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Healthy cooking means working around the sticks of butter, cups of sugar, and bacon drippings that formed the basis of classic recipes. Rather than give up your favorite recipes, learn how and when to substitute lighter, healthier ingredients without sacrificing taste and texture.
Kick Sugar Time
To significantly reduce the amount of sugar in your recipe, take two steps. First, reduce the amount to the next smaller measuring cup. If the recipe calls for one cup of sugar, re-write it as three-quarters. Second, substitute Splenda granular sugar replacement for half of that amount. You can use other sugar substitutes, as well, but the granular Splenda product works best in baked goods like muffins and cookies.
Substitute two tablespoons of molasses for one quarter cup of the sugar. Molasses provides an excellent source of iron. Add a dash of allspice, cinnamon, or nutmeg to add flavor to your recipe. No one will miss the extra sugar.
Lay the Eggs Aside
You can substitute two egg whites for one whole egg in sauces and egg bakes. For baked goods like muffins, quick breads from a bread machine, and cookies, substitute 2 teaspoons nonfat milk powder and two teaspoons of oil for each egg. Combine the ingredients in a best countertop blender and whip it until the milk powder has dissolved. Make enough for a dozen eggs, while you have the blender out. You can freeze the extra mixture or refrigerate it for approximately a week
You can also purchase premade egg substitute. This works perfectly for many recipes. Baked goods get rubbery without the fat from the eggs, so add two teaspoons of oil for each egg you are replacing if you don’t include fat in some other way.
Dump the Oil
Replace some or all of the fat in the recipe with unsweetened applesauce or mashed bananas. You can replace half a cup of oil with half a cup of mashed fruit plus an extra tablespoon for increased moisture Not only will you eliminate the fat from the oil but you’ll add fiber and vitamins.
If your savory recipe calls for oil, reduce the amount by half or eliminate it altogether. Substitute an herb-flavored vinegar or a stingy drizzle of olive oil, instead. When sautéeing, replace the oil with broth or fruit juice (freshly made juice from your best juicer is the ideal choice) in a non-stick pan, or simply use cooking spray.
Knock out Cream and Mayonnaise
Substitute fat-free sour cream or evaporated skim milk for heavy cream in pasta sauces and casseroles. You’ll get the creamy texture without the fat. For cream soups, purée soft-cooked potatoes with skim milk to form the base. Use a purée of mixed vegetables to thicken soups and sauces instead of cream or roux.
Start with nonfat yogurt to create tasty and healthy dressings and spreads. Blend olive oil and fruit juice or flavored vinegar to make a healthy vinaigrette for your salad. Add fat free yogurt to make it a creamy dressing. It’s even healthier if you make your yogurt with your own appliance.
You may not transform every recipe into health food. The chemistry of cooking demands certain concessions from our health. But substituting healthier ingredients for the fat and sugar in your favorite recipes means that you can indulge more often with less guilt. You can also feed your family healthier versions of the food that they love.
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