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Balanced and healthy cooking techniques

Simple substitutions to your recipes will help you dramatically decrease your intake of excess saturated and hydrogenated

By making a few simple changes to your recipes, you can dramatically reduce your total fat intake. This is important if you want to lose weight, as research continues to support the importance of a low-fat diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables to promote permanent weight loss. Even if you only use a few of these simple healthy cooking choices, you can greatly decrease your fat intake.

These simple substitutions to your recipes will help you dramatically decrease your intake of excess saturated and hydrogenated (the bad fats) fat. This will greatly improve your health and promote almost effortless weight loss. The key to healthy cooking is to decrease the fat and calories as at the same time adding nutritional value to the food. You are only successful if you have not sacrificed the quality of the final product.

Here are tips:

- Wash-clean your ground beef with hot water. Do this after browning and draining it. This will decrease the fat intake in the meat by up to 50% without removing the flavor. Do not add your spices and vegetables until after you have rinsed the meat.

- Substitute chicken broth for butter. This works well for all rice, pasta or stuffing dishes. Remember to spray your casserole dish with cooking spray to prevent sticking.

- Sauté in wine or chicken/beef broth instead of butter or margarine. This works well for a stir-fry.

- Substitute nonfat cottage cheese for at least half of of the hard cheese to your recipe. This works well for the center layers of your pasta dishes, such as lasagna.

- Substitute mozzarella cheese for cheddar cheese. This change will decrease the fat intake by half.

- Bake your favorite foods that are normally deep-fried. Toss your food into a plastic bag that contains a beaten egg white. Next, roll your pieces into finely ground, seasoned breadcrumbs. Then arrange your pieces in a single layer onto a cooking sheet that has been lightly coated with canola oil (monounsaturated fat) cooking spray. Bake your food at 350 degrees for anywhere from 7 to 40 minutes, depending on what you are oven-frying. Potatoes that have been cut into French fries will take the longest, whereas cheese curds will be done the quickest.

- Use skim milk instead of whole, 2% or 1%. You may not enjoy drinking skim milk, but in your recipes, you will not notice the difference. You will save 8 grams of fat per cup over whole milk.

- Use light cream cheese instead of regular cream cheese. You will not sacrifice taste with this substitute, yet you will cut your fat intake

- Use low-fat sour cream instead of regular sour cream. This is an excellent tip for vegetable dips.

- Use reduced-fat mayonnaise (not fat free) or Miracle Whip Light instead of regular mayonnaise.

- Substitute yogurt or pumpkin for butter or oil to your baked goods. This will add nutritional value to your cake, muffins or brownies as well as remove the fat. This substitute does not work well for cookies, as they will become more cake-like.

- Use 2 egg whites instead of 1 whole egg. This will work for the majority of your recipes.

- Record your recipe changes. Keep 3x5 index cards to your kitchen. Record your recipe changes while you are cooking, including baking temperature and time. Once your family has tasted the recipe, make comments on the bottom of the card. If the product needs to be revised further, you will have a starting point.

by S. C.
07 march 2011, Food & Fun > Gastronomy