Healthy Substitutions

Health Solutions Coordinator

Health Solutions Coordinator

Sometimes we find ourselves over indulging in our favorite foods and more often than not those foods aren’t always the healthiest.  Brownies, apple pie, spaghetti to name a few can be packed with flavor but also high in fat, sugar and cholesterol.  I like many other people try to make healthier choices by decreasing the amount of salt and sugar I use when cooking and while that helps a bit there are bigger changes that can be made to recipes that can almost cut the calories and fat content in half.

Baking

Use black beans instead of flour.  This not only cuts the calories but also gives you a sweet treat packed with fiber. Using unsweetened applesauce for sugar and butter lowers the sugar and cholesterol.  Making these small changes won’t have you feeling guilty about going back for seconds.

So what about dinner time?

How do we cut the calories and give our family a healthy and tasty meal?  If you’re a pasta lover try using wheat pasta or zucchini ribbons for your spaghetti or fettuccine alfredo.  Prep and cooking time are the same except you save a little time using zucchini ribbons; no boiling required!

We all know you can’t have a meal without side dishes.  Some regulars at my table are mashed potatoes and rice which both are very starchy foods.  However, swapping out the old Idaho’s for mashed sweet potatoes or mashed cauliflower will give you fewer calories and a ton of vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin A and B.

By making a few changes you can increase the nutritional value of a meal while also cutting fat and calories.  When preparing your meals it’s best to plan ahead and make a of list of the items you need for the recipe.  Also, do your research!  See what you can do without but won’t jeopardize the quality of the dish.  There is a whole world of options out there; we just have to open our minds and mouths to try.