Cooking Lighter

Cooking Lighter Photo_177

Modify your traditional recipes to a lighter version. Less calories, fat, sugar, and/or sodium can still taste delicious. Registered dietitian, Amy Fanjoy has complied a few helpful suggestions for you below.

Try a few different modifications, as the texture and taste may be a little different for each. Determine which one is best for your taste buds.

Butter, Shortening, Full Fat Margarine or Oil

Instead of   

 Use  

1 cup solid fat 

½ cup solid fat and ½ cup unsweetened applesauce, mashed bananas or fruit puree 

1 cup solid fat 

¾ cup oil 

¾ cup solid fat 

9 Tbsp. oil 

1/3 cup solid fat 

¼ cup oil 

½ cup solid fat 

6 Tbsp. oil 

½ cup solid fat 

¼ cup Sunsweet® "lighter bake" 

1 Tbsp. solid fat 

¾ Tbsp. oil 

1 cup oil 

1 cup unsweetened applesauce 

1 cup oil 

½ cup oil 

½ cup oil 

¼ cup unsweetened applesauce and ¼ cup  buttermilk  

 

Cream Cheese

Instead of   

 Use  

1 cup full fat 

1 cup fat-free or reduced fat version 

1 cup full fat 

1 cup low-fat cottage cheese, pureed until smooth 

1 cup full fat 

1 cup Greek yogurt

 

Heavy Cream or Whipped Topping

Instead of   

 Use  

1 cup full fat 

1 cup non-fat half and half 

1 cup full fat 

2/3 cup skim milk and 1/3 cup vegetable oil, blended 

1 cup full fat 

1 cup evaporated skim milk, chilled until almost frozen and then whipped 

1 cup full fat 

1 cup non-dairy whipped topping 

1 cup full fat 

1 cup non-fat dry milk mixture 

 

Sour Cream

Instead of   

 Use   

1 cup full fat 

1 cup fat-free or light version 

1 cup full fat 

1 cup low-fat plain yogurt 

1 cup full fat 

½ cup cottage cheese and 1 ½ tsp. lemon juice, blended 

 

Whole or 2% Milk

Instead of  

 Use   

1 cup whole or 2% 

1 cup 1% or skim  

 

Cheese

Instead of   

 Use  

1 cup cheddar cheese

½ cup extra sharp cheddar and ¼ dry mustard for flavor

1 cup full fat

1 cup fat-free, low-fat or part skim milk version

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 cup fat-free or low-fat cottage cheese or ricotta cheese 

 

Salad Dressing

Instead of   

 Use  

2 Tbsp. full fat

2 Tbsp. fat-free or low-fat version

2 Tbsp. full fat

2 Tbsp. homemade dressing (3:1 parts of vinegar or lemon juice and oil, add spices for additional flavor) (Oil options could include: olive, walnut, avocado, or hazelnut) 

 

Mayonnaise

Instead of  

 Use  

2 Tbsp. full fat

2 Tbsp. fat-free or low-fat versions plus lemon juice for flavor if desired

1 cup full fat

½ cup plain low-fat yogurt combined wit ¼ cup pureed low fat cottage cheese

1/2 cup full fat

½ cup plain fat-free or low-fat yogurt plus herbs and spices if desired 

 

Eggs

Instead of  

 Use

1 whole egg

2 egg whites

1 whole egg

¼ cup plain low-fat liquid egg substitute

1 whole egg

1 Tbsp. flour (if used as a thickener) 

 

Flour   

Instead of   

 Use  

1 cup all-purpose

½ cup of all-purpose and ½ cup 100% wheat  

Sugar

Instead of  

 Use 

1 cup sugar

½ cup sugar for each 1 cup flour when making cakes and cookies made with juice, milk or water

1 cup sugar

Equivelant sweetening from sugar substitute - nutrition information will vary depending on the brand and form of sweetener used (read the packaging or visit the company website to determine correct equivelants) 

 

Chocolate

Instead of   

 Use  

1 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate

3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 Tbsp. oil

1 cup chocolate chips

2/3-½ cup chocolate chips

2 Tbsp. fudge sauce

2 Tbsp. chocolate syrup 

 

Nuts

 Instead of   

 Use 

1 cup nuts

½ cup toasted or chopped

1 cup nuts

¼ cup toasted or chopped nuts and ¼ cup dried fruit 

 

Coconut

Instead of   

 Use  

1 cup coconut

½ cup coconut plus 1 tsp. coconut flavoring 

 

Cake Frosting

Instead of   

 Use 

1 cup frosting

½ cup confectioner's sugar sprinkled over the top of the cake

1 cup frosting

1 cup of fruit

 

Flaky Pastry Shell

Instead of   

 Use 

1 cup flour, all fat, water and salt in recipe

1 cup crumbled crackers of your choice; add ½ the amount of fat, along with all the water called for in the recipe; omit salt; leave open faced or top with uncooked rolled oats 

 

Salt

Instead of   

 Use  

Salt

Meat: allspice, basil, bay leaves, caraway seeds, chive, curry powder, dill, garlic, lemon juice, dry mustard, onion powder, paprika, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme and/or turmeric

 

Pork: dill, garlic, mace, rosemary and/or sage

 

Lamb: basil and/or dill

 

Poultry: bay leaves, curry powder, dill, ginger, lemon juice, dry mustard, nutmeg and/or rosemary

 

Fish: basil, curry powder, dill, garlic, paprika, parsley, sage and/or turmeric

 

Soups/Stews: allspice, basil, bay leaves, caraway seeds, dill, garlic, onion powder, paprika, parsley, sage, savory and/or thyme

 

Vegetbles: allspice, basil, caraway seeds, chives, cider vinegar, dill, garlic, lemon juice, mace, dry mustard, onion powder, paprika, parsley, pimento, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme

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Last Updated: 12-02-2013
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.