Why we're going coco-nuts for these healthy food substitutes!

Why we’re going coco-nuts for these healthy food substitutes!

Everyone who comes to Northern Bootcamp is blown away by the variety and quality of food we serve – and we are often asked how we can make food that is so healthy yet tastes so good.

One are of our cooking that we do pay a lot of attention to is the simple food substitutes we can make. Wherever possible, we use ingredients that reduce sugars (and other simple carbs) and wheat without sacrificing taste. (Some fat is a good thing – see our note on milk and coconut oil, below).

Here are some of the top substitutes we use in the Bootcamp Kitchen that can make a definite improvement to the healthiness of your food, from the points of view of both reduced carbs and increased nutrition.


Coconut oil

This isn’t on the list because it’s low on fat, but because it carries a whole host of other health benefits. We love a bit of coconut oil, and we tend to sub it in whenever food needs to be sautéed. In our eyes, coconut oil beats most other cooking fats (olive oil, sunflower oil, rapeseed oil, lard, etc) hands down. Try it!

No wheat!


You won’t find any wheat at Northern Bootcamp – but this isn’t as hard to cut out as you might expect.

We also love Courgette Spaghetti – or Courgetti! – as a substitute for pasta. Courgetti allows you to get extra vegetables and nutrients into your diet, without any of the unwanted bloating side-effects of pasta. You can buy it ready-made, but pound-for-pound that’s usually twice as expensive as a normal courgette. So we use a Spiralizer: one good-sized courgette makes enough for two people. It tastes great, is really filling and leaves you feeling far less bloated and sluggish than pasta does.

Furthermore, you won’t find ‘normal’ bread on our camps anywhere. Bread is bad! We do, however, use Rye bread as a perfect substitute. It tastes great and has none of the

Coconut milk

We like using coconut milk as a lactose (dairy) free alternative to normal milk. Coconuts are highly nutritious and rich in fibre, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Unlike cow’s milk, coconut milk is lactose free so can be used as a milk substitute by those with lactose intolerance. It is a popular choice with vegans and makes a great base for smoothies, milkshakes or as a dairy alternative in baking.




Use fat-free Greek yoghurt instead of fattier cream/mayonnaise. It can be substituted in directly in most cases – just remember it doesn’t need to be cooked, so just add it to your recipes at the very of the cooking process, and heat it through very gently on a low heat.

Or, use it instead of sugary desserts – a handful of fresh or dried fruit and nuts, with yogurt, is a fantastic treat.

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