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Making Healthy Swaps

Posted by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 12:00 AM
  • 44 Replies

Healthy cooking does not have to be all raw vegetables and lean chicken breasts (although they are both indispensable to the healthy cook!). There are ways to make your favorites a little healthier without sacrificing flavor and mouthfeel.

Grilled Sandwiches: Instead of slathering bread with butter to make a panini or grilled cheese, spray it with a little olive oil cooking spray. It still crisps and browns beautifully with a fraction of the fat and calories.

Dairy: Always sub in the lowest-fat dairy you can for full-fat milk, cheese, yogurt or sour cream in recipes. You might get a slightly thinner texture; experiment to see what works and what tastes good and melts well.

Grains: Use chicken broth to cook rice or couscous instead of butter. And try whole grains whenever possible; sub in brown rice for white, or bulgur for couscous, for example. They can take a long time to cook, but many grains freeze well, so cook a double batch and freeze some for your next recipe.

Vegetables: Use a squeeze of lemon juice, a sprinkle of herbs, or a splash of balsamic vinegar to add flavor instead of butter. Adding extra vegetables to a recipe is one of the the best ways to add volume and nutrition so you are filled up faster for fewer calories; if you're making a recipe, you can probably put in as much as twice the amount of vegetable called for. For example, toss some frozen peas in with the pasta for macaroni and cheese, add some chopped tomatoes to your spaghetti sauce, or top sandwiches and burgers with lettuce and tomato.

Meat: Always choose the leanest cut possible, and trim visible fat before cooking. Take the skin off chicken before you eat it, also; most of the fat resides there.

What are your favorite healthy swaps?


by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Bronze Member on Mar. 20, 2013 at 9:16 AM

These are great tips. We already have swapped our dairy and buy lean cuts of meat.

by Bronze Member on Mar. 20, 2013 at 9:21 AM

I have seen that you can substitue Greek yogurt for butter.  I plan on trying this in some dishes.

by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 9:25 AM

These are great tips.  I don't have anything to add to it.

by Bronze Member on Mar. 20, 2013 at 9:41 AM
1 mom liked this

I sometimes use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream.  

by Member on Mar. 20, 2013 at 9:43 AM
I've used low sodium broth in place of butter and it worked just fine. I'm looking into some other healthy swaps I can make
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by Member on Mar. 20, 2013 at 9:45 AM

I use broth to cook brown rice, it tastes so much better!

I'll have to try the olive oil instead of butter for my next grilled cheese. I should try adding herbs or the balsamic vinegar to my frozen veggies & see if we can skip the butter.

by Bronze Member on Mar. 20, 2013 at 9:47 AM

I like to make toasted sandwiches instead of grilled. I do the other ones that you have suggested also. Great tips!

by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 9:48 AM

I can't think of any that aren't already on the list.

by Bronze Member on Mar. 20, 2013 at 9:54 AM

We prefer skinless chicken over all other meats. We often eat fruit as snacks instead of something like chips.

by Laina on Mar. 20, 2013 at 10:07 AM

great tips thank you

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