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Healthy Living

Healthy Cooking



A healthy eating plan doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your favorite foods or give up flavor. All that's needed is a little adjustment, an open mind, and an experimental spirit. Try some of these tips when preparing your favorite home-cooked meals to make them lower in fat and more healthful.

Adjust your recipes

  • Use applesauce or other fruit purees in place of butter or oil in baked goods. (Pureed prunes work well in chocolate baked goods.)

  • Substitute 2 egg whites for one whole egg or three whites for two whole eggs.

  • In place of sour cream, try using non-fat sour cream, yogurt or pureed lowfat cottage cheese.

  • Use skim milk in place of whole milk.

  • Replace heavy cream with evaporated skim milk or lowfat yogurt.

  • Add various kinds of fruit or vegetable to baked breads to make them interesting and more flavorful.

  • Add fiber such as oatmeal, wheat germ, Raisin Bran, Bran Flakes or All-Bran to muffins and breakfast breads.

  • Use whole grain for part of your ingredients instead of highly refined products such as whole wheat flour, whole cornmeal, and oatmeal.

  • Use fruit and vegetable salsas to spice up or add zip to meats and vegetables.

  • Experiment with a variety of spices and herbs in your dishes to make them interesting.

  • Decrease sodium by using low sodium or unsalted ingredients.

  • Reduce sugar by 1/4 to 1/3 in baked goods and desserts. Substitute flour for the omitted sugar. (Don't decrease sugar in yeast breads because sugar feeds the yeast.)

  • Use spices in baked goods. For example reducing sugar and adding cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg or vanilla to your recipes will enhance the impression of sweetness.

  • Add a variety of vegetables to meat dishes to reduce the amount of meat you eat and increase your vegetable intake.

  • Use sharp cheeses in your cooking; you can use less and still retain flavor or experiment with using low-fat or fat-free cheeses.

  • Make marinades with juices and broth instead of oil.

Try these cooking methods

  • Trim all visible fat from meats before cooking.

  • Refrigerate all stocks, stews, and soups and remove the congealed fat before reheating.

  • Use non-stick pans and cooking spray to reduce the need for oil and butter.

  • Grill or roast meat on a rack so the fat drips away.

  • Microwaving meals requires little or no fat to cook.

  • Poach foods by simmering them in hot liquid such as broth, water, wine, or juices; no fat required.

  • Steam your vegetables in a basket over boiling water or in a food steamer.

  • Sauté food in a non-stick pan using water, broth, juice, wine, or cooking spray.

  • Stir fry meat and vegetables in a non-stick pan or wok using broth or a dab of olive or canola oil.

  • Brown meat pieces and crumbled hamburger, drain off fat, and rinse in strainer with hot water before adding to a recipe.

  • Bake foods using non-fat marinades to retain moisture.

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