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Wednesday, June 20 2007

You probably have got thousands of recipes in your compilation but maybe not all of them are as healthy as you would like them to be. This is sort of an indignity as there is a good possibility that some of those recipes are along with your favorites.

How do you go about changing your favorite recipes into ones that are healthy for you? Even those old family favorites that have been passed down through the generations.

1. Reduce the amount of fat, sugar and salt in your recipes. You will be satisfyingly surprised just how much you can reduce the level of fat, sugar and salt in your recipes without disturbing the taste. If you have cut back too much, it is always possible to add a little bit more salt at the table. You can reduce the amount of fat by using a non-stick pan and/or an oil spray rather than spooning oil into the pan. You can also use a slotted spoon to skim off any surplus fat as the recipe cooks. Cutting down on sugar will depend on what you are cooking, but it is generally safe to try at first cutting sugar down by ¼. I disbelief you will notice the variation.

Salt is necessary in recipes for bread as otherwise the yeast won't be able to do its job. In other recipes, such as crock pots and stews, you should easily be able to reduce the salt you use by half with very little consequence on the final taste. You may even find that with an creative use of sauces, you can eliminate salt from some of your recipes entirely.
Remember that some of the ingredients you use may contain salt, sugar or fat. Read the labels and substitute as necessary. But do not just blindly add a low-fat option without checking that the manufacturer has not simply substituted sugar for fat.

2. Make Healthy Substitutions
As well as examining labels, look for ways to increase the nutrition in the food you eat. Whole wheat pasta, brown rice, whole grain cereals. All of these are easy substitutes and will likely enhance the taste of the dish you are cooking - they have less of the original product removed in the manufacturing process, which leaves more taste available for you.

3. If achievable, delete an unhealthy ingredient
Many recipes respond well to variations (you may even find alternatives listed at the end of the recipe). Substitute frosted ingredients for unfrosted ones to cut down on sugar, for instance. Be careful with adding nuts to a dish as they are high in fat (although the fat is usually considered "good" fat, so don't cut them out entirely). Let your family and guests add their own toppings such a mayonnaise and sauces. Consider substituting lower salt, fat and sugar versions of these sauces. And do not squeeze that maple syrup quite as hard the next time you eat a stack of hot cakes!

Once you start converting your recipes, you will become more artistic and will have a good idea on what is working and what is not. Keep a note pad handy so that you can remember the successes and adjust the times when the changes you made were not as successful as you would have liked.

Posted by: AT 10:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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