We all have favorite family recipes.  They are full of flavor, and sometimes unwanted fat or calories.  There have to be simple substitutions to make some dishes more healthy.  This is what I found:

Instead of Butter, Oil, Eggs

  • One alternative to using oil or butter to grease a pan is to invest in non-stick pans.
  • If you must use a fat, try substituting Extra Virgin Olive Oil for butter.  Unlike butter, it is a monosaturated fat and can raise HDL or your “good” cholesterol.  Unfiltered olive oil, while it is more bitter and less fruity, offers more antioxidants from the skin of the olives.
  • When baking or cooking with eggs, a great substitute is to use 2 egg whites or ¼ cup egg substitute per egg needed.

Instead of Flour

The Happy Housewife shares great suggestions on substituting barley flour for soft white flour when baking. Not only does barley flour give everything a soft texture, but also a great flavor. The other benefit of using barley flour instead of regular flour is that it is low in fat, high in fiber and protein, and has been known to lower cholesterol.

Instead of Salt

You can reduce the amount of salt by substituting salt with fresh or dried herbs and spices. If you use them towards the end of cooking, you can savor the flavor instead of having it get completely cooked into the meal.

Instead of Meat

When eating healthy, you don’t have to avoid red meat when cooking. Just simply choose leaner meat and limit your portions. Some recipes, like chili, can be altered to be meatless.  Check out the Picky Palate’s Turkey Chili or for something very unique, Dani Spies Butternut Squash Chili with Kale.

What healthy alternatives do you use when cooking?

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