Health & Wellness

How to Lighten Up Any Recipe

By Tawnya Manion | June 20, 2013

Photo: SliceOfChic

Photo: SliceOfChic

It’s swimsuit season, area you ready? If yes, good for you. If no, take this opportunity to make the necessary changes to get a beach ready body. These modifications include becoming more physically active, switching food choices from heavy, sugar-laden edibles to lighter fare, and drinking  at least 64-oz of water a day.

Photo: swimeditor

Photo: swimeditor

Switching your diet from high-fat, sugar, and salty sustenance to fresh, whole foods doesn’t mean giving up your favorite dishes, it just entails making some changes to the recipes. The first step in salubrious cooking involves analyzing a recipe to see if there are any unnecessary calories. Look for excess butter, cheese, or oil as well as salt and sugar. Generally, the amount of fat and salt can be reduced by half in most cooking instructions. Here are some tasty, healthy tips to help you lighten up your favorite recipes.

Match chicken broth with half-and-half to make a low-fat cream sauce. When making a cream sauce for chicken, fish, or pasta use one part chicken broth to one part half-and-half. This method cuts the fat and calories of a cream dip or dressing in half without sacrificing flavor or texture.

Use low-fat Greek yogurt to replace sour cream. Tangy, low-fat Greek yogurt is a great substitute for sour cream. Try this switch in herbed and spiced dips, in constructing a creamy salad dressing, or topping tacos, nachos, or enchiladas. This saves 45 calories and 5 grams of fat.

Use more vegetables in savory dishes. Match pasta noodles with vegetables to increase the fiber and nutrients in a meal. Add a half of a cup more of vegetables in a recipe then what is called for. Puree carrots, peppers, or onions and add it to meat balls or hamburgers to reduce calories and fat with out giving up flavor.

Add savor with citrus, vinegars, and spices. Take advantage of ingredients that add flavor to recipes, but not fat and calories. Squeeze fresh lemon juice with a pinch of sea salt to vegetables for a hit of brightness and zest without excess fat. Season salads with 1/2 a tablespoon of oil and 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. Use flavorful citrus zests and capers to seafood dishes instead of a butter sauce to keep the palate balanced and satisfied.

Make healthy bake-goods by replacing fat with apple sauce or avocado. Substitute apple sauce or avocado ounce for ounce in any sweet or dessert recipe. Avocado gives sweets a boost of healthy fats, and apple sauce reduces the calorie and fat content by a mile. Use avocados when making puddings or brownies, and apple sauce for muffins and cakes.

For more Health & Wellness Recipes:

Get Active

The Art of Mindful Eating

Keep Your Brain in Tip Top Shape

Lack of Sleep Linked to Weight Gain

Changing the Way our Children Eat

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