April 9, 2014 1:00 am
Chef Andrew Lyman, culinary director, The Art Institute of Austin, suggests, “It is not uncommon to use brown sugar, for white sugar, but I often challenge my students to use other ingredients as a sweetener - for example, using a teaspoon of vanilla can often produce similar results as a cup of sugar and it saves over 400 calories. Another option is using prunes for butter, especially in brownies or other dark baked goods - 3/4 cup of prunes with 1/4 cup of boiling water , puree to combine and you have a great option.”
Chef instructor Peachy Seiden from The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Cincinnati-Ohio says, “Using pureed fruit warmed on the stovetop with a bit of honey is a great substitute for classic maple syrup - decreasing the sugar content and providing an extra dose of antioxidants and vitamins and minerals.”
Elliott Hilton, culinary director for The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Michigan, adds, “Using non-fat Greek yogurt when the recipe calls for mayonnaise or sour cream works really well since it’s a lot less fat and a good way to add additional protein.”
Here are a few more substitutions you can make in your recipes:
* Unsweetened applesauce for sugar (can be in a 1:1 ratio, but reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup).
* Mashed bananas for fats. The creamy, thickening power of very ripe mashed bananas is the ideal consistency in place of one cup of butter or oil.
* Spaghetti squash for pasta is a natural substitute. Simply roast and pull apart with a fork and voila.
* Using coconut oil instead of butter adds additional health-benefiting nutrients and the flavor is superb.
* Reducing the calorie count of meals is helpful, but small adjustments make a big impact. “Something simple that I recommend is to make broths, soups and stews in advance and chill them. Before reheating, lift the hardened fat that formed on the surface. In a pinch, you can also float a few ice cubes to help harden the fat so it can be lifted and removed,” says Hilton.
* “Using brewed tea (green, white, oolong, black) as a ‘liquid ingredient’ to our sauce or stews add another flavor dimension, not to mention the added protective antioxidants” says Seiden.
Published with permission from RISMedia.