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.