Just because you are looking to eat healthy doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on your favorite dishes. You don’t have to miss out on mom’s favorite dessert though it contains high calories and fatty ingredients.
The key to cooking healthy is to read through recipes and substitute the ingredients required with healthier versions.
You can enjoy your favorite dishes without losing out on the flavor, texture and taste.
Here are 5 ways that you can manipulate high calorie recipes into something healthier:
1) Reduce fat, sugar and salt
This is the first and most basic thing you can to do to modify a recipe. You can replace sugar, salt and fat without losing out on the original taste.
Here are healthy substitutes:
– Fat: Use half quantities of butter, shortening or oil and replace the other half with apple sauce, mashed banana or prune puree.
– Sugar: Use honey or jiggery instead of sugar. You can also cut down sugar and enhance sugar sweetness by using spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and more…
– Salt: You can reduce quantities of salt in all dishes or completely avoid it. Low sodium salt is available in the market that is not as harmful as the regular salt available.
2) Healthy substitutions5
Substituting ingredients can make a recipe healthier and make it more nutritious too.
– Pasta:Replace the regular white and semolina varieties with whole wheat varieties.
– Milk: You can use skimmed milk in place of full fat milk that has no fat in it.
– Meat: Replace meat with more vegetables. For example if a dish calls for one cup of meat with half a cup of vegetables you can use a cup full of veggies.
3) Cut down on some ingredients
There are certain ingredients that can be omitted to scale back on the calories and ingredients that need to be eaten sparsely.
– Toppings: You sure want your dish to loos pretty but skip these toppings if you care about your own appearance and health. Skip the topping that are present only for decoration like whipped cream, sauces, frosting and more…
– Condiments: Cut condiments like pickles, sauces like mayonnaise, butter, jam and others as these contain a lot of sodium and sugar levels.
– Cheese: Cheese is healthy if used sparingly. Cut down on excessive portions.
4) Change cooking techniques
The way we cook our food also determines the health of a dish. There are healthy cooking techniques that can capture the same flavor of the dish without adding unnecessary oil, salt or any other fat.
– Cooking method: Boiling, braising, grilling, poaching, steaming and sautéing are healthy cooking methods.
– Basting liquid: Use vegetable stocks, wine or fruit juice to baste meat while cooking rather than slathering meat with high calorie fats like butter ghee and animals fats.
– Cookware: Use nonstick cookware so that you do land up using too much fat and oil while cooking. You can even use non-stick spray if you don’t have non-stick utensils.
5) Cut portions
Sometimes you can never cut down all the fat, sugar and salts in a dish. In these instances you have to learn to develop self-restrain by cutting down your regular portions.
– Plan ahead:If you are going out to eat, eat something healthy and that will fill your stomach so that you do not overeat when you are out. Eating ahead helps you overcome temptation.
– Share: Portions in restaurants can be big. So share them with the friend you are with.
When you are looking at a recipe look at the ingredients carefully and see what you can replace with healthier options. Find the right combinations so that you can nail the taste. Try it out and see if it works. You might have to try it a couple of times till you get the right combination.