Paleo Food Swaps

17 Budget-Friendly and Simple Swap Outs – Blog Post

Hi, Mama! I love making our traditional comfort foods into healthy Paleo dishes. With these 17 Paleo Food Swaps making any recipe into a healthy one can be budget-friendly and simple for any household.

As we all know, making our favorite meals can be hard when it comes to swapping out the traditional ingredients for Paleo compliant ones.

Eating Paleo is simple with these budget-friendly Paleo Food Swaps.

Make cooking just as easy by transforming any meal into an enjoyable one the whole family will love.

Paleo Food Swaps

17 Budget-Friendly and Simple Swap Outs

1. Milk

We use full fat coconut milk to substitute dairy milk. Full disclosure: our oldest son has a tree nut allergy (Yes, he’s that ‘kid’) so nut milk’s (Almond, Cashew, Hazelnut) are out of the question in our household.

Either coconut or nut milk can be used when it comes to substituting dairy milk in a recipe. Taste may differ depending on which milk substitute you use.

When swapping out your dairy milk for coconut or nut milk, you can generally use 1:1 ratio for most recipes.

2. Refined Sugar

Refined sugar is defined as any sugar product that has gone through a process to enhance or refine the raw sugars obtained from sugarcane and other foods.

Join the Sugar-Free Movement here.

It is best to eliminate any and all refined sugar from your diet and swap it out for healthy all natural sweeteners, such as raw honey and pure maple syrup.

Natural sugars are full of vitamins and minerals but should still be limited on any diet. Honey and maple syrup are a lot sweeter than refined sugar, so when using them as a substitute, you’ll generally need less than the amount of refined sugar required.

  • 3/4 cup honey provides the same sweetening as 1 cup refined sugar.
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup provides the same sweetening as 1 cup refined sugar

3. Peanut Butter

Shocker! Believe it or not, there was a time when I thought peanuts were part of the nut family. It wasn’t until I started transitioning into the Paleo lifestyle and doing my research that I then realized peanuts were, in fact, a legume.

My favorite peanut butter substitute is almond butter. It’s creamy, nutty, and delicious.

Since my oldest is allergic to tree nuts, I will substitute peanut butter with sunflower butter on sandwiches or recipes he will be eating. Otherwise, you can find me eating almond butter by the spoonfuls after the kids are in bed.

4. Flour

Believe it or not, there are tons of Paleo flours out there, you have to find the one that works best for you and your family! You can still enjoy your baked goods with any one of the Paleo compliant flours listed below.

We tend to use coconut flour for almost all of our recipes! Coconut flour is very absorbent and can turn any recipe from a delicious dish into a dense disaster. When using coconut flour as a substitute, I generally use the ratio: 1 cup = 1/4 cup.

I always suggest having fun and playing around with different flours. Each one has a unique taste and texture.

5. Bread

There are plenty of options when it comes to enjoying your favorite sandwich without the bread. Roll your sandwich contents in large pieces of meat, wrap it in lettuce, eat it on top of a salad, make cucumber sandwiches, indulge in homemade (Paleo) bread, or purchase Paleo prebaked goods at your local health food store and/or bakery.

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6. Buns

When it comes to buns you can get pretty creative by swapping out those grain filled things with Paleo compliant alternatives. Try using large portabella mushroom caps, lettuce, sweet potato toast, make homemade (Paleo) buns, or use no bun at all! What is the craziest thing you used as a bun?!

7. Oil

You’ll want to avoid all vegetable and seed oils (canola, sunflower, safflower, soy, corn, and cottenseed) at all costs. These oils are overly processed and contribute to heart disease, diabetes, and inflammation.

Instead, substitute these with an all natural saturated fat oil like coconut oil. When substituting with coconut oil, it’s a 1:1 ratio.

PurchaseKirkland Unrefined Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

8. Pasta

I never was much of a pasta eater, but by using my favorite vegetables as a substitute, I’ve found myself eating more ‘pasta’ like dishes. I recently bought my first spiralizer, and I am addicted to spiralizing everything.

Some of my favorite vegetables to use as pasta substitutes are zucchini, yellow squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots!

9. Rice

Life without rice for some may seem like a death sentence, so the best rice substitute I’ve found is finely coarse cauliflower using a food processor.

You can also purchase finely coarse cauliflower in the frozen section of your supermarket.

10. Mashed Potatoes

Potatoes are a grey area for some individuals on the Paleo diet, but if you are following strict Paleo guidelines, potatoes are a no-no.

Surprisingly, I grew up on instant boxed mashed potatoes, and I’m still alive to tell you about it. I will however never eat boxed anything ever again. Some of my favorite vegetables to mash are parsnips, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, and cauliflower.

11. Soy Sauce

The only soy sauce substitute for us stir fry lovers is coconut aminos. I was a bit hesitant at first, but after swapping out the soy for coconut aminos the first time, I was hooked.

Get hooked on these Coconut Amino Brands:

12. French Fries

America’s favorite side dish. Switch out those traditionally fried potatoes with sweet and delicious carrot or sweet potato fries (recipes below).

13. Condiments

Condiments are loaded with corn syrup, sugars, chemicals, and unmentionables. It is best to always look at labels and ingredients when purchasing these types of products or you can easily make your own!

Try making Homemade Mayo. If time is short and tummies are rumbling try Primal Kitchen products!

14. Potato Chips

You will never eat another processed, trans fat drenched, super salty chip again after making homemade Paleo chips or purchasing one of the many Paleo-friendly products in the chip aisle at your local health foods store.

I’ve made homemade chips out of sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, parsnips, beets, and zucchinis.

15. Cold Cereal

You will not find Fruit Loops in a Paleo form, but you can find a handful of delicious cold cereal substitutes for those busy mornings or a quick pick me up afternoon snack.

Check out my TOP SIX Paleo-Friendly Cold Cereals. These cereals can also be used as grain-free granola; top on yogurt, ice cream, sweet potato, or eat by the handful!

16. Corn Starch

Thicken up your soups and sauces with arrowroot powder instead. Also known as Arrowroot Flour or Arrowroot Starch.

Arrowroot can be used just like cornstarch 1:1 ratio. Simply mix arrowroot with a little bit of cold water before adding it to your sauce or soup.

17. Butter

Just like potatoes, butter falls into the grey area for some individuals. Some can handle a little dairy whereas others may not.

For those individuals looking for a butter replacement, the best substitute is ghee. When baking or cooking with ghee, you can generally follow the 1:1 ratio.

Happy Swapping!

Taste, measurements, and portions will be different based on recipe and ingredient used.

Are you looking for a Primal Health Coach to help you transition and maintain the Paleo lifestyle? Schedule your first session with me free.

-Angela