Making recipes more healthy

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Your Health by Elizabeth McGuire

 Trying to eat healthy during the holidays can seem impossible. 

Now that we have that extra weight on us from the holidays, try some of these suggestions for making your favorite recipes healthier! 


To reduce Sugar:

* If the recipe calls for sugar, the amount can often be reduced by twenty-five to thirty percent without much change in flavor. This could reduce the overall calories significantly. You can also try adding cinnamon or vanilla to give the impression of sweetness. 

* If the recipe calls for syrup, try using unsweetened applesauce or sugar free syrup. 

* For recipes that use canned fruits, use fresh fruit or fruit canned in their own juices or water. 


To reduce Salt:

* In most recipes that call for salt, it can be omitted or cut in half. 

* Instead of season salt, try garlic powder, celery seed, and onion flakes. Or use fresh garlic, celery and onions. 

* Condiments are often high in salt. Try using salt-free seasoning and spice mixes such as herbs, spices, lemon juice, or vinegar. 

* Canned vegetables are high in salt too. Try rinsing them or using low sodium versions. Fresh and frozen are also lower sodium options. 


To reduce Fat:

* Using butter, margarine, shortening, or oil adds fat to your recipes. The amount can often be reduced by about a third. 

* Trying lower fat versions of these products is a good option too. Be careful, this may not work with baked goods!

* Another option is to substitute a third to half of the butter or oil with unsweetened applesauce. 

* When using a nonstick pan, it is not necessary to add oil. If you don’t have a nonstick pan use cooking spray. This will save extra fat and calories. 

* Instead of mayonnaise, salad dressing or marinades, try flavored vinegars, fruits juices, or lower fat versions of the original products. 

* Instead of whole milk, 2% milk, half & half or evaporated milk, use skim milk, 1% milk, evaporated skim milk, fat-free half & half, or soymilk.

* If your recipe calls for cream cheese, sour cream or cottage cheese, low fat or fat free versions of these products work well. You can also try low fat or fat free cottage cheese that has been pureed as a substitute for cream cheese or sour cream.

* Cream, whipping cream or evaporated milk can be replaced by evaporated skim milk. 

* Cheese can be replaced by reduced fat or fat free cheese. Even replacing a portion of the cheese with low fat cheese can reduce the overall fat and calories. 

* Eggs can add fat to your recipes too! Using two egg whites in place of each egg can lower the fat and calories. Using an egg substitute is an option for lowering the fat and calories too. 

* Instead of bacon, try Canadian bacon, turkey bacon, or smoked turkey.