Converting Recipes to Lowfat
The fat content in recipes can be reduced in a variety of ways:
When buying hamburger, look for extra lean hamburger. This type
has much less fat than regular hamburger. You can also substitute
ground turkey for hamburger. Turkey has a slightly different
taste, but it is good and generally costs less than hamburger.
Ground turkey is generally very low in fat.
For chicken, white meat contains less fat than dark meat. Try to
buy boneless, skinless, chicken breasts. These contain relatively
little fat. Turkey can be substituted for chicken. Boneless
turkey breast is cheaper than chicken breast, and it is a little
lower in fat (although chicken breast is low in fat also).
Trim as much fat as possible from pork before you cook it. Turkey
ham can be substituted for real ham. Turkey ham, of course, is
really turkey. It really does taste like ham, though, and can be
used wherever a recipe calls for ham. Some people can't tell the
difference between the two. Turkey ham has very little fat
compared to regular ham.
If you've never tried turkey bacon, you're missing out! Regular
bacon is made entirely of fat, with no nutritional value
whatsoever. Turkey bacon is not a pork product, it is made from
turkey meat. Turkey bacon contains little fat (it is usually
about 97 percent fat free). It still doesn't have a lot of
nutritional value, but it is relatively low in fat and will give
you a little protein. It tastes considerably different from
regular bacon, but it is very good!
Tuna can be purchased packed in oil or water. Tuna packed in
water contains almost no fat. Tuna packed in oil contains
considerably more fat.
Lowfat cream of mushroom and chicken soups are now available at
your grocery store. Check the labels to see which one is lowest
in total fat grams per serving.
For the recipes that require milk, skim milk can be used without
For recipes call for cheddar cheese, there are low-fat and
non-fat varieties of cheddar cheese. The lowfat variety work well
in these types of recipes. The nonfat cheeses usually do not melt
very well and aren't great for cooking.
Lowfat or nonfat sour cream, cottage cheese, cream cheese, and
mayonnaise can be used without sacrificing any flavor.
Butter can be eliminated from some recipes. When browning onions,
hamburger, etc., you can spray your skillet with nonstick spray
or use chicken or beef broth instead of butter to cook with. When
baking, you can use reduced-calorie margarine instead of butter,
but the texture will not always come out right. You've got to
experiment a little. Nonfat margarines currently on the market do
not bake well at all. Just remember...with baked goods, it's not
always the calorie content per cookie or piece of cake, it's how
many you eat! Remembering that has helped me maintain my weight
better than any reduced calorie diet.
Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom who is the author of
What's for Dinner?, an e-cookbook containing more than 250 quick
easy dinner ideas. For recipes, tips to organize your home, home
decorating, crafts, holiday hints, and more, visit Creative
Homemaking at http://www.creativehomemaking.com.
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