Smart & Healthy Cooking Substitutions
Grandma's Recipes Get a Makeover
I am the lucky recipient of tons of wonderful recipes my grandma has collected her entire life. Some of these recipes came from my great-grandparents (and some of those were passed on from their parents), some were created and/or tweaked by my grandma throughout the years, while others were bribed and blackmailed out of grandma's friends and acquaintances.
Just as cooking equipment has evolved, so must our ingredients!
Most of these recipes were passed on to me on the premise that I wouldn't reveal them to anyone but my own children. You see, grandma is quite proprietory about her stash of tried and true recipes. When she and her friends used to throw dinner parties, they always attempted to outdo one another--this led to everyone guarding their recipes like they were gold (this is where the necessity of bribery and blackmail came in).
One thing grandma particularly enjoyed doing was generously passing on a recipe for a dish everyone loved, but leaving a key ingredient out. This way, the recipe only turned out right for grandma and she was hailed as a superiour cook (which, of course, she was).
While I cherish these recipes, and keep them well-guarded, I find that they aren't exactly healthy. With this in mind, I've put together my favorite subsitutions. I've tried these, and they work. Please feel free to let me know about any substitutions that have worked for you and I'll add them to the list!
When you are cooking...
Substitute creams to thicken soups with pureed veggies or potatoes
stick margarine → small amounts of olive oil or vegetable broth
white rice → brown rice, quinoa, or couscous
ground meat → chopped vegetables (& use less meat), crumbled tofu, beans
ground beef → ground turkey breast
oil based marinades → orange juice or flavored vinegar
mayonaise → mustard
cream → evaporated milk
whole milk → skim milk
sour cream → plain yogurt
When you are baking...
Substitute chocolate with cocoa powder
oil, butter, or margarine → apple sauce
two eggs → 1 egg and 1 egg white
one egg → 2 egg whites
sweetened condensed milk → nonfat sweetened condensed milk
evaporated milk → evaporated skim milk
sour cream → pureed lowfat cottage cheese
chocolate chips → mini chocolate chips, chopped dried fruit, or chopped nuts
frosting → light coating of powdered sugar
More Smart & Healthy Choices
Buying non-stick pans helps eliminate the need for oil and butter.
If you want to use sugar, instead of a substitute (I like honey), try using lesssoooo sweet. sugar--often, you will find a recipe tastes even better when it isn't
If you need to use oil or butter, use less. Often, recipes call for more than is needed. Also, try deglazing your pan with broth, water, or wine instead.
makes a world of difference!
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