Recipe Revamp – How to Make Your Favorite Recipes Healthier!
We all have favorite recipes and dishes that we just wish were, well, you know…HEALTHIER. As if the environment doesn’t already affect our health enough, our foods are major culprits of most health conditions. Just in case you don’t feel like going “cold turkey” with your diet, lets ease into this healthier lifestyle by using simple substitutions for your favorite recipes.
I don’t know about your household, but in our house, we get absolutely EXCITED about certain meals. Take our meatloaf for example, our family can’t live without it for too long. However, making meatloaf with beef feels a little heavy and can be rough on some of our digestive systems. Sooooo, we use 2/3 ground turkey and 1/3 Italian sausage. If you ask me, it tastes even better than the traditional beef meatloaf. I’ve included the recipe so that you can try it yourself!
I’ve gathered a list of some main ingredients and at least one substitution for each that will allow you to still enjoy your family recipes, but a much healthier version.
There are a few options when it comes to milk. You can simply go with a healthier version than whole milk, if that’s what you currently use, or you can skip the lactose altogether. Nonfat milk, almond milk and coconut milk are all better choices. Then there’s LACTAID® milk, which is lactose-free.
Flax seed is great for binding but it does have a nutty flavor so choose according to what you are cooking. Use 1 part flax seed to 3 parts water. Another option is using only the egg whites, Eggland’s Best, Egg Beaters® or any liquid egg substitute. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s Ener-G Egg Replacer which is completely free of eggs, wheat, gluten, dairy, yeast, soy, etc.
Refined flour is one of the main influences of diabetes, heart disease and obesity. All-purpose white flour is enriched and it transforms into sugar in our bodies. Going for healthier flours like whole grain flours, barley flour, almond flour, soy flours and gluten-free flours can be better and some options give us more fiber.
Bowtie pasta, fettucine, spaghetti, lasagna…they are all so very wonderful! But taking the time to look for noodles that are healthier can transform the nutrition of your meal without compromising the taste. I personally love ALDI’s brand of pasta, SimplyNature, is USDA organic and tastes great! I have found that it also takes a little less time to cook. White enriched pastas are often chemically bleached. For the healthiest options, choose zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash noodles, bean pastas, or sprouted grain pastas.
Saturated fat from butter = blocked blood vessels & high cholesterol = Heart Disease. Not an equation any of us would want to try to solve. Depending on what you are making, there are many substitutions that can be used that are much healthier. So to keep it simple, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter is healthier than butter but not the healthiest option of course. It has 70% less saturated fat, is cholesterol-free and doesn’t have artificial flavors. Smart Balance also has a butter substitute that’s healthier but isn’t as rich in flavor.
When it comes to beef, knowing what’s healthy and what’s not healthy can be tricky. For those who want to skip the mystery altogether, the options of ground turkey and ground chicken are great substitutes. Lean ground turkey and chicken can make your recipes a little lighter and easier to digest. This transition may not sound pleasing to most husbands out there, but try it and see if you like the outcome.
The bottom line is….vegetable oil has high calorie content. And despite its name, it doesn’t have any “vegetables” in it! It can cause high cholesterol and clog arteries. Instead, try olive oil, grapeseed oil, or even coconut oil. For a more detailed instruction on how to use each fo these, check out this article on foodpyramid.com.
I know you were hoping I would skip it, but YES, salt must be addressed! Excess salt is the primary culprit of High Blood Pressure and water retention which can lead to heart disease, heart failure or stroke. It’s challenging to take in less than the daily recommended amount of sodium because the foods we most often go for already has a high amount before we cook it. Try Ms Dash, powder seasonings that do not contain salt (onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, etc.), or pink (Himalayan) salt. Keep your food choices as organic and pure as possible by buying less processed foods (which is basically the entire middle section and aisles of the grocery store). Shopping in the perimeter of the grocery store will give you much healthier choices.
Quick and Easy Fat-Burning Recipes