Healthy Heart Recipe Modifications

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Show consumers how to lower the total fat and saturated fat in their recipes by switching to non-fat and light dairy products. Here are our tried and true tips to help you show them how to make the switch:

• Milk -

-Skim milk lowers the total fat and saturated fat significantly compared to whole milk.

-Did you know that there is a product called Skim Plus that is thicker and creamier tasting than skim milk? It is usually higher in calcium, too. You can cook with it.

-Fat-free Half and Half is delicious and works well for cooking and baking. Serve them samples with coffee.

-Evaporated skim milk is an excellent choice for cooking and baking.

-Soymilk is a little higher in fat than skim milk, but it doesn't contain the saturated fat of whole milk (make sure you find one that is calcium fortified). It is a good option for cooking and baking. Make sure you specify plain soymilk for savory dishes.

Consider conducting a taste test between skim milk, soymilk and Skim Plus. Consumers appreciate being able to try these items.

• Whipped cream -

-Fat-free whipped cream is not really fat-free. However, the portion size is small enough that manufacturers can play with the numbers and say it is fat-free. It can be, though, a much better choice than whipped heavy cream if portion control is used. It is helpful to have a volunteer read the ingredient list from the can so you can emphasize this point. You should also demonstrate the portion size that should be used.


• Sour cream -

-Fat-free sour cream is virtually no different than its regular counterpart except for being much lower in fat and saturated fat. It cooks, bakes and serves the same as the regular version. Serve it in your class with baked potatoes or make a delicious dip using chopped garden herbs.

• Ricotta cheese -

Fat-free ricotta is much lower in fat and saturated fat. However, the taste of the fat-free version is poor, and the texture is not desirable. So here is what we do: Use one cup of fat-free ricotta and one cup of silken tofu, plus 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese. Put this in the food processor and you have a great-tasting product with a smooth, creamy texture. The silken tofu really enhances the texture.

• Butter can be replaced with various different products, depending on the application.

-For cooking and baking, we highly recommend using a low-cal margarine that is trans free.

-For sauteeing, use a drizzle of high-quality extra virgin olive oil.

For baking, substitute half of the butter with apple sauce or prune puree (aka baby food prunes).

-Spray oils are very convenient for pan frying and baking.

• Cream cheese -

-Plain fat-free cream cheese tastes terrible. The flavored versions are more tolerable. The best option is to buy the light and use less.

-If you are making cheesecake or other dessert type items, you can use silken tofu in place of half the cream cheese. Use the light cream cheese for the other half.



Allow your audience to try different varieties of salt-free seasonings. Italian Herb, Mrs. Dash, granulated garlic with parsley, chili, curry and other mixes are nice. Let them taste these seasonings using chunks of baked potatoes. It might be nice to have Benecol or Take Control on hand to try, too. McCormick's site has more information, too.

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