With one of the busiest 'cooking' weeks upon us, many of us will be spending time in the kitchen preparing food for our friends and family. Whether you're trying out a new recipe or following one of your Grandmother's, you can swap out some traditional ingredients that will save big on the calorie and fat content without sacrificing the outcome of the dish.
Here are some of our favorites and most 'effective':
• Marshmallow Fluff for butter and sugar (in frosting)- Replacing the fat and sugar in frosting with marshmallow achieves the perfect consistency with many fewer calories. While two tablespoons of marshmallow has just 40 calories and 6 grams of sugar (and no fat!), the same amount of conventional frosting can pack up to 100 calories, 14 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of fat.
• Evaporated skim milk for cream- It's the same consistency with a fraction of the fat. Evaporated milk tends to have a bit more sugar (only about 2 grams), but the major drop in fat content is well worth the switch.
• Stevia for sugar- The natural sweetener stevia is lower in calories and up to 300 times sweeter than sugar. Keep in mind that 1 cup of sugar has 770 calories! But take note, this switch can get expensive.
• Prosciutto or pancetta for bacon- Bacon is often the go-to for that smoky flavor in savory dishes (and even in some sweet ones). But opting for a few slices of prosciutto or pancetta can help cut both calories and fat. While bacon has about 70 calories and 6 grams of fat for two slices, prosciutto has just 30 calories and 4 grams in an equally weighted sample.
• Greek yogurt for sour cream- Half the fat and calories, yet the taste and texture are virtually identical. Plus, nonfat Greek yogurt offers an extra dose of lean protein.
• Quinoa for oatmeal- Cooked with milk (cow, almond, hemp - whatever's on hand) and some cinnamon, quinoa makes a perfect protein-packed hot breakfast
• Frozen or Fresh Fruits for canned fruit- This choice has a major impact not only on reducing your sugar intake, but also cuts down on preservatives. Select fresh or flash-frozen varieties.
• Corn tortilla for flour tortilla- Half the calories and fat. That says it all! To help you get through this busy and week you may need an energy boost ...