Low Fat Cooking Alternatives

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It’s not as difficult as it may seem to cook healthy low fat food while maintaining quality and flavor. In fact, when some of these replacements are used it can actually save people money.

In war times when staples were rationed, it became necessary to invent new ways of cooking. Tomato soup and potatoes were often used in place of eggs and butter. Sometimes the results were surprisingly tasty. Many still use tomato soup spice cake recipes today.

It’s a delicious cake made with raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg and tomato soup. Potatoes were used in the baking of bread and biscuits to create an interesting texture. Too many potatoes can make the dough too heavy though, so be careful.

For other healthy replacement alternatives try:

A fruit puree of apples, bananas or prunes in place of oil. If the sweetness from the fruit isn’t wanted, these options aren’t appropriate, so flaxseed can be used instead. Two spoons of flaxseed replace one spoon of oil. The seeds can be crushed or blended before adding. Flaxseed can also be used for an egg replacement. Mix ½ cup flaxseed with 1½ cups of water and heat until boiling. Simmer for a few more minutes until thickened. It doesn’t look pretty, but it works and can be refrigerated for several days. Flaxseed is known to be high in omega 3 fatty acids, which is very heart-healthy. Other egg replacement options with varying reports of success are pureed tofu or gelatin. These will work fine if just replacing one or two eggs, but in something like an angel food cake which depends on many eggs, it will probably flop.

Dairy products can be tricky to replace, especially in baking. Here are some ideas:

* Condensed low fat milk will still give the creamy texture of whole milk, but with less fat. Use low fat yogurt in place of sour cream. Use frozen smoothies, sorbet or frozen yogurt in place of ice-cream.

Snacking can be an ongoing battle when it comes to available options, but there are some acceptable low fat snacks to nibble on. Rice chips and cakes have come a long way and now come in a variety of interesting flavors. Tomato salsa is a nutritious alternative to sour cream based dips, but a homemade dip can also be made with low fat sour cream, garlic, onion powder or dill.

When it’s imperative to watch fat intake because of heart problems, labels should be read carefully. Legally fat free is supposed to mean 0.05 or fewer grams per serving and light 50% or more reduced. Low fat is 3 grams or less and reduced fat should be 25% or less.

Companies can still try to play around with the wording, so read the fine print.


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