I believe that almost every recipe can be transformed into a healthy one simply by switching ingredients with healthier ones or cleaning up the recipe.
Here are some tips to make any recipe healthier
- For baked goods half the fat and replace the remaining volume with unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana. Sometimes the fat can’t be fully replaced but can be swapped out for a healthier version. Use coconut oil (virgin cold pressed) or olive oil when possible
- Reduce the sugar by up to a half in baked goods
- Use whole grain or at least whole wheat for any breads, pasta or rice
- Use the lowest fat option whenever possible; such as skim milk instead of 2%, extra lean ground beef (or even ground turkey).
- Make your own! Items such as store bought dips, dressings and desserts can have a lot of unneeded additives and calories that can easily be reduced by making it at home
- Change your cooking methods: try steaming veggies instead of sauteeing in oil, or poaching instead of frying. Use less oil (or use water when possible), and non stick pans.
- Add veggies! If a recipe calls for veggies already try adding more, and cutting back on other items such as carbs. If the recipe doesn’t call for veggies try adding some in anyway. I always add spinach to my mac and cheese because it doesn’t change the flavour.
- Carbs can be replaced with veggies. Try using a spiralizer to make zucchini noodles instead of pasta. Love lasagna? Try replacing the noodles with zucchini or eggplant. If you can’t make that sacrifice at least add veggies to a couple of the layers
- Use spices and herbs instead of salt. This is a great way to add flavourand cut down your sodium intake
- Use natural sugar options such as honey or stevia. Both are usually sweeter than honey so consider cutting back on the amount.
Although it may be tempting to look for the low calorie/low fat/low sugar option it’s not always the healthiest option. Stop and read labels. Make sure that when items such as sugar or fat is removed it isn’t added with other things such as salt, or chemicals.