Saturday, February 23, 2008

Healthy Cooking Substitutions

Here are some easy substitutions you can make when cooking to make your favorite dishes and desserts healthier...

Instead of 1 large egg... use two egg whites, or 1/4 cup of egg substitute
-if you are baking, only substitute 1/2 of the eggs called for. For example; if a recipe calls for two large eggs. Use 1 large egg, and 2 egg whites. In doing this the consistency of the recipe shouldn't be affected. Using egg whites will reduce the fat and cholesterol in the recipe.

Instead of oil... use applesauce, mashed bananas, pureed plums or prunes, pumpkin, or non-fat plain yogurt.
-This will only work with sweet recipes, and you want to be careful which recipes you use them in. Plums or prunes would work well in a chocolate cake or brownies, but would obviously discolor a yellow cake. By replacing the oil you decrease the fat quite a bit.

Instead of cream...use skim milk, or fat free sour cream.

Instead of white flour...use whole wheat flour.
-Reduce the amount of white flour used by half and use wheat flour instead. For example; If a recipe calls for 4 cups of flour use 2 cups white flour & 2 cups wheat flour.

Instead of regular canned soups...use the "Healthy Choice" or low fat versions.
-Most of the time soups are used in dishes (such as cream of chicken or cream of mushroom, etc.) they are just the base of the recipe. So, using the lower fat versions reduces the amount of fat/calories in the recipe and doesn't affect the taste.

Instead of regular cheese...use a reduced fat cheese or a smaller portion of a stronger tasting cheese.
- some of the reduced fat cheeses might not taste as good, but if you get a stronger tasting cheese you can have a lot more flavor for a smaller amount, therefore reducing the calories and fat.

Instead of butter, margarine, or shortening...use applesauce.
- you can trade the amounts out straight across (1 cup of applesauce for 1 cup of butter). If you
are concerned about trading all of it out do 1/2 butter 1/2 applesauce.

Instead of white rice...brown rice.

Instead of Ricotta cheese...low fat or fat free cottage cheese.
-this is a great substitute in dishes such as Manicotti. You'll never know the difference!

Instead of Ice Cream...Sorbet or frozen yogurt.
- I LOVE frozen yogurt, so I'm definitely partial here but you are saving yourself a lot of fat and calories. A 1/2 cup of ice cream has about 8 grams of fat and 150 calories vs. a 1/2 cup of frozen yogurt which has no fat and usually about 90 calories. I also really like the Dryer's Grand Light ice cream, which cuts out 1/2 the fat and 1/3 of the calories, and still tastes delicious!!