Cooking with fat – whether it is butter, lard, or oil adds a lot of calories to any recipe. You can also have added fat from meat depending on the cut or type of meat. An easy way to cut calories in a recipe is to cut the amount of fat. Below are some tips that can help you cut the amount of fat and make food healthier as well.
- Use lean cuts of meat and trim the fat off that you can see.
- Remove the skin and fat from poultry.
- Use white meat poultry instead of dark meat poultry (Use the breast instead of the legs and thighs.)
- Instead of frying, you can use pan-searing, baking, grilling, or broiling.
- For ground meat products, use 93/7 or higher. Do not use 80/20 or 70/30 ground meat. No matter what ground meat is used, drain the fat off after cooking.
- Use ground poultry instead of ground beef.
- Replace half of the meat in a recipe with vegetables.
- Replace regular cheese products with low-fat cheese.
- Instead of whole milk, use skim milk. If you are changing from whole milk to skim milk, start with 2% milk and then go to 1% and finally to skim milk.
- If you cook skim milk for a long time, it may curdle so it’s important to add milk at the end of cooking and on a low heat.
SAUCES AND SALAD DRESSINGS
- Instead of making a roux (fat and flour), use cornstarch or arrowroot to thicken sauces.
- Instead of using gravies or thick sauces, use stock or citrus juice. Season with spices and herbs.
- Replace half the oil in salad dressings with vinegar, lemon juice, or plain low-fat yogurt.
- Use applesauce or mashed bananas to replace the fat in baked items. Typically, you replace half of the fat with applesauce or mashed bananas. So if a recipe calls for 1 cup of fat, use 1/2 cup fat and 1/2 cup applesauce or mashed bananas.