Changes You Can Make to Cut Calories


Some simple tips may help cut calories from many foods:

UseCooking Spray and Nonstick Pans

Usingnonstick pans and dishes and a spritz of canola cooking spray means you'll needless fat in the batter or crust to keep food from sticking. All sorts ofnonstick bakeware are available, from springform pans, to cake and muffin pans,to cookie sheets and deep-dish pie plates. When you use one of these pans, yourlighter cakes, muffins and tarts will come out nicely brown and won't stick.

Keepa Carton of Fat-Free Sour Cream in Your Fridge

Fat-freesour cream is great in light recipes for three reasons. It's an easyreplacement for real sour cream in recipes like pound cake or coffee cake. Youcan use it as a substitute for part of the fat in recipes for things likecookies (it works especially well for brownies), cake, or muffins. Further,manufacturers often add soluble fiber-like ingredients (such as gelatin, agargum, xanthan gum, and locust bean gum) to keep fat-free sour cream stable.These ingredients also help keep it from separating when you whip it into yourbatter or heat it while baking. If your eight-serving recipe calls for 1 cup ofbutter or oil, and you use 1/2 cup of fat-free sour cream in place of half thebutter or oil, you'll save about 110 calories and 13 grams of fat per serving.

CutDown on High-Calorie Extras

Recipeadd-ins and embellishments can sometimes be left out or cut in half. If arecipe calls for chocolate chips, for example, you can reduce the amount. If arecipe calls for dotting your pie with butter, you can safely skip this step.In a cake recipe, you can often get by with half the original amount offrosting (In a double-layer cake, just frost the top and middle and forget thesides). And in some cakes, bars, and cookies, you can eliminate frosting andsubstitute a light sprinkling of powdered sugar. Using 2 tablespoons offrosting instead of 4 will shave about 130 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, and 2grams of saturated fat. Each tablespoon of chocolate chips omitted cuts about50 calories, 3 grams of fat, and 2 grams of saturated fat.

UseLight Products

Trysubstituting lower-fat and lower-sugar ingredients in your baking recipes whenpossible. For example, if you're making a cake that calls for sour cream, usethe fat-free version. Also try reduced-fat cheese, light cream cheese,less-sugar jams, light pancake syrup, light Cool Whip, light yogurt, lightmargarine or whipped butter, and fat-free half-and-half. Most of these productswill help you cut calories and saturated fat along with the total grams of fat

Cutthe Fat

In mostbaking recipes, you can cut the fatty ingredient (butter, margarine,shortening, or oil) by half. So if a cake recipe calls for 1 cup of butter ormargarine, you can usually use 1/2 cup instead. Remember to replace that 1/2cup with a moist but healthful ingredient, and choose an ingredient thatcomplements the flavors of your recipe. My arsenal of secret weapons includesfat-free sour cream, low-fat buttermilk, orange juice, low-fat yogurt,applesauce and other fruit purees, strong coffee, and light cream cheese.Cutting fat cuts lots of calories, as each gram of fat translates into 9calories (a gram of carbohydrate or protein, by comparison, has 4).

Cutthe Sugar

In mostbaking recipes, you can replace half the sugar with Splenda (or a similar product).If you'd rather not use a sugar alternative, you can sometimes just cut thesugar by 1/4 and the recipe will still work out. For each tablespoon of sugaryou cut out, you'll save 48 calories. So cutting 1/4 cup of sugar would saveyou a total of 192 calories.