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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Healthy Baking, and Cooking Substitutions

Hello Everyone!  We are officially at the middle of the week, can you believe it?  And while my days are all pretty much monotone I still enjoy knowing that the weekend is a few short days away.  I mentioned this yesterday but today is my mom's birthday, she is still in Omaha with my sister but is returning to Minnesota this afternoon.  We will definetly be celebrating tonight!  And right about now Mark is in his interview, I cannot wait to hear how it goes!

Since I had the same typical oatmeal breakfast (you know the massive amounts of peanut butter, banana, and oats) I decided to blog a bit about healthy baking/cooking!  I have not done a lot of baking for the blog but what little I have done I always try to make healthy substitutions.  Same goes for normal cooking, I try to make a recipe as healthy as possible with out sacrificing taste!  Check out these recipes where I use healthy Substitutions! My  Sugar Top Muffins
Tuna Salad with Pasta,
and my Tzatziki CousCous Salad!
Here is a great resource I found.  This substitution guide comes to you from Anna of fANNEtastic Food!
Click Here!
What I love about this substitution guide is that the guide is easy to read.  Plus she gives you a few substitution suggestions for each item.  Take butter for example, she gives you three different substitution options to follow!  Go check it out when you have some free time!
Here is a list of substitutions and ideas I regularly use in cooking/baking!
1-When I am baking I almost always substitute oil for unsweetened apple sauce.
I also find when I bake with applesauce that I can reduce the amount of sugar, since applesauce lends some sweetness in a natural form!  (Try to use organic if you can!)
2-When making a salad that is usually loaded with Mayo I always sub in greek yogurt!  Partly because I do not like the smell of Mayo (I never have).  But greek yogurt is lower in fat and calories, and you won't lose out on that tang or creaminess that Mayo provides!
3-When making a pasta dish that is loaded with toppings I usually cut the pasta portion in half.  I will make less pasta and make up for the difference in added veggies.  I add more veggies for many reasons, not only are you adding vitamins/minerals to your dish but your getting an array of texture, color and flavor (and I am obsessed with veggies)!
4-Use fresh herbs whenever possible!  Fresh herbs and spices are one of my favorite things to add to a dish.  You can add a punch of flavor without harming the nutrition of your dish!  Some of my favorite fresh herbs and spices to use are Cilantro, Basil, Sage, Garlic, and Cayenne Pepper.  I am like my mother and often do not cook with salt, I let my guest add the salt to their individual plates if they so desire.
5- And finally don't be scared to experiment with flavors!  I do this all the time in the kitchen, I enjoy seeing what flavor combinations work and which ones I cannot stand!  Don't be scared to try new things!  You will never know if a substitution will work in a recipe till you try it!  And if you mess up its ok, you learn from your mistakes and try again!!
I hope you find these little tips helpful!  Now go start experimenting in your kitchen!  Have a wonderful day, I will see you this afternoon but until then remember to live Happily Ever Healthy!

PS is anyone else on Blogger having trouble uploading pictures this morning?  I promise to add pictures as soon as I can upload them!