Recipe Makeovers

Sugar!I have three boys that regularly request my chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.  I am happy to oblige them and their request.  Over the course of my adult life, I have adapted several of my cooking techniques to healthier choices.  I love to cook.  I love to watch my family devour the fruit breads that I make.  I also love the fact that what I cook them is good for them!!  Here are some tips to taking the junk out of your favorite recipes.

  1.  Applesauce works great instead of oil with a lot less calories.  Natural applesauce also contains less sugar than regular applesauce.
  2.  Instead of using heavy cream, try evaporated milk with a bit of cornstarch to thicken it up.
  3. Lots of times the fat free substitutes for yogurt and sour cream don’t have a lot of taste.  Mix low fat sour cream and fat free sour cream, and you will still get the desired taste effect with a lot less calories.
  4. If you are using chocolate chips in a recipe, you can reduce the calories by using mini chocolate chips and just using less, or visit the organic section of your grocery store and find sprouted wheat chocolate chips.  I know this may sound gross, but I use them in my chocolate chip cookies and they have ¼ the calories that regular chocolate chips have.
  5. Cut down on your sugar calories by replacing some of the sugar with Splenda.  I made a pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving time and used Splenda for the entire recipe.  I didn’t care for the taste myself, so the next time I used half sugar and half Splenda.  It was much better with fewer calories.
  6. If you are using nuts in a recipe, toasting them before adding them to a recipe will bring out their flavor. Nuts are high in calories and are good for you.  However, if the calorie content is what you are looking at, add less to your recipes.

I did learn the hard way that you can’t take all of the junk out of recipes.  One Christmas I tried that with several of my cookie recipes and my family responded with, “It’s the thought that counts” reply.  Pick and choose where to take fat and calories out of your recipes.  Enjoy!!