Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ten Ways of Making Your favorite Foods Healthier

As a long time vegetarian many people assume that I am skinny as a stick, but the fact is that I am not. I love ice cream and I love food such as pizza and fries. I would like to share ten tips that I have found make my favorite foods healthier. In fact my favorite food is vegetable pizza, and I could eat it every day, if anyone offered to pay for the local pizza delivery.

When I make pizza or bake bread at home, I now substitute half of the regular flour with whole wheat flour, but I have not completely abandoned all purpose flour, as it really does make bread taste great. I love bread! My love for bread and ice cream is definitely part of the reason, why I am not skinny as a stick, I just cannot live without bread though, and ice cream....well I'm trying.

1) Go easy on the cheese, add on more veggies on your homemade (or take out) pizza instead.
2) Make your own - make oven fries instead of getting take out fries. Oven-baked butternut squash fries are some of the most addictive oven fries, and you only have to use very little salt and extra virgin olive oil.
3) Skip the butter - in many instances butter is not needed at all, and you can easily do without it.
4) Substitute part of the oil in your home baking with baked potatoes or fat free sour cream, you will be surprised about the great taste.
5) When baking, you really do not need all that sugar - cut it in half!
6) Drink, bake and cook with skim milk, it has all the nutrients that whole milk or 2 % have, and after a while you will get used to the taste.
7) Steam instead of frying your vegetables - pour boiling water over broccoli, and it actually tastes better than if you have stir fried it.
8) Use your oven instead of the frying pan - bake chicken tastes great (or so my husband says), and there is no reason to use the frying pan very often.
9) When using your frying pan make sure to take the fat off. When I make meat balls for my sons, I always end up with at least a cup of fat. Just think, if I had left it to be absorbed in the meat balls. I leave the fat in a ceramic bowl for a couple of hours, and it is easy to throw in the garbage instead of letting it clog up your sink.
10) When baking substitute half the flour with whole wheat flour, I bet you will love the extra crunch it gives, and it makes the food so much better just knowing that it is healthier.

Now for my own personal bonus tip: If you don't feel like cooking, don't start eating the junk, put in one of the healthy frozen meals in the microwave instead. This has saved me on numerous occasions, as I tend to eat unhealthy fast foods, whenever I do not feel like cooking.

Cooking at home is often healthier than ordering take out, but if you have bad habits such as adding butter, salt or sugar to everything, the healthy part of the home-cooked meal can disappear fast.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and WeightWatchers SmartOnes blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”