6 EZ (and tasty) Food Swaps!

Classic Calorie Counter from Ralphs from flickr

Looking for some easy -and tasty- food swaps to increase the nutritional value of your next meal -and decrease the calories and fat? Check out these 6 tips from Dawn Jackson Blatner, Registered Dietitian and author of “The Flexitarian Diet”” For all 12 tips click here.

1. Breadcrumbs To Seeds Opt for sesame seeds, chopped pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds instead of breadcrumbs to coat chicken and fish.
Why? Get the crunch you crave but with more healthy fat, fiber and protein.

2. Brown Rice to Cauliflower Rice Pulse fresh cauliflower in a food processor until it resembles rice. Steam or sauté it and enjoy it how you would use brown rice.
Why? Cauliflower rice has only 30 calories per half-cup vs. brown rice’s 110 calories. Plus the cauliflower version has 50 percent more fiber.

3. Spaghetti Noodles To Zucchini Ribbons Using a vegetable peeler to make zucchini resemble spaghetti strands.
Why? A cup of zucchini pasta has one-sixth the calories of cooked whole grain pasta (28 versus 174 calories per cup) and meets half your day’s vitamin C 4. requirement.

4. Romaine To Kale Chop kale into small one to two inch pieces and massage in a healthy salad dressing (using your hands). The chopping and hand massage tenderize the raw kale and make it a great salad base.
Why? Kale provides more vitamin A, C, E, K and iron than romaine.

5. Butter To Avocado When you are baking, substitute some or all of the butter with pureed avocado. It may tint your baked goods a subtle green color, but it won’t impact the flavor. Note: Start out swapping only 1/3 of the butter and increase gradually until over time you find the perfect swap amount for your recipe.
Why? One tablespoon of avocado puree has 75 percent fewer calories than butter (23 vs. 100 calories) and contains healthier fat, fiber, folate (B vitamin), vitamin K, vitamin C and potassium.

6. High-Fiber Cold Cereal To Oatmeal  Instead of pouring a bowl of cold cereal, make half a cup of rolled oats with one cup of water (or your favorite milk) in the microwave for two to three minutes. Or consider making a big batch of steel-cut oats in the crockpot & freeze it in individual portions.
Why? Even though the healthy cold cereal you eat may be high in fiber, it is “dry” and contains only 2 percent water whereas a bowl of oatmeal is a whopping 84 percent water. What does this mean? More water = more fullness and appetite control through the morning and even into the afternoon.

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