Heart Smart Cooking

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Elovia Peddle, RD, LD, CDE, has been teaching lessons about health and wellness for years. One of her very favorite topics is heart-healthy cooking, and now she's sharing the details with you!

Meet SMART Recipe Modifications. The SMART program is all about making simple and healthful changes to a recipe in order to make it better for you. SMART is an acronym. It will make it easier for people to remember that they can...

S: Substitute
Replace butter with oil, substituting healthful fats in place of artery-clogging saturated fats.

M: Modify
Modify the type of flour you use in the recipe. For example, instead of all-purpose flour, try whole wheat or white whole wheat varieties.

A: Add
Add healthful ingredients, like ground flax or wheat germ. This will give the recipe a little extra nutrient boost.

R: Reduce
Reduce the amount of components that can be bad for your health, especially in excess. Not sure where to start? Try cutting down the levels of sugar or fat in the dish.

T: Totally Eliminate
This step works best for things like salt or nuts, where the entirety of the ingredient can be cut out to create a less calorie-dense or more heart-healthy dish.

And that's the SMART program!

This approach is especially easy to teach when you have a recipe or two handy. Sometimes making the substitutions can be a little daunting at first, and demonstrating or trying some of these new techniques can make them easier to apply in real life.

Elovia uses her mother's banana bread recipe and then distributes copies to her participants, allowing them to make changes to it, bake it for themselves, and then discuss the results.

This method could be incorporated into your next cooking demonstration too. Find a few recipes that benefit from the SMART program, adjust them, and demonstrate how to make them, with the adjustments, explaining as you go. And who knows? We've found that delicious samples can often be more persuasive than words.

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