Healthier Ingredient Options

Cooking Tip of the Day

Okay the holiday extravaganza is now over….. we can go back to at least eating healthier and in moderation. I do believe in moderation…. I believe diets don’t work for most people in the long term… healthier eating is a way of life and all about the choices we make.

Now if you follow my blog you know I use butter, whipping cream and I do fry on occasion… but that’s the point really… on occasion. I do like to eat light… and I’d rather substitute lighter ingredients in my traditional recipes where I believe the taste isn’t compromised.

I use non-fat (skim) milk…. I like to use cooking oil sprays wherever I can to eliminate frying in oil so foods don’t suck up all the oil while cooking… I use part skim cheese products where I can…. the list goes on and on.

I try in my posts to give you hints where you can substitute a lower calorie or lower fat ingredient… the choice is ultimately yours… I don’t profess to be perfect… and I do love some things my doctor would prefer I don’t…

The point of this post is to get you thinking about where you can fit healthier options in your lifestyle …. what flavors are important to me… may not be for you… that’s where you have to make the decision about what’s right for you.

To get you started thinking… here is a partial list of things you can consider substituting in recipes..

Baking instead of frying…. I bake my Italian meatballs then cook them in my tomato sauce… no one is the wiser

Using lean ground beef instead of higher fat content beef

Using skim milk or at least a lower fat milk in recipes

Using part skim ricotta instead of whole milk ricotta

Non-fat yogurt versus regular yogurt

Non-fat or light buttermilk in recipes instead of higher fat buttermilk

Using egg substitute in recipes… I use it often in my meatloaf or meatball mixture… you really can’t tell (honest!)… also when I need an egg/milk mixture for breading meats and vegetables.. egg substitute works great

Using cooking oil sprays when making eggs instead of melting butter or margarine…. Butter flavored cooking oil is a God send!

Using olive oil is a healthier alternative to most other vegetable oils…. by the way… Light olive oil refers to the taste not the fat content

Using lite or non-fat Cool Whip in recipes that have robust ingredient flavors (like my No Bake Oreo Cream Cheese Pie…. the flavor of the Oreos is so dominant… you don’t notice that a lite Cool Whip is used.

Using sugar substitutes in some recipes works fine… look for pointers and recipes at the products website.

So… I’ve given you some ideas… let me know some of yours!


Farmgirl Cyn said...

Lean, ground turkey when I can. I have a recipe for turkey burgers that is so delicious and full of flavor, the family doesn't CARE that it's ground turkey! Ground turkey in chili, white chili, etc. If I DO use ground beef, I buy whatever is on sale...doesn't matter the fat content IF I am frying it for something like chili. I then put the fried up beef in my colander and run hot, hot tap water over it. You lose a LOT of fat that way! I am careful to choose what types of lower fat ingredients I buy, as a look at some of the lower fat stuff's ingredients would curl your hair!!!
And I ALWAYS buy fat free refried beans (unless I cook my own from dried, then there is already no fat in them)....beans don't have any fat in them...the companies just ADD fat to them. Who needs that???

Linda said...

Great tips! I couldn't agree more... I always fat free refried beans too...


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