Low Fat Cooking Tips and Healthy Baking Substitutions
We all need fat to live. The human brain cannot function without sufficient fats. Many vitamins are exclusively fat-soluble, and would do us no good without it. But when so much of our diet as Americans consists of high-fat foods with little in the way of nutritional value, and "diet" foods fall flat on the palate, how do we find ways to cut back, while still enjoying the great taste we need to feel satisfied?
First thing's first: start eating at home more often. You can't control what's going on in any other chef's kitchen but your own. But what then? Your shelf is full of old-fashioned cookbooks from before the invention of Splenda. Not to mention those lard- and shortening- filled family recipes handed down from previous generations. You might be surprised to learn that you can, in fact, make Mom's Famous Double-Chocolate Brownies... and not only that, you can eat them too! All those recipes need is a little updating to the 21st century, and that is easy enough to do, if you know how.
Right, you say, but you don't know how. You've heard of substituting one ingredient for another, but how do you know what works, or how much to use? I've laid out below the substitutions I've found tried and true in my own kitchen that won't alter the texture or flavor noticeably, complete with conversions. Print them out, and use them! They won't do any good on their own, just floating around in cyberspace ;)
List of Substitutions and Tips
- 1 cup whole milk = 1 cup skim milk
- 1 cup buttermilk = 1 Tbsp vinegar OR 1 Tbsp lemon juice + enough skim milk to make 1 cup
- 1 cup heavy cream = 1 cup evaporated skim milk OR 1/2 cup low-fat yogurt + 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
- 1 cup sour cream = 1 can chilled evaporated skim milk whipped with 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 cup cream cheese = 4 Tbsp margarine + 1 cup dry low-fat cottage cheese (+ a little skim milk if needed)
- 1 cup butter or oil = 2/3 cup applesauce
- 1 egg = 2 eggwhites
Cooking and Snacking
- Use chicken broth to stir-fry instead of oil.
- In place of butter, use non-fat cooking spray to brown.
- Baste roasts with wine or fruit juice.
- Replace bacon with turkey bacon.
- Make sure to use extra lean ground beef for burgers and meatballs, or substitute ground turkey.
- You can get the same taste with less cheese if you get the 2% extra sharp cheddar instead of mild.
- No-Sugar-Added fruit spreads taste more fruity than jam, and are plenty sweet.
- Get tuna packed in water.
- Canned fruits should be packed in fruit juice instead of heavy syrup.
Try These Low-Fat and Fat-Free Recipes
- Easy Low-Fat Oven-Fried Chicken Recipes
Low fat ingredients and baking vs frying make these yummy chicken recipes a hit with your tastebuds and your waistline!
- Quick and Easy Fat-Free Desserts
Simple, easy-to-follow recipes for fat-free favorites like Apple Cobbler, Chocolate Cupcakes, Pumpkin Bars, Pear Tart, and Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp
- Oatmeal-Based Fat-Free Cookie Recipes
The best tasty recipes for quick and easy fat-free cookies, including Oatmeal-Raisin, Oatmeal-Brownie, Orange-Cranberry, Pumpkin-Raisin, and Oatmeal-Ginger.
- Festive Fat-Free Desserts for July 4th
Red, white, and blue-themed desserts for patriotic holidays, in tasty nonfat versions.
- Delicious Low-Fat No-Bake Dessert Recipes
Quick and easy favorites like Chocolate Marble Mousse Pie, White Chocolate Cheesecake, Strawberries-N-Cream Cake, and Mmm-Mmm-Mocha Trifle in low-fat and sugar-free versions