Healthy Fats: Easy Recipe Substitutions for a Delicious and Healthy Diet
Let’s look at how we can use the healthier fats to make delicious food.
When it comes to cooking, it is important to know why ingredients are important to the recipe and how we can modify them. This is especially true of fats. Altering the fats in a recipe can drastically change the taste and texture.
What Fats Do in Foods
- Fats provide flavor and richness
- Fats help retain moisture
- Fats improve texture and promote flakiness and tenderness in baked goods
- Fats create a crisp texture in fried and sautéed foods
- Make foods smooth and creamy
Eat This Not That
You can eat foods that are delicious and also healthy. Here’s how:
- Instead of ground meats like beef and pork, use half the recommended meat and mix in diced mushrooms, lentils, beans or finely chopped nuts. Some recipes can work with even less meat.
- Instead of eggs in cookies, bars and some denser cakes, mix 1 tablespoons ground flaxseed or chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water in a bowl and let sit for a few minutes before adding to other ingredients (equivalent to 1 egg).
- Instead of oil in baked goods, replace ½ the oil with an equal volume of pureed fruit or vegetables – banana, applesauce, and pumpkin work well.
- Instead of scrambled eggs and eggs in cakes and frostings, substitute silken tofu (1/4 cup for each egg).
- Instead of mayonnaise or Miracle Whip in recipes or as a spread, try low-fat greek yogurt in creamy dressings or dips. Hummus as a spread on sandwiches and wraps. Mashed avocado on sandwiches, in creamy dressings or mixed into tuna salad.
- Instead of cream-based soups, try low-fat milk and/or vegetables purees like carrots, winter squash, cauliflower or potatoes. Pureed beans and tofu also work well.
- Instead of sour cream, try low or reduced fat Greek yogurt blended with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
- Instead of butter or grated cheese topping, sprinkle foods like popcorn, pasta or tacos with nutritional yeast.
Get healthy recipes from the UVM Medical Center. View our Recipe Collection by clicking here.
Bridget Shea, RD, is a clinical dietitian at The University of Vermont Medical Center.