Archive for Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Tips on trimming fat from recipes

Begin the new year by cutting back calories with these easy substitutions

December 25, 2002


To kick the new year off right, do you have some healthy ingredient substitutions that I can start using?

What a great way to think about getting the new year off on the right foot. Cheryl Armstrong, a certified dietitian, of Purdue University, has compiled a list of healthy recipe ingredient substitutions. Hope this will help guide you in 2003.

Here are some of her suggestions. If an amount isn't indicated, use equal amount for substitution:

  • 1 large whole egg with 2 large egg whites or egg substitute. When baking, substitute only half of the whole eggs or the product will be tough.
  • 2 percent or whole milk with skim, 1/2 percent or 1 percent milk.
  • Heavy cream in soups/casseroles with evaporated skim milk. Heavy cream when baking with light cream or half and half.
  • Buttermilk with 2 percent buttermilk or 15 tablespoons of skim milk and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
  • Evaporated whole milk with evaporated skim milk.
  • Sweetened condensed whole milk with low-fat or nonfat sweetened condensed milk.
  • Sour cream and yogurt with low-fat or nonfat sour cream or yogurt. If recipe requires cooking, use nonfat only in sweet recipes.
  • Cream cheese with nonfat or light cream cheese. Nonfat or light cream cheese produces dips and cake frosting that are very runny.
  • Cottage cheese and ricotta cheese with low-fat cottage cheese, low-fat ricotta cheese or dry curds.
  • Butter with light or low-fat margarine. Margarine contains more water and may cause a baked product to be tough, so try decreasing regular margarine by 1 to 2 tablespoons first.
  • Regular cheese with low-fat or nonfat cheese. Do not use nonfat in cooked foods because it does not melt.
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese with 3/4 cup sharp Cheddar cheese.
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese with 3/4 cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese.
  • 1 ounce of unsweetened baking chocolate with three tablespoons of dry cocoa, 2 teaspoons of sugar and 1 tablespoons of oil.
  • 1 cup chocolate chips with 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips.
  • 1 cup oil in quick breads with 1/2 cup baby fruit or vegetable, 1/2 cup oil or 1 percent buttermilk.
  • Regular peanut butter with reduced fat peanut butter.
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts with 1/2 cup nuts toasted to bring out the flavor.
  • 1 cup shredded coconut with 1/2 cup toasted coconut and 1/2 teaspoon of coconut extract.
  • Mayonnaise and salad dressing with light or nonfat mayonnaise and salad dressing. Do not cook with nonfat because they turn sweet with heat.

In addition to these ingredient substitutions, start paying closer attention to the portion sizes that you put on your plate. It's one of the easiest ways to start wacking away on those excess calories.

I recently shared the recommended serving sizes from the Food Guide Pyramid that can be used as a guide to healthier eating. If you need another copy of it, please contact me at 843-7058.

Just keep in mind that serving sizes are smaller than most think. For example, 10 french fries is considered one standard serving. A typical value' portion of french fries from a fast-food restaurant may be large enough for a family of four to share.

Some guidelines that may help in estimating portions that equal one serving include:

  • A light bulb is similar in size to one serving of broccoli.
  • A deck of cards is similar in size to a 3 ounce serving of cooked meat. Restaurant steaks may equal 3 or 4 servings.
  • A cassette tape is similar in size to one standard serving from the grain group (for example, a small bagel or piece of bread);
  • A nine-volt battery is similar in size to one standard serving of cheese which is 1 1/2 ounces.
  • A ping-pong ball is similar in size to one standard serving of peanut butter which is 2 tablespoons.
  • A compact disc is similar to a standard size serving for one pancake.

Remember, only we have the power to change our present and future choices, so a good time to start is now.

Wishing you and yours the best during this holiday season.

-- Susan Krumm is an Extension agent in family and consumer sciences with K-State Research and Extension-Douglas County, 2110 Harper St. She can be reached at 843-7058.

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