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As we continue into 2011 there seems to be a stronger theme of healthy eating. Is all the attention being stirred up by Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign? Or, could it be that with this new administration we have the first garden on the White House south lawn since Eleanor Roosevelt during WWII? Maybe it was the Federal menu labeling legislation was the key in causing the wave of nutrition awareness? 

With little regard to where it began, it is definitely stronger than ever. As television commercials fill the air with ads for gyms, diet programs, weight loss supplements and at-home solutions to cut the fat, so will the demands of your customers grow for healthy low-calorie fare on your menu.

At MenuTrinfo we like to keep up-to-date on the latest tips and tricks to cut calories in recipes, and thought this would be a great time to share some our favorites with you. Here are our best low calorie switches and substitutions, tips and tricks:

  • Sub applesauce for oil in baking recipes.
  • Use less sugar. Traditional recipes often include far more sugar than is necessary to give a dish its sweetness. Experiment in reducing the amount, you may be surprised at just how good it still is.
  • Use just egg whites or egg substitute in lieu of eggs.
  • When recipes call for buttering a dish, use fat free cooking spray instead.
  • Instead of stir frying vegetables in oil or butter, try water or fat free cooking spray instead.
  • Serve calorie heavy condiments and sauces on the side.
  • Use reduced fat or non fat sour cream and cheese.
  • Use nonfat or low fat milk in lieu of calorie heavy cream or whole milk.
  • Trim skin and excess fat from meat and poultry.
  • Skip the fryer all together. Instead embrace baking, steaming, broiling, and poaching.
  • Replace starch heavy sides such as potatoes or rice with low calorie big flavor fresh vegetables.
  • Replace white flour with whole wheat. (While this won’t necessarily cut the calories, it will make the calories more nourishing and filling thanks to the increased fiber of whole grains).

Once you employ these calorie saving tips to create lighter menu fare options for your customers, you’ll want to be absolutely certain to offer full nutritional information on your menu for these lighter fare items. Afterall, we believe this theme of healthy eating is here to stay.

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Latest posts by Betsy Craig
Betsy Craig
Betsy Craig brings 20 years of food service industry experience to MenuTrinfo, LLC a menu nutritional labeling Company. Her commitment to the betterment of the food industry and her desire to affect the dining public are the driving forces behind her new company Kitchens with Confidence, LLC.
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