Most of us are looking for ways to make fewer calories deliver more nutrition, and you should look for recipes that help you trim energy intake. Sometimes, you may need to use a little of the real thing to get the flavor you crave. Here are some tips for cooking to add flavor without too much fat or added sugar:
• For some foods, like cheese or salad dressings, try reduced-fat instead of fat-free products. You may want to try using a ratio of two-thirds reduced-fat product to one-third real thing.
• Try using one-third less sugar in your recipes or using a sugar substitute like stevia.
• Make your sweet treats count. Cook with fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy ingredients in muffins and in desserts like banana pudding or sweet potato pie.
• Add whole-wheat, soy, flax or oatmeal to pancakes for more flavor and fiber.
• Try roasting or smoking vegetables to give them more flavor without added calories.
• Herbs and spices give foods distinctive flavors. When food is flavorful we may be satisfied with a smaller amount. Experiment with herbs like marjoram, thyme or rosemary to see what tastes good to you. Buy herbs and spices on sale to stock your shelf with many possible ways to flavor your foods.
• Garlic, onions and celery add a lot of flavor with few calories.
When cooking a rice or pasta side dish, add frozen spinach or canned mushrooms to cut calories and add flavor.
For more information, contact the Whitley County Cooperative Extension Service at 549-1430; e-mail DL_CES_WHITLEY@EMAIL.UKY.EDU; or visit the office located at 4275 N. Highway 25W in Goldbug.