If you’re like me, you have allergies, food intolerances and/or food sensitivities. Personally, I have mild seasonal allergies and many food intolerances. Because of this, I have had to give up many foods including commercial wheat, cow’s milk (casein and lactose), refined sugar and yeast. This has been, and sometimes continues to be, very challenging and frustrating.
It is always best if you can cook and bake yourself, so you know exactly what is in your food. However, if you have children and/or work full time, that isn’t always an option.
If you can relate, I hope to alleviate some of your frustration by providing you with a list of healthy food substitutions that are free of the common problem foods mentioned above. These are products that I have tried and that I love. I hope you find something here that you love.
You can find some of these products at your local grocery store and you can find most of them at your local health food store. Although it is great to support your local health food store, I find that many of the products are more expensive. I usually stick to my local grocery stores, or I buy online from Well.ca or Amazon.ca.
The links below are from Well.ca and Amazon. Well.ca has weekly sales and you can get as much as 15-30% off (on selected items). Plus, shipping is free when you spend $35 at Well.ca and at Amazon (for most products). *Well.ca is often more expensive. However, as I mentioned, they have weekly deals (which you can receive by email if you sign up for their weekly sale newsletter) and I often find products for the best price at Well.ca for that reason.
I provided links with the best price (usually from Amazon or Well.ca, both of which I order from often). If it sells for an amazing price (in store or online), I let you know where you can find it. It is up to you to decide what is most practical and convenient for you.
*This page may contain affiliate links.
Almond Flour – I love almond flour in baked goods. It is a fantastic gluten-free alternative to wheat flour (although it cannot always be substituted one for one with regular flour). *I buy Sunblest almond flour at Costco.
Amande Cultured Almond Milk – My son loves this yogourt. I like it a lot too (although, I don’t like yogourt by itself). I love it in smoothies and baked goods. There are many kinds to choose from; we really like the vanilla flavour.
Avocado Oil – I love avocado oil! Avocado oil has many health benefits and it has a very mild taste that makes it great for baking. It can easily be replaced one for one in any recipe. *Amazing price for 1L at Costco.
BBQ Sauce – Who doesn’t love bbq sauce on their steak? Well, my husband actually. But I love it, this kind tastes great and it is made with honey…yay!
Canned Coconut Milk – This coconut milk is a fantastic substitute for heavy cream and can be used to make non-dairy whipped cream. Yum! Best of all, it is non-GMO, organic and BPA free…woohoo!
Canned tomatoes – These tomatoes are organic and BPA free…yay! They are a bit sour as they have much less sugar than regular canned tomatoes. No worries, just add a bit of natural sugar (like date sugar or maple syrup) to your recipes.
Cassava Flour – Cassava flour is another great alternative to wheat flour. It is gluten-free and you can substitute it one for one in any recipe.
Unsweetened Coconut Milk – I love this coconut milk! I use it often for cooking, baking, in my smoothies and in my coffee. It is organic and unsweetened.
Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is incredibly versatile. It can be used in cooking and baking as well as in beauty and personal care products. It is a must have in every household.
Coconut Oil & Ghee – This is a great substitute for butter. As it is made with coconut oil, it is healthier than butter and it is dairy-free. It took me a little while to get used to the taste but now I put it on everything – from baked potatoes to eggs. It is also a great alternative to butter in baking as you can retain that buttery flavour that is a great addition some recipes (this is what I use it for most).
Coconut Oil & Ghee cooking spray – I’ve recently discovered this amazing cooking spray. It is a large bottle considering you only use a few sprays each time. No nasty chemicals. I love it!
Coconut Sugar – Coconut sugar has many health benefits that refined sugar doesn’t (including fiber). It also has a glycemic index of only 35 which is much less than refined sugar (55). I use it in baking – it can be substituted one for one for brown or white sugar. However, it is nearly identical to brown sugar.
So Delicious Cultured Coconut Yogourt – This is a great dairy free alternative for yogourt. There are 2 kinds: original or vanilla. The original is a bit sour but you can add honey or maple syrup to counteract that. You can find it in the natural freezer section at your local grocery store.
