Making Healthy Recipes
Healthy recipes are something that nearly all people will search for at some point – you buy recipe books or more commonly you Google it. However what do you do when you have a recipe that you always use but you know that it’s not the best for you?
The following article gives some tips on making your favourite recipes healthier so you don’t have to cook new dishes but rather, modify the ones you already have.
Fats and Oils
Butter, margarine, oil and dressings
- Instead of using butter when cooking, try using small amounts of oils such as olive oil or canola oil
- Use lower fat cooking methods like steaming, grilling or microwaving instead of deep frying
- When baking or grilling use small amounts of a cooking oil spray rather than pouring a large amount of oil into the pan
- As an alternative to butter, try using avocado, hommos or ricotta cheese by spreading on bread
- Cook foods in liquids like stock, lemon juice or water instead of oil where possible
- Instead of cream try evaporated skim milk that is chilled and whipped
- Instead of using cream for cream based sauces try using evaporated skim milk thickened with flour – great alternative to creamy based pasta sauces!
- Buy reduced fat sour cream to help cut some of the extra kilojoules in the dish
- Use low fat milk e.g. in soups, custards and in cooking
- Use reduced fat varieties
- When adding cheese to dishes try to use grated cheese – means you will use less
- Try light cream cheese or reduced fat ricotta cheese in place of full fat cream cheese
Yoghurt, ice cream and custard
- Use low fat varieties
- Make custard by using custard powder made with skim milk
Cereals, legumes and nuts
- Choose a lower GI rice like Doongara or Basmati
- Consider using brown rice instead of white
- Try wholemeal varieties of pasta and top with tomato based sauces rather than creamy sauces
- Use natural muesli instead of toasted muesli – it is lower in fat
- If buying canned legumes look for no added salt varieties
- When making dishes like salad, spaghetti or nachos consider adding legumes
- Use lentils in soup and casseroles to boost the fibre content
- Choose unsalted varieties
- Add small amounts of nuts and seeds to salads, stir –frys, muffins and cakes
Cutting down salt in recipes
- Don’t automatically add salt just because the recipe says so – taste the food first
- Read food labels and choose products with the lowest amount of salt per 100g
- Instead of using salt, try adding herbs or spices to dishes like parsley, basil, pepper, garlic and chilli
- For more information about salt check out my reference article “what is salt”
This article was written by our Dietitian, Rhiannon Welsh, who is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Dietitians Association of Australia Member.
If you have any questions about healthy eating contact your local doctor who will arrange for you to see a dietitian in Sydney. Contact us today!
References for further information