It’s time for a recipe revolution. When it comes to eating right, many people believe that they have to sacrifice great taste for great health. Here at Campbell, we know that you can enjoy wonderful food that is not only nutritious, but also completely delicious. Eating well does not mean that you have to learn to cook all new recipes, or try a crazy fad diet. Instead, just try these quick and simple swaps to shape up your plate in no time!
Just imagine your favorite meal. Is it a hearty chili? A creamy chicken Alfredo? Spaghetti and meatballs?
With a few simple substitutions to your favorite recipes and some healthy swaps or additions to the rest of your plate, you can keep eating family favorites without ever having to sacrifice taste.
Reach for low-fat dairy. There are a number of easy swaps that you can make in the dairy aisle that will lighten up your finished meal. Swap out whole milk for low-fat or skim milk (also called fat-free). Did you know that one cup of whole milk contains 25% of your daily saturated (bad) fat intake?1 This simple substitution starts in the grocery store, so next time you’re buying milk, reach for low-fat or skim milk and use it in your recipes. When your recipe calls for sour cream, substitute creamy fat-free Greek yogurt, which is higher in protein and lower in fat than sour cream. Finally, if you’re trying to increase the creaminess of a soup or sauce, instead of adding heavy cream, stir in some evaporated skim milk or a can of Campbell’s® Healthy Request® Cream of Mushroom soup or Campbell’s® Healthy Request® Cream of Celery soup. This will provide that creamy indulgent texture you love without the additional fat!
The skinny on fat. Fat replacements are some of the easiest and most rewarding swaps you can make in a recipe. Replace some or all of the oil in your recipe with equal parts of fruit puree. This works best for quick breads, muffins and cakes. My favorite is to use a no sugar added applesauce in place of oil because the texture comes out moist and cakey.
Another source of fat in recipes is spreads. Instead of using a full-fat mayo on a sandwich, reach for the mustard or add a few creamy avocado slices instead. Next time you eat a salad, skip the whole-fat creamy dressings, and try using low-fat versions, or flavored vinegars and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Check out Bolthouse Farms® Creamy Yogurt dressings for delicious lower-fat options. Replace cream cheese in most recipes with either Neufchatel cheese or low-fat cream cheese and you’ll hardly taste the difference!
Make half your grains whole. Any time you see a grain in your recipe’s ingredient list, ask yourself if there is a whole grain substitution you could make. For example, if a recipe calls for white rice, try using brown rice, quinoa or barley instead. If it calls for pasta, try using whole wheat pasta! You can even make your favorite baked goods with half all purpose flour and half whole wheat flour. (Keep in mind that if you substitute more than half of your flour with whole wheat flour, it may affect the rising time, cook time and texture of the finished product.) Perhaps the easiest grain swap of all is to simply buy 100% whole wheat or whole grain bread for your sandwiches! Pepperidge Farm® offers a number of delicious 100% whole wheat and whole grain breads, rolls and buns to add variety and nutrition to your mid-day meal.
Pick the perfect protein. What’s the main protein in your recipe? When most people think of protein, they think of beef, pork, chicken or fish, but there are many other options to consider! Try protein alternatives like legumes, beans, peas, nuts or tofu which are also lower in fat than many meats. Meats that are high in saturated fat, like ground beef, can often be swapped for leaner options like ground turkey or ground beef that is >90% lean. Add a little variety to your favorite recipes – next time you make a meat sauce for pasta, swap out the beef with some tofu, beans or lean ground turkey!
Sweet swaps. Want to reduce your sugar intake? Swap out sugary soda for water, diet beverages or 100% fruit juices. Try Diet V8 Splash® to get that sweet flavor without all of the sugar! Skip the syrup on your pancakes or waffles, and use a fruit puree to add a little sweetness and moisture! When baking, replace a portion of the sugar in the recipe with a sugar substitute to reduce the total sugar content and calories. Be sure to read the label of the sugar substitute you buy to make sure you substitute in proper proportions.
Savory substitutions. If you’re trying to decrease your sodium intake, increase your use of salt-free spice blends. Use more herbs, spices and citrus juices in your cooking to add flavor without adding salt! Cook with Swanson® Unsalted Stocks to start your recipes off right.
Add some more. Any time you’re making a meal, ask yourself one simple question, “Can I add fruits or veggies to this?” The answer is usually yes, so any time you have the opportunity, add fruits and veggies to your cooking to add vitamins, minerals and fiber. Visit our Featured Vegetable article archive to find new veggies and easy ways to add them to your meals..
Start Swapping! Even if you try just one swap at a time, you will soon realize just how easy it is to make your favorite family recipes healthier without sacrificing flavor. Check out how Campbell’s KitchenSM puts a healthful spin on these traditional recipes to help you get started.
1. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/69
Diana Fiorentino’s bio
Diana Fiorentino earned her associates degree in Baking and Pastry Arts from Johnson and Wales University and is currently a senior studying Nutrition and Dietetics at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. This past summer Diana completed a 13 week internship at the Campbell Soup Company in the Global Nutrition department, where she learned about the role of a dietitian in the food industry. She looks forward to becoming a registered dietitian and helping to inspire people to eat better and live healthier, happier lives. Diana believes that food should taste delicious, and knows that the words “healthy” and “indulgent” can coexist with use of the right ingredients and a little creativity.