Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up your favourite dishes. Here are 12 effective, healthier alternatives to common cooking and baking ingredients that will help you lower your calorie and fat intake:
Text: Bosch / Additional Reporting: Elizabeth Liew
If your recipe calls for 1 cup of bleached white flour, try a 7/8 cup of whole wheat flour instead. The latter includes the outer shells of grains, which provide an extra punch of fibre and promote good heart health.
If your recipe includes adding liquid (e.g. milk, water, etc), reduce the liquid portions by 25 per cent per cup by substituting with applesauce to maintain it’s sweet taste.
For example, if the recipe calls for 3 cups of milk to be added to 1 cup of sugar, put in 2 1/4 cups of milk to 1 cup of applesauce instead.
Replacing butter with avocado puree, especially in chocolate desserts, is the perfect way to substitute fats while also getting your daily dose of green. Avocados are chock full of vitamins, loaded with healthy fats, do not contain any cholesterol or sodium, and they make a great dip too. The smooth creaminess of avocado is so lush you won’t even know what you’re missing!
Evaporated skimmed milk has the same consistency as heavy cream – at a fraction of the fat. Evaporated milk tends to have a bit more sugar (about 2 grams), but the major drop in fat content makes it a worthy trade-off for your special pasta dishes and rich creamy desserts.
Superfoods on their own, chia seeds can also be used in place of eggs if you have an egg allergy or need to cut down on the cholesterol. The jelly-like consistency of soaked chia acts as an emulsifier, just like eggs.
When you think of pancakes, you often think of syrup, but pureed fruits and honey do a great job at lending sweetness without the sugar, with added vitamins and anti-oxidants.
Choose sweet potatoes over regular potatoes for your fries – and get an extra dose of Vitamin A, C and B6.
Switch out fat-laden mayo for greek yoghurt in your chicken or tuna salad. They taste almost identical when seasoned with some lemon juice and pepper, but with less than half the calories and fat.
Crispy breadcrumbs add a delicious layer to your dish. But did you know that pre-packed breadcrumbs are often heavily seasoned and packed with sodium? Swap it out for rolled oats mixed with herbs for an aromatic coating for your meat and crumbed seafood dishes instead.
If you’re watching your weight but need to satisfy a sweet tooth, go bananas. Simply freeze them, then dump them in the food processor or blender with some greek yoghurt and soy or almond milk.
Unlike iceberg lettuce, which contains one of the lowest amount of minerals and vitamins, dark leafy greens like arugula, kale, spinach or watercress are chock full of nutrients that are known to improve your health.
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