Wow, we’ve almost made it to the end of the Cook Easy Foodie Blogger challenge. I hope you’ve gotten a lot of great recipes and ideas for your own meals and blog if you have one. Feel free to go back to the beginning and join in on the challenge. I’d love to see your ideas for the topics I posted. Today’s topic is ways to make recipes healthier.
Now here’s where I get to actually put my college degree to work. I’m a personal trainer by trade just no time to devote to clients fully while I take care of my family as well. So I’ve spent quite some time working on adapting people’s favorite recipes to make them healthier so we can make them drop weight without feeling deprived.
Now I’m not creating this list just for dropping calories and I’m not saying you can eat these foods and still lose weight. So don’t consider this a weight loss post. Go to one of my other sites if you want tips on that. I have Better Health in 24 and Busy Momma Wellness for that. What I am saying is there are many ways to make every day recipes healthier in some way.
1. Drop the salt. It’s amazing how many recipes call for salt that don’t really need them. Do they enhance flavors, sure. But if you are like me and need to watch your sodium then figure out recipes such as spaghetti sauce that you can use a lot of spices in and not miss the salt.
2. Low or non-fat products. This is an obvious swap but still I don’t know why most aren’t using it. Switch out your cream cheese and sour cream in recipes for the non-fat versions.
3. Bake with applesauce. When a recipe calls for oil, swap it out straight across with the same amount of apple sauce. It keeps the recipe just as moist with no fat.
4. Cut fat off meats. Unless you are splurging on a steak, cut the extra fat off your meats. There is just no reason to have it end up on your plate. Also, choose leaner cuts of meat. This is one place I do prefer organic meats when I can afford it. Grain fed beef is unnatural to the animal and the meat is poorer quality. It ends up loaded with fat as they tried to fatten up that cow as quick as possible for sale. Grass fed beef is a lot leaner.
5. Change out your ground meat. When possibly use ground chicken and turkey instead of beef. We have some recipes that it really changes the entire dish so we will go 50/50 with ground beef so it’s not such a drastic change.
6. Whole wheat pastas. There are a ton of options for any kind of pasta you want at the local grocery store now. Look for whole grains and get more fiber in your system.
7. Brown rice for fiber. Same lines as the pasta. Change your white rice for brown and increase your fiber intake. It also fills you up for longer since it takes longer to digest.
8. Condiments can be horrible. Keep an eye on recipes that call for you to use condiments. See if you can’t create your own some how. Most condiments have a lot of sugar and salt added to them.
9. Lay off the cheese. This one was forced on me because of health issues and therefor forced on my family as well. While I have not cut dairy out of their lives we sure do use a ton less than we used to. Cut the amount of cheese in a recipe by half. Just put it on for the last few minutes of cooking a casserole so you can still taste it. There are quite a few recipes that are full of flavor that you can take it totally out and not even notice.
10. Salads and dressings. Change out mayo for plain yogurt in salads and recipes. Also a good swap for dips and sauces.
What you swap will depend on your needs and tastes. Some flavors and textures can take a little bit to get used to so give them a chance. You’ll be surprised how quickly it changes and you won’t notice the difference or you won’t be able to go back to the old ways.
Never worry about what's for dinner again. I've got you covered with the meal plans in the Once a Week Cooking Club. Cook once, eat all week.
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