This list is certainly not complete, but I figured I'd share some of the yummy tricks I've tried and loved. (This list is only geared toward lower fat content because that's what my body struggles to digest. These exchanges are not necessarily lower in sugar, dairy, meat, sodium, or calories.)
- When baking, use applesauce instead of oil, butter, and eggs. Depending on what I'm baking, I enjoy the flavored kinds. You can use applesauce when baking savory foods, as well. Just choose the kind with no additional sugar. The exchange rate is equal- in other words, 1/3 cup applesauce for 1/3 oil.
- I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray butter. This stuff has saved me! It's perfect for anything you might top with butter or margarine, such as steamed veggies, pasta, and toast. It's fat-free as long as you stick with the 3 spray serving size. But if 3 sprays contains zero-fat, I don't think a few more spritzes will do you in. Spray butter does not bake well.
- Non-stick cooking spray works beautifully in the place of olive and canola oil when roasting vegetables and pan frying meats and veggies. It can be used when toasting bread for bruschetta or garlic bread, grilled-cheese sandwiches.
- Baked chips are amazing. For 3.5 or less grams of fat per serving, you can actually enjoy potato and tortilla chips!
- Light mozzarella string cheese contains 2.5 grams of fat per sick. (Be careful not to confuse Light with 2%, which has 4.5 grams of fat per serving, which is still not shabby!)
- If you are baking a recipe that just absolutely requires stick butter or margarine (and we all have those recipes), use Blue Bonnet light sticks. They have 5 grams vs. double the fat for regular margarine. And the taste truly is identical.
- Egg beaters are a wonderful invention. 1/4 cup provides 6 grams of protein with only 25 calories and zero fat. Add a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of low-fat cheese and they are divine!
- Pureed squashes and ripe bananas bake beautifully in breads, brownies, and cakes. One of my favorite recipes for quick bread is 1 box spice cake mix, 1 can pumpkin puree, and 1/2 cup applesauce. Mix and bake for 30 minutes at 350. The possibilities truly are endless. You can change up the flavor of cake mix and applesauce and have a completely different treat!
- Fat-free plain yogurt is a perfect substitute for any recipe that calls for sour cream or mayonaise. And a serving adds 14 grams of protein punch to your salad, snack, or meal. It is also runny enough to be a nice salad dressing. Fat-free Greek yogurt is thicker, so it works well for dips and spreads.
- I enjoy adding Hidden Valley Ranch powdered dressing packets to fat-free plain yogurt. They have flavors such as Harvest Dill, Buttermilk Ranch, and Zesty Italian. With only 5 calories and zero fat, you really can't go wrong.
- 1/3 less fat cream cheese cuts none of the flavor when you're using it as a spread and dip. Since the fat-free cream cheese is less flavorful, it should only be used in baked goods and frostings.
- Angel Food Cake has zero fat. 'Nuff said.
- When making sauces- use bullion, spices, low-fat or fat-free soup bases, and skim milk instead of butter, cream, and the fattening jarred crap at the grocery store. It is just so unnecessary!
- Marinate meats in low-fat, or fat-free salad dressing over night. Your meat will then be saturated in flavor and you'll be less likely to add fatty condiments.
- When a recipe calls for breadcrumbs, use crushed up Total cereal flakes, which contains a trace amount of fat, and 100% of your daily value of 11 vitamins and minerals. You heard that right- just 3/4 cup provides 100% dv of Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin B 12, and Zinc. Plus 3 grams of fiber.
- Boil your pasta, potatoes, and rice in bullion broth. Zero fat, lots of flavor, and less need for dressings and sauces.
- Whenever a recipe calls for ground beef or pork sausage, use 90% lean ground turkey breakfast sausage. There is a huge difference between ground turkey (which still as 17 grams of fat per serving) and lean turkey breakfast sausage (which has between 4-6 grams of fat per serving.) And bonus- the breakfast sausage has been blessed with extra seasoning. I promise if you try this, you will never want to go back to 15-19 grams of fat that are found in hamburger meat.
Skinnier Roll-Out Sugar Cookies (3 grams of fat per 2 cookies)
1 box white cake mix
1/3 cup applesauce
1/2 cup Blue Bonnet Light margarine
1 tsp vanilla
1tsp almond extract
Bake at 375 for 5-7 minutes.