Monday, June 4, 2012

Food Substitutions

By Stephanie of Infinite Life Fitness

Everyone has that one favorite recipe that their mom or grandma created. Naturally that recipe is jam packed with some unhealthy things but it is your favorite dish and you cannot resist making that dish to help ease those homesick feelings.

Today…you are in luck!

I am going to share some ideas to help make some of your unhealthy recipes a little bit healthier. The reality is that everyone has their favorite dish that they like to make. But if you are able to make it a little bit healthier than it is ok for you to incorporate it into your weekly meal menu. Using healthy substitutes will allow you to greatly cut out the extra fat, sugar, sodium, and overall calorie count of your favorite meals. The trick is to make it a few times so you can figure out all the things you can substitute and still have the meal taste just as good!

Thanks to the Mayo Clinic, they have provided an easy to read chart for you to use (and also easy to copy and paste into a word document so you can print it off and post it in your kitchen!) {WEBSITE:}

Your guide to ingredient substitutions for healthy recipes
If your recipe calls for this ingredient:
Try substituting this ingredient:
Canadian bacon, turkey bacon, smoked turkey or lean prosciutto (Italian ham)
Bread, white
Whole-grain bread
Bread crumbs, dry
Rolled oats or crushed bran cereal
Butter, margarine, shortening or oil in baked goods
Applesauce or prune puree for half of the called-for butter, shortening or oil; butter spreads or shortenings specially formulated for baking that don't have trans fats
Note: To avoid dense, soggy or flat baked goods, don't substitute oil for butter or shortening. Also don't substitute diet, whipped or tub-style margarine for regular margarine.
Butter, margarine, shortening or oil to prevent sticking
Cooking spray or nonstick pans
Fat-free half-and-half, evaporated skim milk
Cream cheese, full fat
Fat-free or low-fat cream cheese, Neufchatel, or low-fat cottage cheese pureed until smooth
Two egg whites or 1/4 cup egg substitute for each whole egg
Flour, all-purpose (plain)
Whole-wheat flour for half of the called-for all-purpose flour in baked goods
Note: Whole-wheat pastry flour is less dense and works well in softer products like cakes and muffins.
Fruit canned in heavy syrup
Fruit canned in its own juices or in water, or fresh fruit
Ground beef
Extra-lean or lean ground beef, chicken or turkey breast (make sure no poultry skin has been added to the product)
Lettuce, iceberg
Arugula, chicory, collard greens, dandelion greens, kale, mustard greens, spinach or watercress
Reduced-calorie mayonnaise-type salad dressing or reduced-calorie, reduced-fat mayonnaise
Meat as the main ingredient
Three times as many vegetables as the meat on pizzas or in casseroles, soups and stews
Milk, evaporated
Evaporated skim milk
Milk, whole
Reduced-fat or fat-free milk
Oil-based marinades
Wine, balsamic vinegar, fruit juice or fat-free broth
Pasta, enriched (white)
Whole-wheat pasta
Rice, white
Brown rice, wild rice, bulgur or pearl barley
Salad dressing
Fat-free or reduced-calorie dressing or flavored vinegars
Seasoning salt, such as garlic salt, celery salt or onion salt
Herb-only seasonings, such as garlic powder, celery seed or onion flakes, or use finely chopped herbs or garlic, celery or onions
Soups, creamed
Fat-free milk-based soups, mashed potato flakes, or pureed carrots, potatoes or tofu for thickening agents
Soups, sauces, dressings, crackers, or canned meat, fish or vegetables
Low-sodium or reduced-sodium versions
Sour cream, full fat
Fat-free or low-fat sour cream, plain fat-free or low-fat yogurt
Soy sauce
Sweet-and-sour sauce, hot mustard sauce or low-sodium soy sauce
In most baked goods you can reduce the amount of sugar by one-half; intensify sweetness by adding vanilla, nutmeg or cinnamon
Pureed fruit, such as applesauce, or low-calorie, sugar-free syrup
Table salt
Herbs, spices, citrus juices (lemon, lime, orange), rice vinegar, salt-free seasoning mixes or herb blends
Yogurt, fruit-flavored
Plain yogurt with fresh fruit slices

Here are some other options that were not listed above:

USE: Mini Chocolate Chips
DO NOT use: Chocolate Chip Chunks!
{Image Source}

Having the little chocolate chips means that you will still get the sweet chocolate taste with every bite, BUT with not as much chocolate in the overall dish. This will help cut out calories and you can also try to use fine dark chocolate as a substitute to help cut back the calorie count as well.

USE: Reduced-Fat Cheese
DO NOT use: Regular cheese
{Image Source}

Also make sure the cheese is low in sodium as well! This will help you cut calorie and cholesterol that is in the original recipe.

Be sure to look at your recipes before you get in the kitchen and you are ready to cook! The worst feeling is to have all but ONE ingredient that you need to cook a meal. Like stated before, substituting some of the above items with your favorite recipe will allow you to enjoy it but with less calories and it will make it a healthier option for you as well.

This is Stephanie from Infinite Life Fitness; please feel free to stop by my site for more health and fitness tips!

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