Out of an ingredient or just simply looking to cut some calories? Here are 5 tips with everyday ingredients that can help you out:
- Plain yogurt in place of sour cream
Instead of using a cup of sour cream for your favorite French Onion Dip, try using a cup of low fat or nonfat plain yogurt (Greek if you want some added protein). If you need to thin it out, add a little water. You can even use yogurt as the base for that ranch dip or dressing or to top a baked potato!!
- Ground flax seed in place of whole eggs
Did you know that one whole large egg contains 5 grams of fat? And according to the USDA, 1.6 grams of that is saturated! In recipes for baked goods, try replacing some or all of the eggs with a flax egg – just mix 1 Tablespoon ground flax with 3 Tablespoons water and let it sit for a few minutes until it becomes a gel-like consistency.
- Vinegar for marinades or dressings
Swap the oil-based bottles of salad dressing or marinade and instead look for a nice apple cider or balsamic vinegar to flavor your dishes with. Lemon vinegar can go well with chicken or fish, or simply try adding slices of lemon, lime or oranges!
- Add 1 Tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice to almond milk for sour milk or buttermilk
Want to make that Sunday-morning buttermilk pancake recipe but don’t want to buy a whole carton of buttermilk? No problem! For each cup of buttermilk needed, place 1 Tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice and fill remainder of the cup with your choice of dairy / non-dairy milk.
- Use cocoa powder in baking or cooking instead of baking chocolate or chocolate chips
Cocoa powder has lots of health benefits but without the cocoa butter that is used to make the chocolate. So you can get your fix, without some of the calories from fat! Make a chocolate pudding (or pie) – or have a home-made chocolate shake by blending some frozen bananas, fat free milk and cocoa powder together.
Other tips to cut the calories (and maybe the grocery bill)
Bake your own pita chips – buy whole wheat pita and spray lightly with oil; season with your choice of herbs and spices, slice into wedges and bake lightly for home-made pita chips
Swap the creamy coleslaw for an oil and vinegar based recipe
Use whole wheat pastry flour in recipes in place of all-purpose flour to make your recipes whole grain without the heavy taste and dark brown appearance. Small 2lb bags can be found at grocery stores if you’re limited on space in you pantry.
Use stevia in place of some sugar in a recipe. Stevia will give you the sweet without the calories. Plus, it doesn’t cause a rise in blood sugar like table sugar does.