Starch Substitutes

You're welcome to print out the following recipes and suggestions that will help you to substitute for many of the foods and ingredients you're familiar with or that your recipes will call for. Or you can send us your Favorite Recipes and we'll modify them to work with the UnDiet.


Breading for a Starch Meal
Try not to fry, instead brush a cookie sheet with olive, canola, or sunflower oil and "oven fry". It's important to use a flat sheet or cookie sheet, otherwise your food will bake, not "fry".

Baked Goods

These substitutions don't work well for cookies, but are great for cookie bars, cakes and other baked goods. Since I don't eat eggs very often I keep a couple cartons of frozen egg white in the freezer and use them when baking.

Crusts for a dessert

Crusts for an entree


Use the chart below to choose a potato that's lower in starch as a recipe substitute. Keep in mind though that a potato's starch content determines the best way to use it. The rule of thumb: the more starch a potato has, the less moisture it contains, which results in a fluffier texture when cooked. Note: new potatoes (which are often red potatoes) can be any type of potato that's been picked before it matures. They have the same starch content of the mature potato.

I buy mostly low starch potatoes and use them in place of the more traditional Russet or Baking potatoes. They cost a little more, but what would you pay to lose a pound?

High Starch

Medium Starch

Low Starch


Long Whites

Round Whites


Yukon Gold



Finnish Butter

Purple Peruvian


Round Reds


Diced or chopped: For the most part, as long as your serving this recipe with a Starch meal, (not a Protein meal) it's okay to leave the potatoes in. However if you've had a lot of potato in your diet lately you may want to use one of the following substitutes:

Pureed: Use cauliflower instead of potatoes.

Mashed Potato Crust or Topping


Here are some breads you can purchase:

  1. Ezekiel bread (made with sprouted grains
  2. whole wheat pita bread
  3. whole wheat tortillas (Since fat free whole wheat tortillas are difficult to find and generally taste horrible, I've included a very simple recipe.)
  4. Whole wheat lavosh. These are fat free and taste great. Many supermarkets carry them, and almost every health food store I've shopped at. Very cheap, very big, excellent for wraps. I use these in place of tortillas all the time.


Basic Recipes

Fat Free Whole Wheat Tortillas

You won't miss the fat in this recipe, and they're so easy to make. A really fun family project. You mix up the dough, and divide it. Then let one family member roll out the tortillas, another cook them, another fill them, another roll them, another stack them in a baking pan to keep in a warm oven. Because making tortillas will coats my kitchen with a flour residue I always make as many as I can at a time and freeze or refrigerate the leftovers.

Mix the flour with enough water to form a stiff, but workable dough. Cover dough and let rest for at least 30 minutes or refrigerate and proceed the next day. Cut dough into equal sized pieces, depending on how large you want your tortillas. On a floured work surface with a floured rolling pin, roll each dough ball into a thin tortilla. Heat griddle or heavy pan. Place first tortilla in pan and let it cook while you roll out the next tortilla. When the tortilla bubbles on the top and has small brown dots on the underside, turn it over. It will cook very quickly on the second side. Continue cooking and rolling until all of your dough is used.

Fat-Free Whole Wheat Bread

Stir 2 packages yeast into 2 cups warm (not hot) water and 1 cup low-fat or non-fat rice or nut milk. Allow 3-4 minutes for yeast to dissolve, then add 1 tablespoon salt, 1/4 cup date or maple sugar and 4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, and any of the optional ingredients below. Knead for 2 minutes, adding a bit more flour to keep the dough from being too sticky. If using a food processor mix ingredients in processor, knead for 10 seconds. Let rest for 10 minutes. Add another cup of flour, kneading the dough for 10 minutes, adding more flour if necessary to keep dough from being too sticky. Using food processor mix for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until dough is elastic. At this point you can either continue to make the bread or freeze all or half of it. If you're using frozen dough, let it thaw in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight, then proceed. Oil the bowl, place a towel or plate over it and set to rise in a warm place for 2 hours. Or you can set the oven to warm, turn off, and place dough bowl in oven, uncovered. Punch down the dough. You now may add anything from the list below. Divide the dough in half and place in nonstick or lightly oiled loaf pan. Cover with towel or oiled saran wrap and let rise 1 hour. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes until browned and sounds slightly hollow when you thump the bottom of the loaf. Let it cool on a rack or towel before slicing.

You may add at least 1 cup and up to 2 cups of any of the wonderful ingredients below:

I prefer to bake all my breads in shaped bread tins (order tins). They come in several different shapes and while that's fun, it's really the texture of the loaf that I'm after. Because these pans have a cap on both ends, the bread turns out very compact and can be thinly sliced, which makes for wonderful sandwiches and "holders" for bruschetta and other spreads. If you have kids you may find you have more luck getting them to eat whole wheat bread if you serve it to them in these fun shapes. As an alternative (to the kids turning up their noses dilemma) you can make their sandwiches and then use cookie cutters to cut them into shapes. Depending on the sandwich filling I save the discards in a plastic bag in the freezer and use them later to make bread pudding or strada.

When using shaped bread tins don't allow the bread to rise beyond what it normally would while defrosting. If using bread dough straight from the bowl, let it rise 30 to 60 minutes, punch down, shape into a thick snake and slip into lightly greased bread tins.


Vegetable "Pasta"

Sometimes it's handy to have a substitute for whole grain pasta, such as when you are wanting to get more veggies into your diet. This is actually a "Neutral" recipe, suitable for either a Starch or Protein sauce.

Using a vegetable peeler or the slicing side of a grater make long, thin strips of any of the following:

Don't risk scraping your knuckles by worrying about getting the very last bit of each vegetable. I save the "bits" and use them in other dishes, eat them right then, or freeze them and use to make a vegetable broth.

If you've used the slicer section of the grater to make your veggie strips you'll need to stack the slices and cut them into 1/4 - 1/2 inch wide strips. Lightly steam or dry saute the veggie strips until "al dente". Top with butter and a sprinkling of soy Parmesan cheese, shredded soy or nut cheese, or any of your favorite pasta sauces.

Soy Mayo

Puree in blender 1/2 a package soft tofu, juice from 1/2 a small lemon or lime, sea salt & pepper to taste. When tofu is smooth, you may have to stop and scrape down the sides once or twice, with the blender still running drizzle in 1/4-1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil until mayo is desired thickness. Also taste the mayo - if it tastes a bit floury add more oil.

If you don't like the strong taste of extra-virgin olive oil you could use canola oil or nut or seed oil instead. Be aware that olive oil and canola oil are the most hearth healthy, but an occasional foray into nut and seed oil won't be harmful and you may relish the change every now and then.

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last revised January 20, 2001
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