Nutritious holiday goodies
Although the title of this article may sound like double talk, the holidays don’t have to be “horror days” if you put your favorite holiday recipes through a healthy makeover. First you need to decide what you would like to accomplish. Would you like to reduce calories or fat? Maybe you’d like to incorporate more fiber. Whatever your goal, the second step is to identify the ingredient(s) in the recipe that can be modified. Very few recipes need to be followed exactly to assure a good quality product. The following hints however will increase your chances for success.
Reducing Fat and Calories
Reduce fat by 1/4 to 1/3 in baked products.
Sauté in water or broth instead of fat.
Use the reduced-calorie/fat alternative for whole milk, cheeses, sour cream, mayonnaise, salad dressings, cottage cheese, etc.
Chill soups, gravies, and broth to skim off the hardened fat before reheating to serve.
Replace fat in baked goods with equal amounts applesauce or prune puree. (This will work in many recipes, but not all. The flavor of some products may be altered by this substitution.)
Reducing Saturated Fat and Cholesterol
Substitute 2 egg whites for each whole egg.
If a recipe calls for “melted” shortening or butter, use vegetable oil in place of the solid fat. (Do not try to substitute oil for solid fat measurements.)
Reduce sugar by 1/4 to 1/3 in baked goods and desserts. (Don’t reduce sweeteners in yeast breads. It promotes rising.)
Increase the amount of vanilla or cinnamon in the recipe to enhance the impression of sweetness.
Substitute whole grain flours for up to 1/2 the white flour in a recipe.
Add extra fruits and vegetables to recipes and include the peel when appropriate.
Add fruits to muffins, pancakes, salads, and desserts; and add vegetables to quiche, casseroles, and salads.
Omit or reduce by half the amount of salt called for in a recipe.(Salt is needed in yeast bread to control the rising action of the yeast.)
Rely on herbs and spices in place of salt for flavor.
Taste foods before adding extra salt.
Email or call Susan Lednicky, nutritionist, at 702-257-5548.