Lighten Up Secrets Revealed!

20 of our most innovative techniques for making any dish more healthful.

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FOR TOPPINGS

6. Choose a flavorful cheese. "Use a variety with more flavor, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano," says Assistant Food Editor Kathy Kitchens Downie, R.D. "The stronger the flavor, the less you have to use."

7. Sprinkle cheese, chocolate, or nuts on top rather than mixing into batters. As toppings, they deliver concentrated flavor.

8. Reduce sugar-crumb toppings. Half the amount is often enough.

9. Substitute panko, extra crisp Japanese breadcrumbs, for ordinary bread or cracker crumbs. Doing so can reduce the crust's fat, calories, and sodium by half.

 

FOR BAKED GOODS

10. Think beyond fat-free. Sometimes no-fat foods don't satisfy. "To account for this, we often use a blend of reduced-fat and fat-free varieties," says Vanessa Johnson, Test Kitchens director.

11. Use egg substitute in recipes that call for more than one egg. A quarter cup equals one egg, cutting 5 grams of fat and 213 milligrams of cholesterol from your recipe.

12. Increase low-calorie ingredients. For example, add extra vegetables to casseroles and fruits to breads, muffins, or snack cakes. This will increase the yield of your recipe without adding fat.

13. Finely chop nuts, bacon, olives, and other high-fat or high-sodium ingredients. They will distribute more evenly, allowing you to use less without sacrificing taste.

Read on for tips on meats, veggies, and soups...

 
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