There are so many no no’s when it comes to healthy eating and I will be the first to admit that I get confused with what’s good, what’s bad, which foods belong in the superfood category and which ones belong in the bin.
Healthy eating, to me, is all about reducing the stuff that’s bad for you, upping your intake of the good stuff and enjoying a wide range of foods, in moderation. You can still enjoy your favourite meals that the kids won’t turn their noses up at chips with sauce, pizza, chicken schnitzels, creamy pastas, oven baked pies, gooey cupcakes and indulgent chocolate bickies as long as you aren’t eating only these things. But, even after enjoying a cupcake with your coffee, you may still feel a bit guilty.
Well guess what…you don’t have to anymore because we’ve come up with some easy ways to make the foods you love healthier, by simply swapping a few ingredients and changing your cooking habits.
Browse through our 21 healthy cooking tips to eat the food you love without the guilt and feed your family healthy favourites that they will love!
1. Trim the Fat
Remove excess fat in stocks and stews by allowing to cool,then placing them in the fridge. The coolness will help the fat solidify on top making it easy to remove with a spoon before reheating. Stocks and stews are tastier eaten the next day anyway.
2. Don’t Peel the Skin
Vegetables like carrots, zucchini and even potatoes should be cooked with their skin on. Potatoes, provided they are nice and clean, can be mashed well with the skin on. Skins on vegetables provide most of the goodness. This is also true with many of your favourite fruits including kiwifruit.
3. Enjoy Foods without the Extra Oil
Deep fried foods, simply put, are amazing. But the amount of oil required is not that great for you. As much as you can, cut 1/2 of the suggested oil in the recipe. If you can, steam instead of fry!
4. Use Baking Paper Instead of Butter
When lining a cake tin or even a baking tray, add a sheet of baking paper and ditch the butter or cooking spray. The food won’t stick and will cook in its own juices without the fat.You can also use baking paper rather than oil to cook on community barbeques the next time you go to the park for a picnic. This is also a lot cleaner and reduces the need to scrub the barbeque down once you’re finished.
5. Substitute Pizza Crust for Cauliflower Crust
Pizza is a family favourite but it’s not always the healthiest option. Cauliflower crust pizza is so delicious and an easy way to sneak in those veggies. My kids can’t even tell the difference. Cauliflower is also a great substitute for rice and potatoes as well.
6. Swap: Avocados in, Butter Out
In addition to cauliflower, you can also swap avocado for butter for an extra Omega 3 kick.
7. Create Healthier Pies
Love pies? The next time you prepare one, leave the top layer of pastry off. You will reduce the number of calories and the pie still tastes great. The De’Longhi MultiFry can also be used to bake pies from scratch and because it has a nonstick ceramic coating bowl, you don’t need to add in extra spray or butter to keep the pie from sticking.
8. Reach for the Apple Sauce
Apple sauce is a great alternative when baking and can be swapped for butter, eggs and sugar. Pureed apples make cakes moist and significantly reduce the sugar and fat content. If a recipe calls for 1/2 cup of butter or sugar, substitute for the same amount of apple sauce. If you are replacing eggs, for every large egg use a 1/4 cup of apple sauce.
9. Add Coconut Oil to Your Coffee
Coconut Oil is quite the talk at the moment and its health benefits have been touted everywhere. But dieticians now suggest you should add a tablespoon of Virgin Coconut Oil to your morning coffee. Why?Apparently it helps stabilise your blood sugar levels for the day. Coconut and coffee are a match made in heaven!
10. Get Your Greek Yoghurt On
From stroganoffs to dips, Greek yoghurt is another great alternative for recipes that require sour cream. One cup of Greek yoghurt is 190 calories, compared to one cup of sour cream at 492 calories.
11. Snack on Popcorn
Not the prebagged variety it’s easy to make your own in your microwave without any fat. If it is still a bit on the bland side, try adding some herbs such as paprika to give it a bit of a kick rather than the traditional butter and salt.
12. Grate Veggies into your Favourite Sauces
Grate mushrooms, capsicum, zucchini, carrot and many more veggies straight into your favourite sauces and your kids won’t even know!
13. Make Ice Cream from Bananas
Freeze all of your overripe bananas. When you feel like a sweet treat, pop them in a blender and mix until frothy makes a delicious and healthy icecream.