Food & Nutrition

Surprising ingredient swaps to make your favorite recipes healthier

We’re putting beans in chocolate cake and drinking cauliflower rice—and, yes, they taste amazing!

Imagine making a rich chocolate cake with that sought-after fudgy texture without using a ton of butter. Or how about a super-creamy mac and cheese with less cheddar? Thanks to these recipes that use unexpected, healthy ingredients, you can enjoy the foods you love whenever the mood strikes.

It might sound crazy, but we're using pantry goods like black beans and freezer staples like cauliflower rice to add creaminess and texture to desserts, pasta, soups, and more, all while cutting down on fat and making these crowd-favorite dishes more nutritious. From chickpea cookies to aquafaba ice cream, here are our best recipes broken down by their I-can't-believe-it ingredient.

Recipes that use unexpected ingredients

Aquafaba

(The liquid that's drained from a can of chickpeas!)

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Leslie Fink, MS, RD, has worked on the WW editorial team for more than 20 years. She plays a key role in food, recipe, and program content, as well as product partnerships and experiences.