Healthy Recipe Substitutions


by Bristol Publishing Enterprises

Sometimes you may want to adjust recipes so that they fit into a healthy lifestyle.
The following substitutions will help you improve your diet without sacrificing flavor.

Instead of Use
bacon, cooked Canadian bacon
OR turkey bacon
OR soy bacon
OR imitation bacon bits
beef venison
OR buffalo
beef, ground ground turkey
OR ground chicken
OR ground buffalo
OR ground venison
breadcrumbs, dry toasted or untoasted wheat germ
OR stale French bread
Process with a blender or food processor into crumbs.
breads, high-fat low-fat breads
Avoid breads that are high in fat and calories, such as croissants, brioche, egg bagels, etc. Instead, choose breads that are low in fat and calories, such as French or sourdough loaves, English muffins and non-egg bagels.
breads, quick yeast breads
Watch for high-fat ingredients.
butter margarine
OR vegetable shortening
OR vegetable oil
OR applesauce, for baking
OR apple or orange juice concentrate, for baking
Butter contains a high percentage of saturated fat and cholesterol. Vegetable-based margarine, vegetable shortening and vegetable oil have a lower percent of saturated fat. For more information, see oils.
cake, pound angel food cake
cheese reduced-fat versions of purchased cheese
OR full-flavored grating cheese, such as Parmesan or Romano
Although these cheeses contain high amounts of fat, a small amount goes a long way to flavor dishes.
cheese, cream yogurt cheese
OR purchased low-fat or nonfat cream cheese
Do not cook over high heat.
OR domestic neufchatel cheese
cheese, ricotta pureed low-fat cottage cheese
OR nonfat cream cheese
OR yogurt cheese
Do not cook over high heat.
chicken, dark meat white meat chicken
with skin without skin
Tip: cook chicken breasts with skin and remove skin just before eating. This helps the chicken stay juicy.
chocolate carob
Carob's fat and calories are similar to chocolate's, but carob contains no caffeine.
OR cocoa
Use recipes that contain pure cocoa instead of chocolate. These recipes will usually contain fewer calories and fat, but watch for added butter and oil. For a rich chocolate flavor, choose "Dutch-processed" cocoa. It may be a little more expensive than the regular version, but the results are well worth it.
coconut milk 1 cup nonfat yogurt
1 1/2 cups + 1/2 cup nonfat milk
+ 1/2 tsp. coconut extract
Combine all ingredients; do not boil.
cookies, high-fat meringue cookies
Watch for high-fat additions, such as chocolate chips and/or nuts.
OR purchased gingersnaps, sugar wafers, animal crackers, fig or other fruit bars, graham crackers or vanilla wafers
Some brands contain more fat and calories than others. Check the labels for nutritional information.
OR low-fat or nonfat versions of purchased cookies
crackers melba toast
OR flatbread
OR lavosh
OR matzo
OR rice crackers
OR baked tortilla wedges, page 38
OR baked pita bread wedges, page 38
Avoid butter crackers and "flavored" crackers with extra sugars and fats.
cream, heavy very cold evaporated skim milk
for whipping
cream, heavy evaporated skim milk
not for whipping OR low-fat or nonfat plain yogurt
cream, sour low-fat or nonfat sour cream
OR low-fat or nonfat plain yogurt
OR buttermilk
creme fraiche low-fat or nonfat plain yogurt
custard, for baking 1/2 cup egg substitute
+ 1 cup evaporated skim milk
Season with salt and pepper or sugar to taste, depending on the dish.
eggs 1/2 cup egg substitute
2 OR 4 egg whites
OR 1/2 cup applesauce, for baking
flour 2 tsp. cornstarch
for thickening OR 2 tsp. arrowroot
2 tbs. Bring cooking liquid to a boil. Whisk arrowroot or cornstarch with a small amount of cold water or cold cooking liquid until consistency is like heavy cream. Add mixture slowly to hot liquid, stirring constantly, until desired thickness is reached.

From Kitchen Solutions, by Bristol Publishing Enterprises. Copyright 1998 by Bristol Publishing Enterprises. Excerpted by arrangement with Bristol Publishing Enterprises. $24.95. Available in local bookstores, or call 800-346-4889, or click here.