Making the transition from the way our parents cooked and their parents cooked can be difficult at times because who can resist fried chicken, homemade bread and buttery mashed potatoes?
Cooking healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up all of your favorite foods or ways to cook them. You’re in luck! There are ways to have your cake and eat it too!
Check out some of these easy healthy cooking tips to make those old-school, calorie heavy recipes light!
Heart Healthy Frying:
Choosing the right oil is just as important as having the right breading for your chicken or veggies. Make sure you chose an oil that is heart healthy and has a high smoke point. Here is a list of oils to use that contain less saturated fats as well as the “better for you” fats!
Other healthy oils like avocado, sesame and grapeseed are other great choices too.
Making a better breading or batter will help cut unwanted calories. A batter done wrong can boost calories and absorb too much oil. While All-Purpose flour adheres well, the gluten can absorb more oil than needed. Try switching to cornmeal or rice flour which doesn’t contain gluten so there will be less oil absorbed in the batter. Also, using carbonated liquids or a leavening agent will produce gas bubbles that prevent oil absorption.
Let the Oven Do All the Work:
If you want to forgo deep-frying or pan frying all together, let the oven “fry” it for you! Using a light coating on your proteins or veggies and baking in the oven is a great way to add a crispy texture to your foods without adding the extra calories and saturated fats.
Here is an yummy and easy recipe from All Recipes.com for “Oven Fried Catfish.”
Using vegetables like zucchini, summer squash, radishes or sweet potatoes in place of potatoes for fries or chips is a great way to get your veggies in your daily diet all while cutting carbs. Here is a yummy recipe for zucchini fries and chips.
Also, using the oven to roast veggies instead of frying with excess fat is another great way to cook veggies! Why not combine your favorite protein with your veggies for an easy, one pan meal!
Here is one of my family favorites for all-in-one pan roasted chicken and vegetables!
Use Fresh Ingredients:
Having fresh fruits and vegetables is a much better alternative to frozen or canned items. Many canned fruits add extra sugar and other ingredients not found in the fresh kind. Some frozen foods have an alarming about of sodium so yet another reason to choose fresh. Also, the taste comparison between fresh versus frozen or canned is pretty big!
Choose a leaner cut of meat:
Red meat can make a delicious and juicy burger or steak but there are healthier choices when it comes to choosing your proteins. A 90/10 choice for ground beef will have less fat and calories than the ground chuck. Also using ground turkey or chicken in place of high-fat red meats will help your heart and your waistline! Here is one of my favorite meatloaf recipes using ground turkey and quinoa!
If your mouth is watering for cooked-to-perfection steak, here are some lean cuts of beef to choose for your next date night dinner! And remember, lean cuts of meats usually contain the word “loin,” “round,” or “sirloin.”
Note: The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of lean meats, skinless chicken, and fish to less than 6oz per day, total. Additionally, fish (3.5oz/serving) should be consumed twice a week and should be high in Omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, trout and herring.
While pies, cakes and cookies are hard to give up you can make them healthy by not eating them as they are intended! Try cutting up fresh berries and adding a few dollops of homemade , unsweetened whipped cream. The sweetness of the berries should be enough to satisfy your sweet tooth and cut out the unwanted sugar.
Try sugar-free instant pudding and top with toasted unsweetened coconut flakes or sugar-free chocolate chips for another yummy treat! Use your oven to roast fruits and top with Greek yogurt and honey, or grill pineapple to bring out amazing flavor and sweetness!
Also, swapping out all-purpose flour with almond or coconut flour in biscuits, pie crusts and cake recipes is a great way to have a low cab and low sugar dessert. Click here to get some delicious dessert ideas!
Check out my Pinterest page for more great healthy recipes and cooking tips!
If you’re struggling with your weight and overall health, and you need a little extra help and support, our experienced, licensed clinicians at Express Weight Loss Clinic can help! They can start by prescribing FDA-approved medications that aid in suppressing your appetite or help manage or improve thyroid function.
Stop by one of our offices to see a licensed clinician or chose to see us from the comfort of your own home! Schedule an E-Visit anytime to speak with a clinician.
Tyler Office: (903) 592-5670
Plano Office: (469) 786-1751