Turn your family favourites into healthy meals

healthy meals

The secret to long term weight loss success is to include the food you enjoy. Knowing how to make your favourites into low fat, healthy meals will help you to enjoy your food and not feel deprived.

A few simple changes to how you cook can help shift those unwanted kilos and have major health benefits.

Let’s look at some easy ways to change your family favourites into healthy meals:

  1. Put the oil and butter away. Use cooking sprays where possible, or line baking trays with baking paper. Ditch the deep fryer and instead grill, bbq or bake. To make crumbed fish or chicken, beat an egg white with a little skim milk, dip meat in egg mix then roll in bread crumbs until coated well. Heat a good quality non-stick fry pan and coat generously with cooking spray. Spray over the top of the fish or chicken and place this side down to cook first.  When ready to turn spray top of crumbs and then turn to cook. To avoid burning, don’t have the gas or element too high.
  2. Spice (or herb) it up. Many dishes taste good because they are loaded with lots of fatty ingredients. Use fresh or dried herbs and spices to enhance the flavour of a dish. When using dried herbs, use sparingly as they can be quite strong, so start with a small amount and gradually add more, tasting as you go. My favourites are cumin, coriander, basil, oregano, turmeric, paprika, tarragon and chilli. I like to use garlic in my recipes.
  3. Add flavour with stock powder. Be sure to use the salt reduced option and be careful you don’t overdo it as they still have quite a high sodium count. A little freshly ground pepper can really add flavour to a dish too.
  4. Make low fat creamy sauces. Evaporated light milk is the secret to low fat creamy sauces. Thicken with a little corn flour and remember it may separate if you over-boil the milk. You can use the canned milk to replace cream for most sauces and also in some desserts.
  5. Reduce the fat in cakes and muffins. Instead of adding oil or butter to a cake or batch of muffins I use 110g jar of Heinz baby apples and add ½ teaspoon of bicarb soda (it will froth). Apple sauce gives the moisture that butter or oil would normally give without the added fat. This is a great way to cut down the fats when baking.

More ways to swap

Over the years I’ve learnt so many ways to convert unhealthy recipes into delicious low fat, healthy meals. Read my 10 ways to swap ingredients article for more helpful hints.

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