- January 30, 2009 at 1:21 am #270101
10 Healthy Recipe Substitutions
1.In most bakery recipes (muffins, cakes, cookies, coffee cakes, brownies, nut breads, etc.) you can substitute whole-wheat for half the white flour called for. Compared to 1/4 cup of white flour, each 1/4 cup of whole-wheat flour adds 3.5 grams of fiber and various phytochemicals, and doubles the amount of magnesium and selenium. The extra fiber helps slow digestion and increase fullness.
2. In most bakery recipes, you can replace half of the sugar with Splenda (or a similar artificial sweetener). This cuts the calories from sugar in half, saving you 48 calories per tablespoon of sugar you replace
3. In egg dishes (quiches, frittatas, omelets, breakfast casseroles), you can use egg substitute in place of half the eggs. In other words, if the recipe calls for 6 eggs, you would blend 3 whole eggs with 3/4 cup egg substitute (1/4 cup of egg substitute replaces each egg). You can replace half the eggs in bakery recipes with egg substitute as well.
By replacing one large egg with 1/4 cup egg substitute, you’ll shave 45 calories, 5 grams of fat, 1.6 grams of saturated fat, and 213 milligrams of cholesterol.
4. In many bakery recipes, you can cut the fat ingredient (butter, margarine, shortening, or oil) in half. In other words, if a cake recipe calls for 1 cup of butter or margarine, you can usually use 1/2 cup instead.
Remember to replace the missing fat with a similar amount of a moist but healthful ingredient (fat-free sour cream, orange juice, low-fat yogurt, applesauce, etc.) This change cuts both fat and calories, since each gram of fat translates into 9 calories as opposed to 4 per gram for protein or carbohydrate.
5. Cook with reduced-fat or fat-free products when available — and when they taste good. Try fat-free sour cream, reduced-fat cheeses, light cream cheese, light mayonnaise, reduced-fat or light sausage, less-fat turkey bacon, light salad dressings, and light or low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt. Many cut calories and saturated fat along with total fat.
A few fat-free products are in my arsenal as well: fat-free sour cream and half-and-half, chicken broth, wine, strong coffee, fruit purees, and fruit juice. These foods add moisture, and sometimes flavor, to recipes where you aren’t using a lot of fatty ingredients.
6. Never deep-fry when you can oven-fry or pan-fry with a lot less oil. Choose canola oil or olive oil, and use about 1/2 teaspoon per serving (depending on the item). When you pan-fry or oven-fry in a controlled amount of oil, you can cut a lot of the fat and calories your food would soak up if it were submerged in hot oil.
For every tablespoon of oil you cut, you’ll save 120 calories and 13.5 grams of fat.
7. Use whole grains in your recipes whenever possible. We’ve already talked about whole-wheat flour, but you can also substitute brown rice for white rice, add barley to stews and casseroles, and look for recipes that call for oats.
Whole grains offer fiber to fill you up, along with a plethora of health benefits.
8. Extra ingredients and embellishments can often be removed or cut in half. If a recipe calls for chocolate chips, you can use less. If it calls for dotting your casserole or pie with butter, you can skip this step.
In a cake recipe, you can use half the original amount of frosting (in a double-layer cake, just frost the top and middle and forget the sides). And in some cakes, bars, and cookies, you can skip the frosting in favor of a light sprinkling of powdered sugar. Using 2 tablespoons of frosting instead of 4 will shave 130 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, and 2 grams of saturated fat.
Each tablespoon of chocolate chips you skip cuts the calories by 50 per serving, the fat by 3 grams, and the saturated fat by almost 2 grams.
9. Use top-quality ingredients when possible. Start with the best-tasting, freshest ingredients you can find.
For example, I use fresh garlic (I buy it already minced in jars) and fresh herbs when I can — they usually have more flavor than the dried. Use extra-fresh fish, the sharpest reduced-fat cheddar cheese, and so on. All this means your lighter dish will be more likely to pass muster with the masses!
10. Switch to “smart fat” ingredients when possible. Certain fats, when used in moderation, actually have health benefits! Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish and some plant foods like canola oil and ground flaxseed), as well as oils that contain monounsaturated fats (like olive and canola oil) and foods high in monounsaturated fats (like avocado and almonds) may help protect against heart disease.
In recipes, you often have a choice of which oil or margarine to use, or you can choose to add fish instead of red meat. When a recipe calls for melted butter or margarine, you can often substitute canola or olive oil.
- January 30, 2009 at 10:27 am #413130
Great post! We are always looking for ways to eat more healthy!
- January 30, 2009 at 11:56 am #412770
I am hear to say that the applesauce one really works and make cakes soooo much more moist !!!!
- January 30, 2009 at 12:46 pm #413140
In most bakery recipes, you can replace half of the sugar with Splenda (or a similar artificial sweetener). This cuts the calories from sugar in half, saving you 48 calories per tablespoon of sugar you replace
If you get the Splenda blend (which is half splenda and half sugar) use the full amount of the splenda for the sugar amount in the recipe. Do not use plain splenda to replace all of the sugar in baking-it makes for a very rubbery product :).
- January 31, 2009 at 4:55 am #413237
Thanks for sharing!! 🙂
- February 4, 2009 at 10:01 am #413782Quote:i am hear to say that the applesauce one really works and make cakes soooo much more moist
I’ll have to agree with you I really like using applesauce in my cakes too.
- February 8, 2014 at 2:08 pm #450370
Does anyone use stevia instead of sugar?
- December 15, 2014 at 7:34 pm #459852
Very useful tips; thanks for sharing.
In our house we avoid sugar substitutes. Instead, we use more honey and maple syrup (local, of course). We also avoid fat-free, low-fat, light and those other reduced calorie products.
The chemical s**t storm they contain cannot in any way be healthy.
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