Starchy swaps that could boost your health

-Oct 4, Caroline Blight , Nutrition -

We take a look at the simple food swaps you can make that will increase your vegetable intake while keeping all the flavour of your favourite dishes. 

You might be busy drinking green juices and watching your refined sugar intake, but have you ever thought about starch? We take a look at the simple food swaps you can make that will increase your vegetable intake while keeping all the flavour of your favourite dishes. 


If you are finding it hard to get your five-a-day in – let alone the now recommended ten-a-day, then it could swapping up your starches is the way to go. By subbing in some veg which looks or ‘behaves’ like a starch you will visually get the meal you like but also easily increase your vegetable content. If making these changes is too drastic in one go, try combining with your carb – for example half regular lasagne sheets, half sweet potato sheets. Over time you may find you favour the vegetable version and move more towards that anyway.


Swap noodles for butternut squash noodles


As well as saving at least 170cals per serving butternut squash noodles will boost your levels of vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, and manganese. One portion also has more potassium than a banana.


Make sweet potato, carrot and parsnip your new chips


Oven baking a mix of carrot, parsnip and sweet potato chips is a great way of giving you the feeling of having fries while delivering all the benefits of eating three vegetables at the same time – which has to be a good thing! They are so tasty you are less likely to need to add salt and sugar packed sauces to them too. This is a fab way of getting fussy kids to eat their veggies as well.


Substitute sweet potato slices for lasagne


The pasta sheet in a lasagne is there to divide the layers so you don’t want a substitute which will fall apart too easily or leak the layers together. This is where thin slices of sweet potato come into their own as they hold their shape so well while cooking.

Swap potato crisps for kale crisps


It’s often the crunch and the salt of crisps which we crave when we reach for a bag of crisps. But kale chips can rival a potato chip any day when it comes to taste. Use soy sauce or sea salt to add extra flavour although you may find the kale is tangy enough as it is. Even if you aren’t a fan of kale you may like a kale chip as the tougher texture disappears when the kale is baked. One cup of kale contains 206% of your vitamin A needs, 134% of your daily vitamin C and a whopping 600% daily vitamin K requirements! While there are virtually no health benefits to a bag of crisps.

Switch taco shells for lettuce cups


This is a fab swap for anyone on a keto or low carb diet as it allows you to have the meaty and creamy fillings without the carby outside. Make sure you chose your lettuce wisely for a similar crunch and size. Whole little gem leaves work brilliantly and are also fab as alternate bread slices if filled with prawn or chicken mayo.


Ditch mashed potato for mashed root veg


This is such a simple swap as you don’t need to alter you cooking time or prep method. Instead of peeling and mashing white potatoes go for a mix of seasonal root veg. Include several to really up your vitamin and mineral mix – carrot, swede and turnip are all plentiful in the autumn and winter and deliver a fabulous taste hit as well as giving you the same mouth and visual appeal as mash.


If you enjoyed this, try our delightful avocado chocolate mousse recipe which works fantastically if you crave something sweet mid-afternoon. And, these no bake energy balls are known as ‘vegan candy’ – kids love them as much as adults do. 

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