If you are taking a look at some of your favourite recipes, remember to look at it through your healthy glasses. Go with the recipe but don’t feel afraid to make substitutions. There are many sensible substitutions that you can make either when cooking my recipes or anyone else’s. Vegetables can be easily swapped to suit your taste buds or what you have left in the fridge. However, there are a few golden rules when making a favourite recipe more healthy.
A recipe will often call for butter in a sauce and this is often only included to make it shine. Try the same recipe but leave the butter out. I’ll bet it is still as good.
Avoid adding salt 99.9% of the time. Try to substitute salt with lemon juice. It gives the same sharp bite without the health risks. Remove your salt mill from the dinner table and always have lemon wedges on hand instead. You’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll forget you ever used salt. Watch out for salt in other seasoning ingredients too such as stock; Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce.
If you are following a salad recipe that uses mayo, try one of the great low calorie mayo’s now available or substitute it for some low fat crème fraiche, yogurt or low fat fromage frais and mix with a little lemon juice.
Buttery mashed potato
If a recipe is telling you to serve an otherwise healthy dish with buttery mashed potato, don’t ruin your good work. Leave the butter out and use a low fat spread or olive oil instead. Using potato ricer gives you fluffy potato without any need for butter or try sweet potato which mashes well without needing butter or use brown rice or new potatoes.
The perfect substitution for Ice Cream is low fat yoghurt. There are so many varieties to choose from and many are now no-fat – just check the label as even the healthiest sounding yogurts can be high fat. Crème fraiche, thick Greek yoghurt or bio-yoghurt – try them all and see which you like the best. Try freezing them mixed with fruit for added excitement at pudding time! This recipe for Berry and Yogurt Crush is delicious.
Article by Sally Bee - home cook and author of ‘Have your cake and eat it too’.
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