Tag Archives: Low Cal Options

Flavour without Fat

Fat apart from adding on calories also adds on to taste to our dishes. Dollops of butter melting on pao bhaji or saag make them all the more delicious. Many of us find it difficult to cook or add flavors when fat is restricted. But trust me it is not so tough. Try alternate flavoring agents or cooking techniques to get plenty of flavor from your favorite dishes i.e. flavour without fat.

Frying has always been considered a quick and sure shot way of making delicacies. But our generation has moved away from frying to a quicker healthier microwave cooking. Furthermore, employing different techniques which use high heat add intense flavor to our dishes, such as broiling, grilling or pan-roasting. Using non-stick cookware also leads to lesser usage of oil.

Some of us feel that cutting down on fat can rob the food of its taste. Yes to some extent but you can add the flavor back with herbs and spices. Use spices and herbs like garlic, cilantro, thyme, asparagus, cumin, basil, oregano, caraway, chives, rosemary, ginger, cinnamon, garlic etc. Experiment with different herbs and spices until you get the flavor of your choice.

Few additional tips to add zest in your dishes:

  • Add a sprinkle of a sharp low fat cheese to your favorite vegetable, rice or pasta. The cheese will add a distinct tangy taste with added advantage of protein.
  • Add dried ingredients, such as sundried tomatoes, dried plums, cranberries, figs, apricots or red pepper flakes.
  • Use brightly colored peppers or jalapenos to add juiciness and freshness to the dishes.
  • Add lemon juice or grated peel from lemons or oranges (peel in controlled amounts as they can turn the dish bitter if added in more amounts). Lemon juice will spice up the vitamin C content of the dish as well.
  • Applesauce can replace up to half of the butter or oil in baked foods such as cakes, brownies, muffins and cookies thereby decreasing the calorie content to half.
  • Vinegar or lemon juice can be used for salad dressings instead of oils.

Fat is a very important part of our diet. It plays numerous roles in our bodies which if interrupted can affect or day to day activities. But going over the board harms us. So add only the necessary fat and let these alternate flavouring agents take care of the taste.

Happy Cooking!!!!

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Swap Obesity with Health

Do you find it difficult to make food choices whenever you are trying to dish an exotic preparation at home or are eating out just because you are bothered about your calorie intake? Not to worry… Try these low cal versions of high calorie foods.

Having some substitution strategies up your sleeve can save a lot of guilt and time on the treadmill. Being health conscious you don’t need to make big changes to your diet to see noticeable results. Just by adding, deleting and substituting few foods you can convert an unhealthy diet to a healthy one.

Substitute following ingredients in your daily diet this way:

Oil

  • Using non-stick cookware will keep food from sticking to the bottom of vessel and would lead to lesser usage of oil.
  • Applesauce can replace up to half of the butter or oil in baked foods such as cakes, brownies, muffins and cookies.
  • Vinegar or lemon juice can be used for salad dressings instead of oils.
  • Use alternate methods of cooking like roasting, microwave cooking, stir frying rather than deep / shallow frying.

Cream: use unflavored non-fat yogurt

Sugar: Splenda, stevia are sugar replacement products that perform well in sweets and baked goods, and are calorie-free because they do not decompose on heating at such high temperatures.

Replace non-vegetarian foods with vegetables: Vegetables are low in calories because of their high water and fiber content. You can increase your vegetable intake by having:

  • stir-fried vegetables / salads with meat
  • kebabs / cutlets / patties / sandwiches / pizzas with less meat and more veggies

High-calorie beverages with a low-calorie beverage: This can be done by replacing beverages such as coffee, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages with water, salt lemonade, tea with low or no sugar etc.

High-fat meat with lean meat: There are huge differences in the number of calories in lean and fatty meats. Replacing mutton with chicken or fish apart from decreasing fat intake also improves the quality of fat intake. Chicken and fish contain more of unsaturated fat calories rather than saturated fat calories.

High-calorie sauces or toppings with low-calorie alternatives: Nowadays low calorie versions are available of most kinds of mayonnaise, salad dressings and sandwich spreads. Light mayonnaise has 25 calories lesser per serving compared to regular mayonnaise.

Replace refined grains with whole grains: Whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat and foods made with them contain more fiber and are thus lesser in calories than refined grains such as white rice, refined flour and foods made with them. A cup of regular pasta contains 221 calories, compared to just 174 in a cup of whole-wheat pasta.

High-calorie dessert with low-calorie dessert: If you have a sweet tooth and your meals are incomplete without a sweet entree, then substitute high-calorie desserts with low-calorie option. A small bowl of ice cream has 143 calories. This can be replaced by a bowl of your favourite fruit with 1 teaspoon honey or low fat vanilla or fruit yogurt as dessert.

Now who said low cal diet was all about eating boring foods??