Clever Cooking

Most of us are used to cooking with significant amounts of fat. Although fat adds no volume, it adds a lot of calories!

Look over your favorite recipes and use the following suggestions to cut out excess fat. You’ll be reducing your fat and calorie intake while you continue to enjoy your favorite foods. The amount of fat or oil can often be reduced by 1/4 to 1/3 in recipes for baked goods.

If you’re feeling adventuresome, try using pureed fruit instead of oil in muffin or quick bread recipes. If not fruit, some type of liquid is generally necessary to create the right batter consistency when leaving fat out.

Fats can be left entirely out of recipes for soups, stews, casseroles, etc., without problems. Fats add taste to recipes by absorbing flavors and making them more available to our taste buds so you may need to compensate by adding more seasonings.

Substitutions for certain ingredients can also skim fat and calories out of your recipes. Consider these suggestions:


Skim or low-fat milk (add nonfat dry milk powder to the liquid milk for quiches and custards to prevent a watery texture)
INSTEAD OF: Whole milk or cream

Dry curd, non-fat or low-fat cottage cheese
INSTEAD OF: Regular full fat (4%) cottage cheese

Part skim milk ricotta cheese
INSTEAD OF: Whole milk ricotta cheese

Evaporated skim milk
INSTEAD OF: Evaporated whole milk

Whipped evaporated skim milk
INSTEAD OF: Cream or whipped cream

Nonfat yogurt, nonfat sour cream, buttermilk or soft, silken tofu
INSTEAD OF: Sour cream or mayonnaise

Neufchatel cheese
INSTEAD OF: Cream cheese

Skimmed or partially skimmed milk
INSTEAD OF: Regular whole milk cheeses (cheddar, Swiss, etc.

Poultry, fish, shellfish, venison, buffalo
INSTEAD OF: Fatty beef, pork, veal

Ground round or lean ground beef, ground turkey breast, Boca® Crumbles
INSTEAD OF:Regular hamburger or ground chuck

The leaner cuts of meat
INSTEAD OF: Fatty well marbled cuts of meat

Canadian bacon or turkey ham, or Boca® sausage
INSTEAD OF: Regular pork bacon, sausage

Water-packed tuna
INSTEAD OF: Oil packed tuna

Low fat mayonnaise
INSTEAD OF: Regular mayonnaise or “salad dressing”

3 T cocoa powder
INSTEAD OF: 1 oz unsweetened chocolate

Cornstarch, arrowroot
INSTEAD OF: Egg yolks for thickening