Four Simple Ways to “Healthify” Your Favourite Recipe

Do you have recipes that you LOVE and don’t want to give up…. but also know that they might not be the best foods to help you to reach your health goals?

Sometimes we THINK healthy eating means having to sacrifice our favourite foods… and I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t willing to do that.

Fortunately, with a few savvy substitutions, you can recreate your favourite dishes and make them a little bit healthier.  Here are four ways to give your favourite dish a healthy makeover so that you love the meal, AND love the way you feel after.

Recipe Makeover #1: Add more veggies. Veggies are rich in flavor, fibre, and nutrients, yet low in calories.  By pumping up the meal with veggies, you will increase the nutritional profile of a meal while cutting back on the total number of calories. Try pureeing veggies and adding them to sauces. You can also swap starches for vegetables. Try enjoying your pasta sauce over a bed of roasted spaghetti squash, or your stir-fry over ‘riced’ cauliflower.  Cauliflower can also make a great substitute for mashed potatoes.

Recipe Makeover #2: Swap some of the ingredients for more ‘whole food’, minimally processed options. For example, swap white pasta for whole grain noodles or veggie noodles. Sugary tomato sauce for homemade tomato sauce. Peanut butter with hydrogenated oil for ‘just peanuts’ peanut butter. I used to think that healthy choices just meant lower in fat and calories. I know better now and simply look for more ‘whole foods’ choices.

Recipe Makeover #3: If you’re trying to reduce your total calories, cut back on calorie-dense ingredients such as oil, cream, butter, cheese, and mayonnaise. You don’t need to replace them, you can just simply have less.

Recipe Makeover #4: Reduce the sugar. Instead of sugary sauces and condiments, use herbs and spices to enhance the flavor of your dishes. I love sea salt, garlic and fresh parsley. Cumin and chilli powder are also staples in my pantry. When baking, try adding slightly less sugar. When you eat less sugar and processed foods, your tastebuds will recalibrate and foods you used to think were tasty will start tasting too sweet!

Bonus tip: When looking for a recipe online add ‘healthy’ to your search. For example, if you’re making banana bread, search ‘healthy banana bread’ for lower sugar, more ‘whole’ recipes.

I hope that was helpful! I actually now have FUN ‘healthifying’ my favourite comfort foods.

With a few simple changes, you can transform almost any recipe into a dish that nourishes your body AND your soul.

What is one way you make recipes just a little healthier?

-Tanja x


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