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VCU HR Well-Being blog

Giving VCU employees the wellness resources they need to be healthy both on and off campus

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We’ve all been there: The oven is heating, you’re ready to get cooking, and—womp—you realize you’re missing an ingredient. Before you throw in the (kitchen) towel or try to squeeze in yet another trip to the store, consider getting creative. While not all ingredients can be replaced, these swaps could save your next meal while also saving you SmartPoints. Win-win!

Here are 8 clever cooking swaps from the WW recipe experts:

  1. When you have no flour but want to make flapjacks…
    Some mornings just call for pancakes, but if the flour is gone, try making a batch with mashed banana and beaten eggs instead. Everyone will love these flourless pancakes
  2. When you want to bake cookies but you’re out of eggs…
    Try aquafaba. Aqua-what? It’s the liquid that’s drained from a can of chickpeas, and it can be used as an egg white replacement. Whip it like you would egg whites and then use in this meringue recipe.
  3. When you’re halfway through baking your favorite sweet treat and realize you’re low on butter or oil…
    Swap in unsweetened apple sauce for up to half the butter in baked goods. You can also replace oil for unsweetened applesauce (1:1 ratio) in cake, brownie, and cookie batters, like we did with these mini brownie cupcakes.
  4. When you’re In the mood for a sandwich but the bread box is empty…
    Make your own two-ingredient dough using self-rising flour and nonfat plain Greek yogurt. Or—if you can’t wait that long for a bite—try sweet potato toast.
  5. When you’re about to make a PB&J but realize someone finished the jelly…
    Use thinly sliced fresh fruit such as pears, strawberries, or apples on your peanut butter sandwich instead. It adds sweetness—without the SmartPoints!
  6. When you’re out of spaghetti but really want a big bowl of Italian…
    Spiralize zucchini (or carrots, butternut squash, or beets) and use it just like pasta. You won’t miss noodles in this “zoodles” with tomato and basil cream sauce recipe.
  7. When the mayo jar is empty but you’re in the middle of making a tuna sandwich…
    Reach for plain nonfat yogurt instead. You can swap in equal amounts for the mayo to make creamy chicken, egg, and tuna salad recipes. 
  8. When there’s no more tortilla chips but you need nachos and you need them now…
    This colorful bell pepper version is a tasty and Budget-friendly way to get your fix.

And that’s not all—check out 21 delicious recipes with more surprising swaps from WW! 

Join WW through your organization for more healthy ideas by visiting


[View Image] Danielle says:

If I don’t have the main ingredient, I’m pretty sure I don’t have the alternative ingredients either. But this very useful for more healthy alternatives to the common things we eat.

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