You may wish to cut calories from your cooking for various reasons, but just don’t know where to start. And if you think that lowering calories equals little flavor and no flair, but don’t despair. Here are some cooking techniques that can reduce calories, yet please your palette.
As you might expect, ounce for ounce cooking oils and fats add more calories than any other ingredient. Instead of adding butter, margarine, oil, or meat drippings to your dish, use cooking sprays to prevent sticking, meat broths to add flavor, and unsweetened applesauce to replace half of the fat in baked goods.
Choose Lean Meats and Poultry
Begin with a lean cut of meat or poultry. Lean cuts of meat include round, loin, and sirloin. Most people think that by choosing poultry they are choosing a lower calorie alternative, but keep in mind this is only true if you select white meat from the breast without the skin.
Use Less Sugar
You can trim the sugar by about half in many sweets. But of course, you will lose some of the sweetness. If the recipe calls for vanilla, cloves, nutmeg, or cinnamon, you can add a little extra of these ingredients to help replace the flavor. As an alternative, there are many sugar replacements available in the baking aisle. Do be cautious with sugar substitutes as some do lose their sweetness when cooked at high temperatures.
Choose the Right Cooking Method
Avoid frying, sauteing, and the dreaded deep fat fryer which requires a lot of added oil. Instead stick with baking, broiling, grilling, poaching, or steaming, which all use little, if any, added fat. Boiling and grilling are terrific for meats because the drippings are allowed to fall away from the food while cooking.
Those bright and colorful vegetables add aesthetic appeal to your dish and are packed with important vitamins and minerals, yet contribute few calories. Use chopped vegetables to replace some of the meat in all types of recipes such as soups, stews, casseroles, and meatloaf.
A little goes a long way when using flavorful ingredients. For example, when using cheese, select a strongly flavored variety such as gorgonzola or sharp cheddar, and use only a small amount so as to not add a lot of calories. Also, chop fresh herbs in place of their dried alternative to add a lot of low-calorie flavors.
These tips items that will allow you to make low-fat meals in a snap. If the items aren’t in your budget right now, keep them in mind and add them to your gift list during your free time.