Adopting a health supportive approach to cooking is about keeping it simple and fueling your body with fresh, flavorful, natural ingredients that include good-for-you nutrients. I frequently modify recipes to fit my simple, health supportive game plan.
For example, sugar is pretty much out. The only time I use it is when preparing “small indulgences,” which are sweets and treats, not meals. Otherwise, I avoid it. When sugar is called for in dressings or sauces, I substitute natural sweeteners with a lower glycemic index such as agave nectar, honey, maple syrup, or Sucanat. Remember, it’s all been processed to some degree, or else it would be showing up at the store in the form of a cactus, stalk, honey comb, or tree. You can always just skip it.
Whole grains are king. In addition to getting them on your plate at mealtime, you can introduce whole grains into your baking life by using whole wheat pastry flour. It’s a great substitute for unbleached all purpose flour for all of your baking needs. You can also use applesauce as a replacement for oil, or try nut milk as a replacement for dairy.
I can’t remember the last time I bought heavy cream – okay, it was Thanksgiving – but you get my point. As a substitute, I use evaporated milk. Plain, fat free yogurt is also a good substitute for sour cream and can be used to add a smooth, creamy texture to almost anything.
Rely on fresh herbs, spices and citrus to flavor to your food. Toss a combination of lemon, lime, and orange zest into your next batch of air popped popcorn. Lemons even make water interesting, which is key, since so many of the other options include way too much caffeine, artificial sweeteners or calories for my taste. Simply adding some slices of lemons, oranges, or cucumbers to a pitcher of water in the fridge suddenly makes it seem special and spa-like. Because, really, when was the last time you actually made it to the spa? Yes, you can be both fit and foodie at home. Start today!