I get these two questions a lot. “Do you come up with your own recipes?” and “How do you come up with them?”.
Today, we’re taking a break from the flood of delicious photos and recipes to talk about how I get the recipes you always see on here. That’s right, I’m giving you all of my secrets and resources! And hey, I think it’s safe to say that after last week, we’re all still recipe-full from #FriendsgivingInTheForest!
Contrary to popular belief (or no one’s belief’s at all – whatevs), I wasn’t just born with the ability to create healthy recipes. Is anyone out there born with that? I need to meet you if you are! I was born just like most of us…with the overwhelming desire for ice cream, doughnuts, hamburgers, and pizza. And somewhere in my early 20’s, I realized I had to eat better. Thus, the recipe healthifying process began! Also, “healthifying” is a Jar Of Lemons word. It’s only a word on here 😉 Because. Healthifying.
Say healthifying one more time. (Mean girls, anyone??)
So, there are two ways you can create healthy recipes. The first is to simply put a ton of nutritious stuff together, which is fairly self explanatory. Examples of this would be making healthy salads, throwing together a breakfast combo of yogurt, granola, and fruit, etc. However, we will cover this type of recipe building in another blog post! The second way is to take a cherished unhealthy recipe, and (let’s say it together…) healthify it!
This is what I want to focus on. How do you take an unhealthy recipe and make it healthy? Well, I’m so glad you asked! Here are 4 easy steps to learn how to create healthy recipes:
1. Establish Your Goal
Are you wanting to create recipes that assist with weight loss? Are you wanting to create something that’s loaded with nutrition? Are you Vegan, Paleo, or on a special nutrition plan? These are all things to take into consideration whenever you’re preparing to create a healthy recipe. Knowing your goal is crucial! If you’re wanting to create something for weight loss, you need to ensure that your end result is a low-calorie recipe by using low-calorie ingredients. If you want to add more nutrition to your recipes, then your focus should be replacing the non-healthy ingredients with whole foods!
2. Stock Up On Healthy Ingredients
I like to keep a go-to slew of healthy “swap” ingredients in my pantry and fridge. These include apple sauce, apple cider vinegar, bananas, rolled oats, several different types of flour, almond butter, eggs, and mannnnnny other things. 🙂 Check out the Shop page for a complete list!
3. Swap Ingredients In The Non-Healthy Recipe
This is, of course, the most essential part of creating your own healthy recipes! Your goal and the healthy ingredients you have on hand will determine the outcome, but it’s important to know what ingredients to swap out! I’ve learned the hard way that there’s wisdom in knowing which ingredients to swap out. I’ll talk about that more in the section below, but know that there’s also wisdom in how many ingredients you choose to swap out, too! In creating a healthy recipe, analyze which ingredients of the original recipe truly need to go and hinder your healthy eating goals. Next, think about what ingredients you can replace those bad ingredients with, and how they will affect the recipe. Will they make it dry? Too moist?
Lastly, determine how much of the healthy ingredients you should use to replace the bad ingredients. Some ingredients are simple 1:1 ratios, while others may require a little more experimentation. For example, if a recipe calls for 1/2 stick of butter and I want to replace it with apple sauce, I might consider using a 1/2 cup of apple sauce. However, I would slowly add it in and watch what it does to the texture before pouring in the entire amount. Been there, failed that!
4. Know Your Ingredients
This is a tough one, and mostly comes with experience. However, considering I’ve learned from MANY epic recipes fails (and also the successes that have made their way on to Jar Of Lemons), I’ve compiled a list of my favorite ingredient swaps and what their role is in a recipe! And to make it a tad easier, here’s a printable list for you to keep on your refrigerator when in doubt!
If you’re new to creating your own healthy recipes, be sure to start small and easy! Start by just replacing a couple of ingredients in a recipe (like swapping coconut sugar for regular, or whole wheat flour for all-purpose), then work your way into swapping more and more.
Before you know it, you will have created an entire new recipe!
Ok friends, go forth and healthify the world! I believe in you!!! And if you have any questions in the process, shoot me a message over on my contact page. I love hearing from you guys and helping you out!
P.S: Not feeling this whole make up your own recipe thing? How about these tried and true Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes instead! 😉