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Tips to Make Your Favorite Recipes Healthier

Tips to Make Your Favorite Recipes Healthier

We all have those recipes that are just too good to give up, even when we are trying to eat healthier. Here’s the good news – you don’t have to let them go! There are ways for you to adjust recipes to fit within your nutrition goals. So, grab your favorite recipe and try these tips out for delicious results!

Make Healthy Substitutions

Substitute various meats, fats, and carbs for ingredients with similar texture but higher nutritional content.

Meat: Use leaner options such as ground turkey, boneless skinless chicken breast, seafood, lean ground beef, etc. to decrease fat content. Other great protein substitutions are quinoa and beans.

Pasta and bread: Choose whole grain option over “white” bread or pasta. Check the nutrition label to ensure it is made with whole wheat or grains. These provide more nutrients and dietary fiber.

Dairy products: Aim for low-fat milk and cheese instead of whole fat dairy products. They provide the same flavor with less calories.

Reduce the Amount of Sugar and Salt

Adjusting the amount of sugar and salt in your dish doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor. Use your creativity! Add spices and herbs such as cumin, garlic, basil, and cilantro. There is an abundance of options to choose from to elevate your recipe. Mix it up to find what you flavors you enjoy.

Sugar: Reduce the sugar in your recipe by one-third to one-half.  Try adding vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg to enhance the smaller amount of sugar.  

Salt: Cut the amount of salt in half or completely eliminate it. I’ve made plenty of dishes without salt that still tasty amazing. Use other seasonings to add flavor instead.

Control Portion Size

Even if a dish is full of healthy ingredients, you still need to keep your portion sizes in check. Nowadays most recipes will tell you what the recommended serving amount is. If you are unsure, try searching online. Once you get used to what proper portions look like, you can start to visually measure your food on your plate. If it is dessert, serve yourself one and then put the rest out of sight to not be tempted to eat the rest of the container.  

Change Cooking Techniques

Frying food adds unnecessary oil, fat, and salt. You can use other cooking techniques that are healthier, but still add texture and flavor. Use methods such as baking, braising, steaming, broiling, sauteing, and grilling.  

Follow the links below for some of my go-to recipes!

Turkey Chili

Tomato Spinach Chicken Spaghetti (substitute whole grain pasta)

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

5-Ingredient Flourless Banana Bread