Do you want to cook healthier versions of your favourite recipes without losing the taste? Never fear, here are a few tips that will help you adapt your favourite recipes to reduce fat, sugar, salt, calories and increase fibre without changing your normal diet radically.
1. Cut down on fats
If frying, use a good non-stick pan and dry fry (e.g. in the case of mince). Leaving out the oil could cut 45 calories per teaspoon in your meal. If your food is drying out, don’t add more oil, add a little water. Use fats and oils that are high in good fats (poly- and mono-unsaturated fats), e.g. olive oil and try using less than the recipe suggests.
2. Cut down on salt
Most recipes indicate that you need to add salt. Replace salt with alternative seasonings such as pepper, herbs, spices, lemon juice, vinegar or mustard. Allow people to season their own food after tasting it – they are likely to add less. You could be eating more salt then you think, use our salt calculator to find out how much salt really is in your food.
3. Cut down on sugar
Experiment by using less sugar when you bake – most cakes will work even if the quantity of sugar in the recipe is halved. Items such as fruit cakes, fruit scones and tea breads can be made without adding sugar as the dried fruit will provide sweetness.
4. Increase fibre
Use brown alternatives of rice, pasta and bread to increase the fibre content of recipes which will help you feel fuller for longer. Instead of using all plain white flour in recipes, use a mix of wholemeal and plain flour when baking, e.g. when making apple crumble – you can also add porridge oats to make the top crunchy and add more fibre! Top dishes usually requiring pastry, such as chicken pie, with mashed potato instead.