To reduce fat:
- Use evaporated skim milk instead of cream.
- Use 1/4 cup egg substitute or two egg whites in place of a whole egg.
- In quick breads, muffins, brownies or cakes, substitute half or all of the oil, butter or other shortening with unsweetened applesauce, mashed bananas or fruit puree. Note: Making this substitution will increase carbohydrates in the end product — something to be aware of if you have diabetes.
- Use low-fat or nonfat yogurt in place of sour cream.
- Use low-fat cottage cheese pureed until smooth or low-fat cream cheese in place of full-fat cream cheese.
- Try lower-fat or nonfat versions of a variety of foods, especially milk, cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, salad dressing and margarine.
- Use an air popper for popcorn.
To increase fiber:
- Replace half the all-purpose flour in baked goods with whole-wheat flour.
- Add oats or finely ground fiber-rich non-sweetened cereal to replace some or all of the bread crumbs in a recipe, or to the crust or batter when making desserts. Add beans or barley to soups, stews and casseroles.
- Add sauteed vegetables — cherry tomatoes, onions, spinach or zucchini, for example — to scrambled eggs.
- Don’t peel apples, cucumbers, zucchini or potatoes before eating them or using them in recipes. Choose high-fiber alternatives for cereal, bread and pasta — look at the Nutrition Facts labels.
To increase other nutrients:
- Add cooked and mashed cauliflower to mashed potatoes, or add cooked chopped cauliflower to macaroni and cheese.
- Add chopped spinach or zucchini to pasta sauce, soups and casseroles.
- For salads, choose romaine, endive or other dark-green leafy lettuce instead of iceberg lettuce, and include baby spinach leaves.
- Increase calcium by adding nonfat milk or dry milk to a casserole’s cream sauce or to cream soups.
- Increase antioxidants by sprinkling hot sauce on foods. The capsaicin in it shows promise in anti-cancer studies, though it may take quite a bit to have a discernible effect.
Chow Line is a service of Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Send questions to Chow Line, c/o Martha Filipic, 2021 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH, 43210-1044, or [email protected]