How to Modify Recipes


Recipes can be modified to reduce calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium and concentrated sweets (especially if you have diabetes). Try these cooking techniques to lower fat and keep flavor: microwave, broil, bake or steam food without adding fat; use non-stick cooking spray or cookware; trim fat from meat and remove skin from poultry. Change the following ingredients in recipes to lower fat without losing the flavor:

  • Butter, margarine – trans fatty acid free margarine
  • Oil – 1/2 cup applesauce or prune puree in place of 1/2 cup oil
  • Gravy – 1 tablespoon cornstarch or 2 tablespoons flour to thicken 1 cup fat free broth
  • Sauteing – Nonstick pan sprayed with cooking spray
  • Sour cream – Plain nonfat yogurt or lowfat or nonfat cottage cheese, or lowfat or nonfat sour cream
  • Cream cheese – Reduced fat or non-fat cream cheese
  • Eggs – 2 egg whites or 1/4 cup egg substitute for each whole egg in cooking
  • Cheese – Low-fat cheeses or part skim-milk cheeses or use only half amount of cheese called for
  • Whole milk or 2% milk – 1% or nonfat milk
  • Ice cream – Ice milk, low-fat or nonfat frozen yogurt
  • Whole-milk yogurt – Low-fat or nonfat yogurt
  • Regular mayonnaise – Plain yogurt or nonfat or reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • Fried chicken or fish – Broiled or baked fish and skinless chicken or turkey
  • Regular hamburger meat, spare ribs, prime cuts of meat, sausage – Lean, trimmed cuts of meat such as extra-lean hamburger, sirloin, or beef round; all fish and shellfish; pork loin; veal
  • Bacon – Lean Canadian bacon
  • Salami, bologna, liverwurst, hot dogs – Deli skinless chicken or turkey breast, lean roast beef, or trimmed boiled ham
  • Cube steak, porterhouse, or chuck roast – Round steak, sirloin, or flank steak, reduce portion size, use vegetables, pasta, or rice to bulk up the meal
  • Defatted stock – Skimming off the fat layer that floats to the top after chilling or freezing stock or use a fat separator pitcher
  • Chocolate chips – Raisins, craisins, dried blueberries