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A Guide to Paleo Food Substitutions

With our fantastic range of paleo-friendly products, these days you don’t have to live like a hunter-gatherer from the Paleolithic era to experience the benefits of this diet. Also known as the ‘caveman diet’, it’s naturally almost entirely gluten-free, making it perfect for those who are gluten intolerant.

Featuring lean meat and fish as well as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, the paleo diet excludes the foods that have become popular since farming began to develop around 10,000 years ago, so processed products such as bread, pasta, refined sugar and dairy are all off-limits. 

Dairy Substitutes

A huge variety of dairy-free milk and yoghurt alternatives means following the paleo diet doesn’t cue abandoning your favourite hot drinks or breakfast, though. Choose from oat, soya or a nut milk, such as almond, for a delicious paleo diet milk substitute. 

Or for something extra creamy, try coconut milk or yoghurt. Coconut milk is delicious in a DIY chai latte dusted with ground cinnamon and makes the perfect winter pick-me-up with a fiery dash of ginger.

Pasta Substitutes

When planning what to eat for lunch or dinner, picking a lean piece of protein and centring the meal around that can be a great way to start. For paleo meals that keep you on track, pair with vegetable noodles such as ‘courgetti’ or sweet potato fries.

For a delicious dish, try this quick one-pot salmon recipe and use ‘courgetti’ instead of noodles. To make courgetti, use a vegetable spiraliser or peeler to create delicate ribbons of courgette and lightly stir-fry. With subtle umami notes, the teriyaki marinade in this dish is ideal for satisfying cravings for salty and sweet food, just make sure to marinade the salmon beforehand for depth of flavour. Taking less than 20 minutes to prepare, it’s a quick and easy meal that’s also full of flavour. 

For the pasta devotees, this raw courgette spaghetti (‘courgetti’) with lemon, pea, mint and pea shoots is a delightfully zesty dish. Just swap the feta cheese in this recipe for Italian-style thin slices of boiled potato. It would make the perfect light lunch or a satisfying dinner when paired with a lean protein such as a grilled chicken breast or grass-fed beef.

Potato Substitutes

For a paleo twist on the classic sausage and mash, try this recipe with bacon and mushrooms with a wholegrain mustard mash using sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes and tapioca flour rather than cornflour in the gravy. The heat of the mustard balances the subtle sweetness of the potatoes for a decadent dish that makes a wonderful weekend treat.

Or pair the perfect steak with sweet potato fries lightly dusted with smoked paprika and a side of sautéed spinach for a meal choice that’s paleo approved. These baked eggs also make a fantastic rich and satisfying dinner, just use a dash of raw honey instead of sugar and replace the sourdough with slices of crispy roast squash for dunking. 

Rice Substitute

As rice is a grain, it is not considered to be paleo-friendly but cauliflower rice can make a great alternative. Blitz cauliflower florets in the food processor until it resembles small grains of rice and then toast in a frying pan until lightly browned for a ‘cauli’ rice that has the nuttiness of brown rice, or microwave for a result similar to basmati or white rice. It’s delicious paired with a chicken curry or for a quick homemade egg fried rice.

Snack Substitutes

As refined sugar is not acceptable on the paleo diet, using a limited amount of pure maple syrup or raw honey can make a great alternative sweetener. Try making paleo brownies using almond flour with coconut oil and maple syrup instead of butter and sugar to create the ultimate fudgey treat the whole family will love. Medjool dates stuffed with nut butters are also a great choice for a sweet snack.

To help stay on track, paleo-friendly snacks such as slices of apple with almond butter, a handful of nuts, fruit with yoghurt, or simply a boiled egg all make fantastic filling options to keep cravings under control in between meals.

Head over to our site and try some of our favourites…

Whether you want to know what beans are paleo-friendly, we’ve got a whole range of delicious recipes and products to add to your meal plan. Head to the paleo aisle for an enticing selection of products or browse our recipe section here for inspiring meals for every occasion.

Before dramatically changing your diet, it’s always worth speaking to a healthcare professional such as your local GP or a Dietitian.

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