Healthy Ingredient Substitutions
You can enjoy baking without having to sacrifice good health or sabotage your diet. Ingredient substitutions are an easy way to reduce fat, sugar and sodium so you can enjoy treats without packing on the pounds.
When cooking and baking your favorite dishes, consider the following substitutions:
- Use whole wheat flour for half of the called-for all-purpose flour.
- Use applesauce or prune puree for half of the called-for butter, margarine, oil or shortening.
- Use cooking spray or nonstick pans instead of butter, margarine, shortening or oil to prevent sticking.
- Use two egg whites for every one whole egg.
- Use trans-fat free butter instead of margarine.
- Use reduced fat or fat-free milk instead of whole milk.
- Used dried fruit instead of chocolate chips.
- Use half the amount of required nuts for recipes.
- Use cocoa power instead of chocolate bars or chips.
You can reduce fat and calories before dessert is even served by following these simple tips:
- Remove skin from the turkey.
- Choose white meat instead of dark meat in the thighs or wings.
- Skim the fat off the pan drippings before making gravy.
- Use fat-free broth or fat-free milk to replace the butter in your mashed potatoes.
- Lighten up your green bean casserole by using reduced fat soup or cream cheese, and saute the onion topping in cooking spray instead of oil or butter.
- When a recipe calls for seasoning salt, try herb-only seasonings such as garlic powder, celery seed or onion flakes.
- Use fat-free or reduced-calorie salad dressings.
Reduce sodium in your holiday diet to reduce the risk of high blood pressure:
- Use fat-free and low-sodium broths.
- Instead of thickening a soup with cream, use pureed root vegetables or beans.
- Use fresh or frozen fruits. When fruit is packaged in its own juices or water, the sodium content is reduced.
- When using canned vegetables, be sure to rinse the vegetables with water to reduce sodium.
- When using either fresh, frozen or canned vegetables, be sure the label reads 'with no salt added.'
- Avoid canned or processed poultry, fish and lean meat.
Even with these healthy and helpful tips, remember that portion control is always key. It also helps to mix fresh fruits and vegetables into your holiday diet at parties, and to drink a big glass of water to aid your digestion and keep you feeling fuller longer. By making a few simple substitutions this holiday season you can enjoy yourself without the guilt and extra calories.