Cut Down Fat In Recipes

Since March is National Nutrition Month, now is the time to amend recipes handed down from past generations and make them better for you. Most ingredients in a recipe can be decreased or maybe even eliminated in order to decrease fat or cholesterol.

  • If a recipe calls for 1 cup of oil, use 2/3 cup. This works best for in quick breads, muffins and cookies. It may work as well in cakes.
  • Eliminate fat in sauces or gravies. Thicken them by mixing cornstarch or flour with a small amount of cold liquid. Stir this mixture slowly into the hot liquid you want to thicken and bring it back to a boil.
  • Chill soups, gravies and stews and skim off hardened fat before reheating to serve.
  • Bake, broil, grill, poach or microwave meat, poultry or fish instead of frying in fat.
  • Use reduced-calorie sour cream or mayonnaise. To reduce fat further, use plain lowfat or nonfat yogurt, buttermilk or blended cottage cheese instead of regular sour cream or mayonnaise for sauces, dips and salad dressings. If a sauce made with yogurt is to be heated, add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to 1 cup of yogurt to prevent separation.
  • Use skim milk instead of whole milk. For extra richness, try evaporated skim milk.
  • Reduce sugar by one quarter to one third in baked goods and desserts. This works best with quick breads, cookies, pie fillings, custard, puddings and fruit crisps.
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SOURCE: DR. EVELYN CRAYTON, Extension Foods and nutrition specialist, Alabama Cooperative Extension System (334) 844-2224.