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Make Your Recipes Healthier

Substitute a few ingredients in your favorite recipes and you'll be on your way to a healthier meal.

Reduce Fat and Cholesterol:

  • Use nonstick sprays and nonstick pans.
  • Bake, broil, boil, grill, poach, or microwave instead of frying.
  • Refrigerate chill soups and stews, and then skim the fat off the top before reheating.
  • Cook vegetables in low-sodium bouillon or broth instead of butter or margarine.
  • Use 2 egg whites or 1/4 cup egg substitute for each whole egg.
  • Trim fat off meat and remove skin from poultry before cooking.
  • Drain and rinse ground beef in a colander after cooking.
  • Use low-fat and non-fat milk, cheese, sour cream, and yogurt.
  • Use evaporated skim milk instead of cream.
  • Use oil instead of butter, solid margarine, or shortening.
  • In baked goods, use 1/4 less fat than the recipe requires.
  • Make gravy and sauces without fat. Thicken the broth or skimmed pan juices with cornstarch mixed with a small amount of cold liquid stirred slowly into the hot liquid.

Reduce Sugar:

  • Try cutting sugar by 1/4 to 1/3 in baked goods. Don't cut sugar in cakes or yeast breads.
  • Reduce or leave out sugar when canning or freezing.
  • Buy canned fruit packed in juice or unsweetened frozen fruit.
  • Add vanilla or cinnamon to give a sweet taste with less added sugar.

Reduce Salt:

  • Cut salt in recipes by 1/4 to 1/2.
  • Choose lower sodium versions of canned vegetables, soups, soy sauce, and ketchup.
  • Use herbs and spices. Don't use garlic salt, onion salt, or lemon pepper.
  • Use a small amount of wine to flavor casseroles and stews.

Increase Fiber:

  • Replace up to half of the white flour in a recipe with whole-wheat flour.
  • Use brown rice, bulgur, oatmeal, whole cornmeal, whole-wheat couscous, and barley.
  • Add fruit to muffins, pancakes, salads, and desserts.
  • Add vegetables to breads, egg dishes, casseroles, soups, and salads.