Swap it, don’t stop it (part II)

by Khushboo on October 11, 2010

A while ago, I posted a few tips and swaps on how to improve your overall health and nutrition.  Because the list really is endless, I thought I’d blog about some more that come to mind.  Here are a few cooking-based tips to make your life that much better ;).

1)      If you are vegetarian/vegan, you can replace eggs in recipes for baked goods with flax-seeds instead.  One tablespoon of flaxseeds (or 2 ½ pre-ground flaxseeds)+3 tablespoons water replaces one egg.  The flaxseed mixture will retain a very gooey and gelatinous texture, much like egg whites.

                Alternatively ¼ cup blended silken tofu=1 egg

2)      When making mashed potatoes, improve the nutritional content by substituting ¼ to ½ of the potatoes with sweet potatoes, carrots, swede, cauliflower or butternut squash.

3)      To reap further benefits when cooking up mashed potatoes, opt for skimmed/semi-skimmed milk and low-fat natural yogurt rather than cream.

4)      I don’t think I would resort to this but if you are desperate to skim on calories and want something sweet, simply add a 12 oz can of any flavoured diet fizzy drink to a cake mix for a fluffy end-result.  A few possible combinations include:

  • angel or yellow cake + diet orange
  • banana cake mix + diet root beer
  • chocolate cake or devils food + Diet Pepsi
  • chocolate cake + Diet Coke Vanilla
  • lemon cake mix + Diet 7-up
  • marble cake + diet cream soda
  • red velvet + Diet Dr Pepper, cherry vanilla
  • white cake + diet orange
  • white cake + Diet Sprite

5)      When cooking oatmeal, add in an egg-white 30-40 seconds before it’s ready and then stir like mad.

Voila: 4 grams of extra protein & a creamier bowl of oats

6)      When making a cake/baked goods, you can retain the moisture while reducing overall calories by replacing oil with equal amounts of unsweetened applesauce.

7)      Reduce the amount of cereal you have by adding fruit to your bowl (e.g. chopped apple, banana or berries).  You’ll still be chomping down the same amount, but now you’re getting a dose of the good stuff i.e. vitamins & fiber.

8)      To avoid the inherent stench of salmon when cooking a fillet at home, oven bake or steam it rather than pan fry it.

9)      When cooking an omelette/other form of egg, add salt after cooking rather than before.  I always find that the salt seasoning gets ‘sucked away’ during the cooking process, forcing me to add unnecessary extra salt.

10)   If you’re making a home-made smoothie, chuck in a cup of raw spinach for a quick energy boost.  The resulting color may appear gag-worthy but the neutral taste of spinach ensures it won’t compromise the smoothie’s taste.  You can read more about it here.

11)   When in doubt if something is about to expire but you’re not quite ready to get rid of it, chuck it in the freezer…and then get someone to taste-test it once you’re ready to eat it 😉

And one for the road:

12)   Invest in a non-stick pan…and one of good quality!

What’s your top cooking tip?  We all have at least one up our sleeve so by just sharing one each, imagine how many more we can accumulate.  The ball’s in your court buddy…

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

karina chattlani October 11, 2010 at 9:49 am

3 of the swaps I have made this year:

1. I know the swaps all suggest ways to cut calories but one swap which should be done but doesn’t reduce calories is skip the low fat peanut butter and eat the real thing! Reduced fat peanut butter strips out the protein and healthy fats that make it a power food and replaces it with sugars and carbs (if you don’t believe me next time you’re in a supermarket compare the amount of sugar and carbohydrates in a normal jar of pb and a reduced fat version). My suggestion stick to the real thing – the healthy fats in it will keep you fuller for longer leading to less calories being consumed later on.

2. When having a bowl of pasta add a variety of vegetables to it so you eat you get satisfied with a smaller portion of pasta as the plate looks fuller with the variety of vegetables – easy way to add to your 5-a-day.

3. If you have to have your daily cappuccino fix swap whole milk for skimmed milk – You’ll get your caffeine hit with a fraction of the calories and the same amount of calcium:) Trust me in no time you wont be able to drink a full fat one – made my husband swap his full fat cappuccino for a skinny cappuccino and today he can’t imagine ever going back!!

Keep the tips coming – love incorporating the new tips i learn in to my meal planning!

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Khushboo Thadani October 12, 2010 at 9:52 am

I so agree with them all, especially number 1. When it comes to peanut butter, don’t skim on price or calories 😉

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