As a dietitian, it pains me just a little bit to ever follow a recipe completely, without trying to make it healthier with a few tweaks. Here are a couple tips and tricks I do on a regular basis to make recipes a little bit healthier.
Tip: Use a blend of half whole wheat and half white flour for everything.
Nutrition Boost: Increases dietary fiber. Substitute half the flour in a recipe for whole wheat flour. This works well for pizza crust, muffins, cookies, bread, pancakes and coffee cake. Everything will be a little bit denser, but still just as delicious! I wouldn’t do this for cakes or delicate cookies, since it might make them too crumbly.
Tip: Reduce the sugar by 1/2 of what the recipe calls for.
Nutrition Boost: Baked goods will have less empty calories. I do this for breakfast foods, like rolls and muffins and quick breads, like pumpkin, banana bread and zucchini bread. When cutting the sugar in half, you can sprinkle to the top of the baked goods with a little cinnamon and sugar or lemon and sugar glaze for an extra pop of flavor. Not feeling super confident to start altering recipes? Try my 20 Minute Cinnamon Biscuits or Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal which have already been tweaked for you!
Tip: Use Olive Oil for cooking sautéing, baking or roasting meats, grains and vegetables.
Nutrition Boost: Improve the balance of heart healthy fats in your diet. Even if a recipe calls for something to be sautéed in butter, I substitute most or all of the butter for olive oil. Why olive oil? Olive oil is high in heart healthy monounsaturated fats, is easy to find, and lends a mild and pleasant flavor to most savory dishes. If you really want that buttery flavor, melt just a tablespoon of butter into the dish at the end.