Step-by-step recipes for healthy food

In terms of recipes for healthy food, there seems to be an idea that food is either healthy or unhealthy. Looking for healthy foods to eat, you can find yourself quickly falling into the trap of thinking, 'I shouldn't eat that, it's not healthy, and it's fattening.

There's not a lot wrong with any food...just how much and how often you eat it that causes the weight problems and the health issues.

That's why notions of the five food groups and food pyramids have come into effect, to give us a better idea of where most of our foods should come from on a daily basis, and those that we should eat less of and less frequently.

But this doesn't always work because you try and go from 0 - 100 in a week, and totally throw out those recipes you've been cooking for ages, and which you're family enjoys, for something new and 'healthier', and eventually you go back to the family faves, and all the fats and calories and artery cloggers.

Here are some ways to gradually change the recipes you already like and which the family is used to, to make them healthier, step-by-step, giving everyone a chance to get used to any change in taste, and for you to absorb the changes in preparation and to reduce the calories, lose weight and maintain it.

Recipes for healthy food, changing the way you cook.

  • Change from cooking with animal fats to plant fats. - there's no drop in calories here, but there is no cholesterol in plant fats, so you're doing you're body some favours.
  • Reduce the amount of fat you use in recipes - this will cut the calories! Even if you take out a couple of teaspoons of fat from your recipes everyday, that's about 14 teaspoons a week, which is about 70 grams of fat
  • Swap to low fat cream in recipes
  • Cut the amount of sugar and honey used in your recipes - try reducing it by a quarter, and then a half
  • Bake instead of fry - yes it does change the flavour of some things, but generally you can use less fat in baking foods than frying
  • Spray oils - these are great, you use a lot less

You're not going for perfect recipes for healthy food...

You're aiming to gradually improve the recipes you already use into healthier recipes, and healthy foods to eat.

Start with a family favourite recipe, then gradually make changes. I did this with lasagne. It never stopped being a family favourite, and to be honest I think I've cut about a couple of hundred calories out of every serve!

I just changed one thing at a time. I started by swapping to a mix of half lean beef,and half fattier mince, and used spray oil in the pan for the onions, garlic and the browning of the meat.

I swapped to a tomato paste with less salt and a tomato puree with no additives. Then I assessed the sauce. I discovered that if I used more cornflour, I could cut the butter, and I changed to a plant based butter.

And slowly I kept changing it, kept working on making it's still a family favourite and the last time I made it in it's original states (definitely not one of my recipes for healthy food) no-one liked it, they found it fatty and heavy...imagine that!

Healthiness is a scale not a one-or-the-other. Work on your existing recipes, give yourself and everyone time to adjust to the changes, and before you know'll have a plethora of recipes for healthy food, all which started on much less healthier options that your family will still love!

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