Ingredients and Substitutions

For those of you not well-acquainted with the NAG diet and the various alternative ingredients used in these recipes, here’s a list of rough equivalents and substitutions you can use if you don’t have, or don’t want to include, some the ingredients. 

NOTE:  If you come across an ingredient on this blog and would like more information about it or how to substitute for it, please feel free to leave a comment here or email me directly at dietdessertdogs AT gmail DOT com. Thanks!

I’ve arrived at most of these through my own trial and error, so the exact measures may be slightly different for you. These substitutions will, however, allow you to arrive at a fine approximation of each recipe.

Binders and Egg Substitutes:

For one egg, you may substitute with any of the following:

  • 2 tsp (10 ml) ground chia seeds plus 3 Tbsp (45 ml) water
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) ground flax seeds plus 3 Tbsp (45 ml) water
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) silken tofu
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) potato starch mixed with 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) cornstarch plus 2 Tbsp (30 ml) water (I’ve never tried this one, but have been told it works much like Ener-G egg replacer)
  • Fruit purées:  some people use about 1/4-1/3 cup fruit purée per egg (think: banana, applesauce, prune purée, etc.).


I mostly use spelt flour, which is an ancient relative of wheat with less gluten (but NOT gluten-free).  As a result, baked goods made with spelt will be a bit denser and heavier than baked goods made with standard all-purpose flour.  You can compensate by adding more leavening or, if you use eggs, an extra egg.  I’m not including gluten-free flour in this list yet, as I haven’t had enough experience using it at this point to feel confident writing about it (but I’m still practicing. . . I’ll update as soon as I’ve got it down!).

[Update, 2011: Now that I’ve been exclusively gluten-free for over 2 years, I’ve finally created my own gluten-free flour mix.  You can find the recipe here.]

1 cup light spelt flour roughly equals:  

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. whole spelt flour

1-1/4 cups barley flour

1-1/2 cups whole oat flour

7/8 cup all-purpose (wheat) flour

2/3 cup kamut flour plus 1/2 cup oat flour


For each 1 cup soymilk, you can substitute:

1 cup almond, hemp, oat, or dairy milk

7/8 cup rice milk

In some cases, apple juice (or even water) can be substituted if 1 tsp. cornstarch is added to the liquid


As of 2009, I generally use either extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil in my baking. However, many of my earlier recipes use a light oil like sunflower.   For recipes in which a solid fat is necessary, I always use coconut oil.

For each 1/2 cup coconut oil, you can substitute 1/3 cup liquid oil, such as sunflower or olive.