10 September 2011

Healthy Cooking & Baking Substitutions

Not all recipes are as healthy as I want them to be so I often make subtractions and substitutions. 
One of the main things I do to keep the calories down when I cook is that I don't use butter or oil to grease the pan when I cook.  I use just a quick spray of low calorie cooking spray (watch out how long you spray - the calories can add up quicker then you think!) or I use natural juices with a splash of water when needed.   I have found that these methods work well with nonstick pans, but they do require more supervision to make sure there is enough liquid in the pan to prevent sticking.

Other ways to cut calories when you cook are to substitute one food for another.  Here is a list of some quick and easy substitutions you can make while you cook.  Some experimenting may be needed to create just the taste you are looking for, but these are a great starting point.

Instead of ... Try ...

Pork Bacon & Sausage ... Turkey Bacon & Sausage
Butter in Baking ... Applesauce
Cream ... Fat Free Skim Milk
White Rice ... Brown Rice
Sugar ... Reduce by 1/2 and add Vanilla or Cinnamon
1 Egg ... 2 Egg Whites
Sour Cream ... Plain Low Fat Yogurt
Whole Milk ... Skim Milk
Whipped Cream ... Evaporated Skim Milk
Cheese ... Cut Amount in Half
Butter ... Flax (3tbsp Flax per 1tbsp Butter)

I have noticed many of these substitutions used in the healthy recipes that I find around the web.  The more I use them in my day to day life the easier it is to determine what will work for my diet.  I love the way eating healthy makes me feel.  When I am out and about and get stuck eating something out of the realm of my usual healthy lifestyle I feel sluggish and crave my usual dietary ways.  Eating healthy has certainly made me a picky eater, but good feeling I get from it is well worth it.

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