I used think of hacking as a bad thing, just in the sense of violating the integrity of something. As I have become more and more tech savvy, at least by using some of the tools to better my life, I have learned to use the term “hacking” in a different way. I realized I had been “hacking” for a long time anyway, by altering the recipes to suit my taste buds or needs of portability or feeding a crowd.
So here are some recipe hacks you can implement to make them a bit healthier. Let me assure you, every little bit helps. It also makes you enjoy it more, knowing that you have taken the time to personalize it.
- Use 2 egg whites in place of 1 egg. Eggs are important part of many baked goods and using the correct proportion is critical. Using 2 egg whites instead of 1 egg maintains the same volume but reduces the fat content of your recipe by 10 grams. Making an omelet, use one whole egg and 2 egg whites and all all your favorite fixings. The color of the omelet won’t be drastically different either.
- Replace half the oil with unsweetened applesauce or non-fat greek yogurt. Similar to the eggs, fats in a baking recipe are integral to the texture of the final product. I routinely, use half oil and half applesauce in my brownie recipe. My kids actually thought brownies always had applesauce in them and used to call them “applesauce brownies”. My muffin recipe has half the oil replaced with non-fat greek yogurt, you would never know it from the moist texture.
- Replace all or half the flour with whole grain flour. I don’t remember the last time I bought all purpose flour. I only keep whole wheat flour in the pantry and use it in all my baking. I also like to add oat flour. Simply grind the quick oats and you will have fresh oat flour. Adding whole grain flours greatly increases the fiber content of your recipe.
- Add some extra fiber and key nutrients. While using whole grain flours is simple, sometimes you may want to use other ingredients to add fiber or other nutrients. Consider adding flax meal (or simply grind some flax seeds), wheat germ or oat bran to your recipe. Just a tablespoon will add a punch of fiber, B vitamins and even omega -3 fatty acids in case of flax meal.
- Enhance the flavors and anti-oxidants by adding turmeric, ginger and garlic. The benefits of turmeric have been well established. Add a teaspoon to your soup, chili or stew next time. It will hide well among other strong flavors. Fresh ginger, another anti-inflammatory spice, is great added to stir-fried vegetables, soups and even your daily smoothie. I love to add garlic cloves while roasting vegetables. Roasted garlic even tastes sweeter.
Enjoy cooking with and for the family. Spending time together enjoying the deliciousness is gratifying.