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Q: How can I bake better for a healthier holiday?

Posted December 18, 2013 in Advice Column

A: For a healthier twist on traditional recipes, consider making simple substitutions in your festive favorites. To reduce fat, cut the amount in half and for the other half, substitute unsweetened applesauce or mashed bananas. Use egg substitute in place of whole eggs. Use non-fat or light dairy products rather than the original version.

To reduce sugar, cut one-third to one-half of the amount in the recipe. Consider alternative sweeteners such as Splenda or stevia for treats without spoonfuls of sugar.

To reduce sodium, cut the amount by half or eliminate (except in recipes that include yeast). Substitute salt with onion flakes, garlic powder and herbs. Be practical about portions. Use a smaller plate and serve smaller portions of dessert.

Focus on fiber and pack in protein to turn tasty treats into satisfying sweets. Add flax seed, chia seed or oatmeal to recipes. Use whole wheat flour in breads, bars, muffins and cookies. Dried fruits add fiber and flavor.  Nuts are packed with nutrients, heart-healthy fats, fiber and protein.

Use NuVal score information to trade-up products. Use plain non-fat Greek yogurt (NuVal 94) instead of sour cream (NuVal 26). Use canola oil (NuVal 24) instead of corn oil (NuVal 11). Substitute fat-free evaporated milk (NuVal 100) for evaporated milk (NuVal 35).

Information provided by Shelley Woodall, RD, LD, Hy-Vee Dietitian, 823 Second St., Webster City, 515-832-3117.





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