Healthy Cooking Swaps to Start Making Today
Cooking at home is a great alternative to eating out when you want to save money, impress a girl, or lighten up the calorie load, but that last one only works if you’re choosing the right ingredients. Don’t let classic recipes throw you off your health regime, just start making these healthy ingredient swaps to lighten up your favorite dishes. Plus, then your cooking will be doubly impressive to the ladies.
Greek yogurt differs from regular yogurt in the draining process it goes through, which makes it tangy with a thick consistency. That consistency is pretty close to other white toppings like sour cream and cream cheese. Besides being way less fatty than those options, it also has filling protein and tons of calcium. Imagine all the places you can use it.
Lighten up guacamole or spinach dip by mixing in some Greek yogurt, use it for taco Tuesdays instead of sour cream,
Whip out a blender or food processor and your normal rolled oats can be ground into a flour or crumb of its own. Oats are lower glycemic, gluten free, and all around much healthier than white flour alternatives. Use this in any recipe that calls for flour like chocolate chip cookies, casseroles, or chicken parmesan. Plus oats are a good source of fiber so you’ll stay fuller longer.
When you’re whipping up the booked goods oil can really start to drag them down and mess with your summer body plans. Luckily, low calorie apple sauce is a great alternative that you can use to cut down on least half the oil. This works really well for things like brownies, but if you feel like they look too light you can always add in some prunes. No, seriously.
Sometimes you can cut out literally all of the bad ingredients and still make a super awesome delicious meal. In this case, pancakes can be made with only bananas, eggs, and peanut butter. A quick internet search will take you to the right recipe amounts, but don’t worry it’s very easy. And you might actually like them better than the original.
If a sandwich or something calls for a mayo spread or butter topping to moisten things up a bit with a fatty topping, defer to avocado. Avocado is heart healthy, will fill you up without clogging you up, and is just delicious. It’s way more satisfying than the alternatives and you’re actually getting use out of your calories.
When cauliflower is ground up in a food processor it can be used as a crust alternative for pretty much anything…even pizza. Cauliflower is not only healthy and gluten free but it is extremely low in calories so you’re free to go a little crazier with the toppings without losing out on the crunchy factor. Cauliflower is also an awesome alternative to mashed potatoes. Get creative.
About Kate Ferguson Kate Fergus is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of blogs and online magazines. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce.