SRI LANKA -- Think you need to ditch that favorite recipe of yours -- the one with the eggs and butter -- now that you're trying to eat healthier? Well, don't throw away that recipe just yet. Try adding these healthy foods as replacement ingredients and turn your favorite recipe into a healthy recipe without losing the flavor you love.
The truth is that most recipes can stand an overhaul; either by substituting, reducing, or eliminating certain ingredients without affecting the quality of the finished product.
Using healthy substitutions reduces the fat and sodium in your recipe while increasing the nutritional content.
For example, using reduced fat or fat-free milk in place of whole milk in a recipe can save 63 calories and close to eight grams of fat per cup.
That may not seem like much, but if we look at the big picture, adding those saved calories and fat grams from many recipes, we can see the larger impact.
When baking, you can make your recipe healthier by replacing the fat source. Whether you use butter, shortening or oil, reduce the amount by half and replace the other half with unsweetened applesauce, mashed banana or prune puree. There are even fruit- based fat replacers which can be found in the baking aisle of your grocery store.
Also, using a healthier oil in salad dressings or to saute food, such as extra virgin olive oil, can add up over a period of time. Adding spices and flavorings such as cloves, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, vanilla extract or almond flavoring enhances the sweetness of the food, allowing you to reduce the sugar content of your recipe by one-third to one-half. This will typically work in cookies and pie fillings, but beware when making cakes or cupcakes, as altering dry ingredients can mean disaster.You can usually reduce or eliminate the sodium in your main dishes, salads, soups, and baked goods that don't require yeast. Again, herbs and spices can amp up flavor, meaning you won't even miss the salt. However, do not reduce the amount of salt for foods that require yeast, the salt is necessary for leavening. You can also reduce the fat, sugar and sodium in your recipes by reducing ingredients which contain them. For example, if your recipe calls for soy sauce, use less than is required to reduce your sodium intake, or use a reduced-sodium version. You may also choose to eliminate an ingredient altogether. Some examples include butter, mayonnaise, syrup, jelly, mustard, pickles, and olives which can have large amounts of fat, calories, sugar and sodium. Other items, that are added for food appearance such as frosting, nuts or coconut are high in fat and calories.
Consider sifting powdered sugar on top of cake rather than spreading on an inch of frosting. Utilize sugar-free jam and/or fresh fruit as a cake filling, and thin dark chocolate shavings and fresh fruit are a much healthier decorative option than sugared coconut. Making a few small changes in our recipes can make for a healthier diet and a healthier YOU. A healthy diet, combined with weight control and exercise can prevent, control, or reverse many diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even diabetes. Make a positive change in your life today.You might also want to read...Heart-Healthy MealsThe Secrets to Healthy PizzaMediterranean Diet: A Healthy Eating Approach