Are you always on the lookout for ways to eat healthier? One relatively easy way is to modify your recipes and food preparation methods. Many recipes call for more fat, sugar and salt than what are needed for good flavor and quality. And depending on the recipe, you may be able to add or replace ingredients to boost fiber content.
The first step to healthier eating is to identify your dietary goal. To cut calories, fat, sugar or sodium, or to increase fiber, identify the ingredients that supply these components. Keep in mind that not all recipes need modification. Take into consideration how often the food is eaten and how much of the food is eaten. For example, it is more important to reduce the fat in a main dish served weekly rather than reduce the fat in a birthday cake enjoyed once per year.
The second step is to change the ingredients to achieve your dietary goal. Ingredients can be eliminated completely, reduced in amount or replaced with a more nutritious ingredient.
Below are a few suggestions to help make your recipes more nutritious.
Ideas for switching ingredients:
|1 cup cream||1 cup evaporated fat-free milk|
|1 cup butter, margarine or oil||1/2 cup applesauce|
|1 egg||2 egg whites or 1/4 cup egg substitute|
|Pastry dough||Graham cracker crumb crust|
|Butter, margarine, or vegetable oil for sautéing||Cooking spray, chicken broth, or a small amount of olive oil|
|Bacon||Lean turkey bacon|
|Ground beef||Extra lean ground beef or ground turkey breast|
|Sour cream||Fat-free sour cream|
|1 cup chocolate chips||1/4 - 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips|
|1 cup sugar||3/4 cup sugar (this works with most everything except yeast breads)|
|1 cup mayonnaise||1 cup reduced-fat or fat-free mayonnaise|
|1 cup whole milk||1 cup fat-free milk|
|1 cup cream cheese||1/2 cup ricotta cheese pureed with 1/2 cup fat-free cream cheese|
|Oil and vinegar dressing with 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar||1 part olive oil + 1 part vinegar (preferably a flavored vinegar such as balsamic) + 1 part orange juice|
|Unsweetened baking chocolate (1 ounce)||3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or margarine|
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