Now that the weather has turned warmer and we’re about to trade in our bulky sweaters for lighter spring wardrobes, it’s also a good time to think about trading in our “bulky” winter recipes for “lighter” spring fare. There are so many simple ways to reduce the fat and calories in our diets without sacrificing flavor. Here are just a few:
- Swap white flour for whole-wheat flour versions when it comes to pancakes, pasta, bagels and breads.
Take it one step further and switch (at least half) of the flour in cake and cookie recipes, and no one will even notice. Unlike whole-wheat flour, white flour is stripped of the bran and the germ of the wheat grain – robbing consumers of essential vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
- Plain, nonfat Greek yogurt is an excellent substitute for sour cream in dips and sauces, as is unsweetened applesauce for butter and oil in most cake recipes. Blended herbs and spice mixes negate the need for salt in soups, salads and savory dishes. Evaporated skim milk can often be exchanged for heavy cream, and dates can replace white sugar to keep your snacks sweet without the spike in your blood sugar level.
Most dessert recipes will work just as well with less added sugar. So if your favorite cookie recipe calls for 1 cup white sugar, begin to reduce the amount by a ¼ cup, or thinking about adding a “baking-friendly” version of your favorite sweetener substitute.
- Not ready to give up those familiar flavors? Try a festive frittata with low-fat cottage cheese and reduced-fat sour cream. Or make kid-friendly lasagna cups with part-skim ricotta cheese and ground turkey instead of ground beef.
Subbing skim milk for whole milk, which is higher in saturated fats, is perhaps one of the easiest exchanges you can make.
There are lots of easy and creative ingredient swaps that will make meals healthier and leave us feeling as light and bright as a warm spring afternoon. Ask your local ShopRite dietitian for more ideas on how to make your favorite foods healthier without any drastic differences in taste, or visit us at ShopRite.com to get more information.
Low Fat Bran Muffins
- 1 cup flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Calamut baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups Post 100% Bran cereal
- 1-1/4 cups 2% reduced fat milk
- 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ cup applesauce
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon in large bowl.
- Mix cereal, milk and sugar in another bowl; let stand 5 minutes.
- Stir in egg and applesauce. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. (Batter will be lumpy.)
- Spoon batter into muffin pan which has been sprayed with no stick cooking spray, filling each cup 2/3 full.
- Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.