Healthy makeovers for unhealthy recipes

The traditional sweets prepared at home on festive occasions is definitely a comfort food that you cannot let go?  Delicious as they may be with lots of mawa, ghee and sugar , it can contribute to large amounts of calories. But before you consider totally crossing it off the menu, we propose that there is always a healthier modification possible. Just modify that dessert with a few simple changes like using low fat milk instead of mawa, reduce quantity of ghee and replace sugar with date powder or jaggery, and you’ve got another healthy recipe at hand.

Some ways to modify the total calorie and nutritional content of recipes are suggested.

Reduce the amount of fat, sugar and salt

    • Replace butter, shortening or oil with mashed banana or yoghurt or just low fat milk
    • Reduce the amount of sugar and rather add natural fruits like mango, banana, dates, or jaggery, spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, or flavorings
    • Salt can be replaced by the sea salt and also reduced in amount. Use salt alternatives such as lemon, tamarind, etc.

Make a healthy substitution

Healthy substitutions not only reduce the amount of fat, calories and salt in your recipes but also can boost the nutritional content.

    • Replace refined flour with whole grains. For e.g. Use whole-wheat pasta instead of regular pasta.
    • Use low fat milk products instead of full cream
    • Lean cuts of meat can replace the regular ones. Prepare grilled or steamed instead of fried or buttered.

Make sure that your pantry always has enough stock of the healthy options such as low fat milk products, variety of fruits and vegetables, sprouted legumes, boiled beans and whole grains. Always put some thought into planning the next meal, this allows you to do some necessary pre-preparation. Meals cooked in a haste without planning are often made from the unhealthy fattening ingredients. When trying to substitute certain ingredients it may take a few attempts to get it right. But of course, the final results are much rewarding!


Author: drpoojachhawcharia

Dr Pooja Chhawcharia is the Senior Nutritionist at eKincare with over 7 years of experience in Nutrition education, diet counseling and research. She is a Registered Dietician with the Indian Dietetic Association and Certified Diabetes Educator recognized by the International Diabetes federation . She is also interested in ancillary sciences such as Yoga and Naturopathy.

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