Crackers – I love these crackers! They are made with seeds and brown rice (safe for a school snack as they are nut-free). They are wheat free, contain fiber and they are very tasty. I just discovered they have onion…yummy!
Date Sugar – Date sugar is such a healthy substitute for sugar. Dates are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Date sugar is wonderful in baked goods. It is a fine powder so you have to pour it very slowly or your kitchen will be full of dust. But it is well worth the patience. It tastes a little less sweet than coconut sugar.
Ghee – This is a great substitute for butter if you cannot have casein or lactose. I have tried a few different kinds and this is by far my favorite.
Goat cheese – Goat cheese is a great substitution for cheese made with cow’s milk. It is much easier to digest and it works well in recipes that call for other cheeses.
Kind bars – Traditional granola bars are loaded with sugar and additives. These are made with nuts and honey. They do contain soy lecithin, but this is considered completely safe when eaten in small amounts.
Just Fruit Jam – This jam is organic and naturally sweetened with fruit, no added sugar. Plus, it is organic. My favorite! They have other kinds to choose from.
(Sprouted) Kamut Flour – This flour is a great alternative to commercial wheat. Kamut is known as “the wheat you can eat” as it is easier to digest than durum wheat. It has a nutty flavour. It is an ancient grain and a resistant starch (with many health benefits). Sprouted wheat, such as this, has additional health benefits and also makes it easier to digest.
Kamut Pasta – This pasta is a great alternative to regular durum wheat pasta. It is easier to digest, as mentioned above.
Maple Syrup – Maple syrup is a natural, healthier alternative to refined sugar. You can even use it in baking. Although grade B is best, it is difficult to find. Maple syrup is full of antioxidants.
Non-Dairy Creamer – There are a few non-dairy creamers you can get in the natural freezer section at your local grocery store; usually there is almond, coconut or soy. I don’t care much for any of these but you may like them. I use Native Forest coconut milk (I keep it in the freezer and just scoop the cream off the top).
Pasta sauce – This pasta sauce has the lowest amount of sugar I have found in an organic pasta sauce. There are a couple of different flavours to choose from and it tastes great.
Perrier Flavoured Sparkling Water – I love this as a substitute for juice or pop. Just add some stevia (I usually add about a dozen drops to a cup or so) and enjoy this refreshing drink with zero calories!
Pop – Buy yourself some Perrier Sparkling water and add some of this flavoured stevia. You can get rootbeer flavour as well.
Raw Honey – Honey, in particular raw honey, is a healthier substitute for refined sugar. It is an antioxidant, it is anti-bacterial and it can help alleviate seasonal allergies among other benefits. It is best if you can purchase local honey (for the allergies benefit).
Robin Hood Gluten free flour – This flour is fine in muffins but it is not very good in cookies as it quite grainy. I use to combine this with cassava flour (above), as cassava flour is gluten free, paleo and it has a very smooth consistency (I use sprouted wheats now).
Salsa – This organic salsa has very little sugar. It is a bit more sour than most salsa (hence having less sugar) but it tastes great!
(Sprouted) Spelt flour – Sprouted wheats are better for you and easier to digest than commercial wheats. In addition, spelt flour (like kamut) is easier to digest as well. I love this flour and I bake with it all the time. I prefer it over kamut as it has a milder taste.
Spelt pasta – Spelt pasta is my favorite now (I mentioned the benefits above).
Stevia – I have come to love stevia. Some people think it tastes bitter but I have found that is only the case if you don’t add enough. This is my favorite brand, however, other good brands are NuNaturals stevia and Sweetleaf stevia has some good kinds as well (coca cola and root beer in particular). Don’t bother buying organic as the original kind is organic. I usually buy a much larger version as I use it daily – it lasts a long time as 9 drops is equal to a teaspoon of sugar. Stevia is a healthy alternative to refined sugar as it is safe for diabetics or those who have an aversion to yeast, it does not raise your blood sugar (at all) and it has zero calories…yep, you heard me right…zero calories! 🙂
Tortilla chips – These tortilla chips are a great alternative to your typical tortilla chip (that are made with wheat) and they taste great! This is my favorite kind.