooking, and lifestyle/health. This is a great reference.

  16. Hannah Healy says:

    This is a great reference to have!! thanks!

  17. Daniella Silver says:

    This is a wonderful reference! I would love to post this on my blog-www.thisamericanmama.com. Thank you so much for writing this :)

  18. Zenna Liber says:

    this is a great reference. but your honey substitution is incorrect. As honey weighs more than sugar and tastes sweeter, it should be 3/4 cup honey for every 1 cup sugar. In addition , because honey is liquid (even creamed honey), the liquid ingredients need to be reduced also by 1/2 cup for every 1 cup honey used. I’ve been using honey in cooking and baking for sometime now (And my DH and I even have bees now!) and this is the best substitution amounts I have found. One to one makes it too sticky and heavy.

  19. Love it…Many are regulars in our home, thanks for the new ideas! & the graphic…! :-)

  20. […] New to real food?  You can take almost any recipe and turn it into a real food recipe!  Lindsey of Homemade Mommy will show you […]

  21. […] that calls for all sorts of nasty stuff like margarine or soy milk, Homemade Mommy’s post on how to turn any recipe into a real food recipe has some very helpful tips and reminders, even if you’re an experienced real […]

  22. […] great place to start is this article How to Turn Any Recipe into a Real Food Recipe from Homemade Mommy. It’s a great resource if you’re new to real food cooking or if you […]

  23. […] family is able to enjoy all their favorites foods and still stay wholesome is Lindsey’s   How to Turn Any Recipe into a Real Food Recipe.  I even printed out her chart and keep it in my “recipe […]

  24. […] Homemade Mommy tell you how to turn any recipe into a real food recipe […]

  25. […] Mommy wrote a great post on how to turn any recipe into a real food recipe. Some great tips here ! This is the kind of skill we all need to develop as we move along towards […]

  26. Sherri Tate says:

    I buy organic unbleached flour to avoid the chemicals during the bleaching process. Also, pay attention to your rice, rice depending on where it is grown has high levels of arsenic in it, and shockingly brown rice has even higher levels than white rice, if it’s grown in Louisiana, Mississippi or any state around there the arsenic levels are highest there…..

  27. Using full fat grass fed dairy products and healthy fats help to slow the sugar spike caused by using things like honey and syrup and keeping blood sugar on an even keel is VERY important even for the non-diabetic!

  28. […] is awesome!  An easy guide on how to turn almost any recipe into a Real Food recipe!  You don’t have to start from scratch.  Take recipes you know and change the quality of […]

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