Many recipes can tolerate a healthy renovation without affecting the taste or texture. Try these techniques to make your favourite recipes healthier:
- Reduce the amount of fat, sugar and salt – this can often be done without sacrificing the flavour and the following guidelines can help:
- Fat for baked goods – use half the butter or oil and replace the other half with unsweetened applesauce, mashed banana or prune puree.
- Sugar can be reduced by up to one-half. Substitute by adding spices and flavourings such as cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, vanilla and almond extract.
- Sodium can be reduced by half in baked goods that don’t require yeast. Do not reduce the amount of salt in foods that require yeast as it is necessary for leavening. In main dishes, salads, and soups, salt can be reduced by half or even eliminating it entirely.
- Other ingredients may contain sugar, fat and sodium, and you can decrease them as well. e.g. if the recipe asks for 120g shredded cheddar cheese, use 60g instead or use less soy sauce to decrease the amount of sodium.
- Make a healthy substitution – this will not only reduce the amount of fat, calories and sodium in your recipes, but also can boost the nutritional content e.g, replace white with whole-wheat pasta to triple the fibre. Prepare a dessert with fat-free milk instead of whole milk to save 63 calories and almost 8 grams of fat per cup.
- Delete an ingredient in some recipes – some ingredients can be left out altogether. Often these are included out of habit or for appearance, such as frosting, coconut or nuts, which are high in fat and calories. Other optional condiments are pickles, olives, butter, mayonnaise, syrup, jelly and mustard which have large amounts of sodium, sugar, fat and calories.
- Change the method of preparation — try grilling, steaming, poaching and air frying which captures the flavour and nutrients of your food without adding excessive amounts of fat, oil or sodium. Try basting the meat or vegetables in wine, fruit juice, vegetable juice or fat-free vegetable broth instead instead of oil. Use non-stick pans or cooking spray to reduce the amount of fat and calories added to your meals.
- Change the portion size – No matter how much you reduce, switch or omit ingredients, some recipes may still be high in sugar, fat or salt. Smaller portions have less fat, calories and sodium and allow you to eat a wider variety of foods during a meal.
Check out the video below for some healthy swap options.