How to Make Clever Food Swaps

2017BETTINALike most of the people I know, I started this year with a long list of New Year’s resolutions. Drink less booze; eat more healthily; exercise more; save money. Oh, and I also promised to drink more water and always to take my make-up off before I go to bed.

It’s pretty pathetic, but the one thing I managed to stick to is eating more veggies and staying clear of gluten, with which I know I have a big issue. Whether you are going plant based or have a newly discovered allergen, finding and sussing out food swaps can be hard work to begin with. With so many products out there right now and so much choice it’s a food jungle!

I am going to talk you through some great swaps that you can do with the usual suspects and supply you with a couple of recipes to try. Let’s go!

Clever swaps

Milk - Nut milks (almond, cashew, walnut hemp) or soy, coconut, rice and oat milk to name a few.

Butter - Olive oil, coconut butter.

Eggs - chia & flax (works as a great egg replacement) mashed bananas, sweet potato puree, apple puree.

Cream - lots of options: coconut, soy or vegetable cream.

Ice cream - frozen blended bananas (add other fruits for flavour).

Scrambled eggs - tofu scramble.

Chicken or beef – tempeh.

Yeast - use bicarbonate of soda instead.

Gluten-free flour options - buckwheat, rice, teff, corn, tapioca, potato flour.

egg whites - aqua faba, chickpea water that you whip (it works, trust me).

Mince - lentils, walnuts, black beans.

Yogurt - coconut yogurt, almond yogurt, oat yogurt.

To make it easier here are some of my favourite recipes:

Homemade Coconut Yogurt


2 Cups (120 grams) fresh coconut meat.

½ Cup (60 grams) cashews, soaked.

1 capsule probiotics.

Water to blend, if needed.


Blend coconut meat, cashews and water until smooth. Add probiotic and blend until just combined. Place in a bowl (covered by a muslin cloth), in a dehydrator at 105° Fahrenheit, for eight to 10 hours or, if you don't have a dehydrator, keep in a warm place for eight to 10 hours or overnight.

The yogurt needs to be in a warm place, but with a good airflow. Once fermented, stir well. The yogurt will develop a crust, which is still edible. You can scrape it off if you choose, but it does stir in well. When your yogurt is ready, you can flavour it with anything you want. I love using maple syrup and vanilla! Add and stir in.

Almond Milk


1 part pre-soaked almonds. 

2 parts water (I like my almond milk milky, you can use more water if you like).

1 tsp. of agave.

1 pinch of salt (Himalayan).

1 tsp. of coconut oil.

Half a vanilla pod (the leftover stalk I put in a jar of porridge oats or anything else that might benefit from the delicious smell).


Blend nuts and water in a blender until you start getting a milky texture. Use a sieve to separate the pulp from the milk. Put the milk back in the blender and add agave, salt, vanilla and coconut oil and give it another whizz.

I like using a glass jar or bottle to store the milk, as it’s better than plastic and keeps for longer in the fridge.

What do you do with the pulp? I dehydrate mine to make almond flour, use in a cake or make little chocolate balls covered in sesame seeds!

You can make so many different milks, so don’t limit yourself to almonds.

There is hazelnut, sunflower and Brazil nut to name just a few of my favourites.

Great shops in Marbella to get alternative products

  1. Health shop in Montehalcones
  2. Miadel - Swedish supermarket with many vegan/veggie options
  3. Skandi - Another Swedish shop at the La Campana roundabout.
  4. Leo´s La Campana - Great for bulk shopping nuts, seeds, flours and lots of gluten free options.
  5. Small health shop near the Passion Café – A small shop with a substantial selection.
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