7 Healthy Cooking Hacks

February 18, 2015

Are you trying to get 2015 off to a great start?  Try these healthy cooking hacks that will save calories but not compromise taste.

by Elisa Hindes

Did your New Year’s resolution involve losing weight, exercising more, or adopting a healthier lifestyle?  Then you’re in good company because according to a 2014 study by the University of Scranton, losing weight is the number one resolution people make when the calendar starts over, followed by staying fit and healthy in the number five spot. 

The fact of the matter though is that only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolution.  If you’re determined to be in that small group and shed some pounds this year, then you’re going to need some healthy cooking hacks to keep your eating on track.  Here are seven simple ways you can lighten up your meals but not your enjoyment.

  1. Swap sour cream and mayonnaise for non-fat Greek yogurt. It’s so thick and rich you won’t miss the fat and can be used in all kinds of dressings, dips and sauces, even in tuna, egg or potato salad.
  2. Substitute applesauce for butter or oil in baked goods. The rule of thumb is to swap out half of the fat in the recipe for applesauce.  So if it calls for one cup of butter, replace half of that with the sauce.  Be sure to look for one that doesn’t have added sugar.
  3. Try adding puréed or finely minced vegetables (carrot, zucchini, onion, spinach, mushrooms, etc.) to extra lean ground beef, chicken or turkey to add flavor, bulk and moisture. Then use the mixture for making meatballs and burgers, or stuffing into bell peppers, mushrooms, or cabbage leaves.
  4. Skip the pasta and use cooked spaghetti squash or vegetables cut into “noodles” using a spiralizer.
  5. Skip the oil and sauté or stir-fry in a few tablespoons of low sodium broth or even water. Save the fat for when it really counts, like extra virgin olive oil on your salad or a little grass-fed butter on your multi-grain toast.
  6. Cauliflower can be used in place of all kinds of starchy items. Mash it like potatoes, grind it up fine and use it for “fried rice,” you can even use it to make a pizza crust.
  7. Chia seeds, the ancient superfood that’s currently enjoying the spotlight, mixed into nonfat Greek yogurt with some fresh fruit makes a delicious and nutritious breakfast “pudding.”

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net


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