Recipe Makeovers To Boost Nutrition

We all have our favorite family recipes and though they may be big on taste, some of them may be lacking in nutrition. If you are trying to eat healthy, there is no need to throw out Grandma’s old recipes. If they are foods you prepare only a few times a year, you probably don’t need to worry, but if the recipe is one that you make often, try experimenting with some small changes to see if you can boost the recipe’s nutrition without compromising taste. Makeover methods that you can try include: substituting ingredients, adding or removing ingredients, reducing ingredient amounts or changing the way a recipe is prepared. Here are some suggestions:

-          Add fresh or frozen vegetables to casseroles, salads and pasta dishes. This will add great taste and important nutrients like fiber, vitamins and minerals, without adding fat or many calories.

-          When making recipes that call for ground beef, use 93% lean ground beef. You can also try lean ground chicken or turkey.

-          In recipes that call for sour cream, increase calcium and decrease fat by using plain low-fat yogurt instead.

-          Try using reduced or low-fat shredded cheese in recipes calling for the full fat version.

-          Reduce sodium in recipes calling for canned soup or broth by using the lower sodium versions.

-          When recipes call for milk, use low-fat or fat-free milk. This will help to reduce the total fat and saturated fat in the recipe, but will still contribute a good source of calcium, vitamin D and other important nutrients.

-          When recipes call for oil, choose healthy oils that are low in saturated fat and high in poly or monounsaturated fats such as canola, olive, corn, safflower and sunflower oils.  

-          Boost fiber and other key nutrients in recipes by switching refined grains for whole grains such as whole grain bread, whole grain pastas, whole wheat tortillas and brown rice.

-          Instead of frying, use lower fat cooking methods such as broiling, steaming or grilling.

-          When preparing baked goods that call for butter, oil or shortening, use half the amount and substitute the other half with unsweetened applesauce.

Try this made-over version of the take-out favorite, Chicken Fried Rice.

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