The following information is courtesy of one of my professors: Ms. Anne Keller
Modifying recipes for a heart-healthy diet
You don’t have to abandon all your favorite recipes to eat healthier. Several small modifications in your current recipes can often greatly decrease the calories, fat, saturated fat, and/or cholesterol in your diet for a heart-healthy makeover.
Modify a Recipe
You’ll experiment with one of your favorite, (but likely high-fat or less than nutritious) recipes. By using the recipe modification suggestions you’ll take your calorie-laden, decadent recipe and transform it into a lighter, more nutritious, and hopefully still delicious, treat.
Note: For this assignment you must make several (3 or more) significant changes to a recipe. Some students in the past have submitted very simple changes to convenience foods (macaroni and cheese from a box or salad dressing packet) and this does not qualify for this assignment. You must use a “real” recipe! Do not use “reduced serving number or size” as a recipe modification.
Search your recipe files for a favorite meal, snack or dessert.
Use the recipe modification, substitute the lower-fat and lower calorie ingredients for the higher-fat, higher-calorie ingredients in your recipe. Also, look for ways to make your recipe more nutritious, and not just lower fat, as well. For instance, could you substitute some or all of the whole wheat flour for white flour?
Create your lower-calorie, lower-fat version of the recipe. How does it taste? Is the flavor still good? How about the texture? Would you make it again? Which ingredients did you modify from the original recipe to make the new, lighter recipe?
Evaluate each recipe for nutritional value on the form provided titled “Making Recipes Healthier.” On a separate page, write a brief summary of the recipe changes that you made and the effect on the nutritional value of a single serving from your recipe.
Be conscientious of recipe modifications each time you cook. Remember there are often numerous creative ways to trim down the fat and calorie content of a recipe and still add flavor. Also, be conscientious about how to increase the nutritional value of a recipe. For example, try whole-wheat flour for ½ the amount of white flour required. There are many things you can do to make a recipe lighter and healthier.
These small changes in your current recipes can make a big difference in your intake of fat and calories without significantly affecting the taste or enjoyment of your favorite meals. Some suggestions for making heart-healthy substitutions in your recipes are given below. Notice the difference that minor recipe alterations (such as slightly reducing amounts or using lower-fat versions of ingredients) can make in the amount of fat you consume!
|Instead of:||Choose:||To cut out this many grams of fat:|
|1 cup shortening/lard||¾ cup oil||
|1 cup oil||¼ cup oil and ½ cup applesauce||
|2 Tbsp oil (for sautéing)||2 Tbsp wine or broth||
|1 cup whole milk||1 cup nonfat milk||
|1 cup heavy cream||1 cup evaporated skim milk||
|1 cup sour cream||1 cup nonfat yogurt or nonfat sour cream||
|1 cup cheddar cheese||1 cup low-fat cheddar cheese||
|8 oz. cream cheese||8 oz. light cream cheese||
|or 4 oz. skim ricotta and 4 oz. tofu blended||
|1 can cream of chicken soup||1 can low-fat, low-sodium cream soup||
|1 lb ground beef||1 lb ground turkey (read the label to be sure skin is not included) or 1 lb diet lean ground beef||
|6 oz tuna in oil||6 oz tuna in water||
|2 eggs||4 egg whites||
|1 cup walnuts||½ cup walnuts||
|1 cup chocolate chips||½ cup chocolate chips||
Additional tips for reducing fat in recipes
- Reduce the amount of fat in the recipe by half (this can often be done without having a major effect on the final product).
- Use non-stick pans and non-stick cooking sprays to cut down on the amount of fat used in cooking.
- When stir-frying, use a small amount of canola or olive oil. If foods begin to stick, use water, wine, broth, or tomato juice to add moisture rather than adding more oil or other fat.
- When making pies, omit the high-fat pie shells or choose a reduced-fat version, such as graham cracker crust.
Use the following table as a reference guide to help you make healthier substitutions for common ingredients in everyday recipes. These substitute ingredients are lower in fat and/or calories than the original ingredients. Therefore, trying these substitutions will greatly reduce the calories and/or fat per serving. Many substitutions sacrifice little in the way of flavor. However, you will need to experiment a bit to see how much your taste buds will sacrifice in the name of calorie reduction.
|Saturated Fat and Cholesterol||
|Sodium or Salt||
Based on the rundown of your grocery aisles above, here is what a basic, healthy shopping list might look like (keep in mind that this is not an all-inclusive list – just a guideline of some very healthy foods to help keep the nutritious aspects of your diet in check):
- Fruits — oranges, grapefruit, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, mango, papaya, guava, kiwi, tangerines, apricots
- Flavorings — fresh or dried herbs, fresh or dried spices, flavored or herb vinegar, garlic
- Dairy — skim milk, low fat cheese, fat free yogurt, light cream cheese, fat free sour cream, soy milk, soy yogurt, soy cheese
- Vegetables — Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes, carrots, winter squash, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, mustard greens, Swiss chard, green peppers, red peppers
- Canned and Frozen – Vegetables (look for low sodium in canned), Fruits (look for “packed in juice” in canned), tomato sauces
- Grains — whole wheat bread, whole wheat bagels, whole wheat flour, wheat or bran cereal, whole wheat pasta, brown rice
- Proteins — extra lean ground beef, pork tenderloin, Canadian bacon, chicken breasts, salmon steaks, trout (or any other fish), tuna packed in water, shrimp, eggs, peanut butter (go easy!), nuts (go easy!), black beans (any other bean too), kidney beans, garbanzo beans, black-eyed peas, tofu
- Oils and Fats — Brume & Brown margarine, No-trans, or light margarine spread, olive oil, canola oil
- Beverages — green or black tea (these have lots of good-for-you anti-oxidants!), water/seltzer water.