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Recipe Makeovers

So many of our favorite recipes are loaded with fat and calories, but the fat content in most recipes can be greatly reduced with just some minor changes. When using hamburger, look for extra lean beef or use ground turkey. To lower the fat content of a chicken recipe, use the white meat as opposed to dark. Also, remove the skin since this is very high in saturated fat, even though it may be your favorite part. Trim as much fat off the pork or beef before cooking. For recipes containing milk, use 1% or skim milk, both of which are a good protein source but lower in fat and will not alter the recipe. 

We all love baking products but they are high in both calories and fat. Here is a chart that will help you with low-fat baking:

 Instead of...  Use...  You Save...
 1 cup sweetened condensed milk  1 cup nonfat sweetened condensed milk

 133 calories
 26 games of fat

 1 cup whole milk  1 cup skim milk  60 calories
 8 grams of fat
 1 cup heavy cream  1 cup evaporated skim milk  621 calories
 87 grams of fat
 1 cup whipped cream  1 cup nondairy light whipped topping  256 calories
 35 grams fat
 1 cup butter, margarine, or  shortening  1/2 cup applesauce or pureed prunes  1350-1650  calories
 185-220 grams  of  fat
 1 cup sour cream  1 cup nonfat sour cream  244 calories
 48 grams of fat
 1 whole egg  2 egg whites or 1/4 cup fat-free egg  substitute  42 calories
 5 grams of fat


Now, let’s try to lower the fat and calories for a macaroni and cheese recipe:

 Instead of...  Use...  You Save...
 2 cups cheddar cheese                    2 cups low fat cheddar cheese                   160 calories
 32 grams of fat       
 1 cup whole milk  1 cup skim milk  60 calories
 8 grams of fat
 3 tablespoons butter  3 tablespoons light soft margarine

 270 calories
 30 grams of fat


Not all the substitutes you try will work for all recipes. Be creative, keep trying and have fun cooking. There are many other products available to help you reduce fat, cholesterol, saturated fat and calories. It helps to understand how to read nutrition labels. Refer to CCS Medical’s “Reading a Food Label” for more help.

Not all the substitutes you try will work for all recipes. Be creative, keep trying and have fun cooking. Try other products to help you reduce fat, cholesterol, saturated fat and calories. 

References: CCS Medical’s Favorite recipes wellness sheet, #70101.

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Health and Wellness Tip

Laugh every day.  It can release endorphins, the healing hormones, and act as the body’s natural pain killer.  Rent a funny movie or call a friend that makes you laugh.  This can lower your blood pressure and boost your immune system.