Tag Archives: nutrition

10 Ways I Tweak Recipes by Rebecca Snow

1) Add more garlic than the recipe calls for. 

If the recipe says 1 clove, I usually add 2-3. Luckily everyone in my house likes garlic and no one is sensitive to FODMAPs.  There are so many benefits of garlic but to name a couple, it has medicinal properties and is highly nutritious with very few calories, active compounds that can reduce blood pressure [1], contains antioxidants, and may help detox heavy metals from the body [2]

2) Swap some mayo with low fat Greek yogurt in bean salad, tuna salad or chicken salad.  

This swap lowers the fat and calories, it’s full of probiotics, has higher protein content, healthier fats such as omega-3 fatty acids, and a creamier texture.

3) Replace some sweetener with applesauce or mashed banana.   

Substitute an equal amount of applesauce for sugar, but dial back other wet ingredients — for example, use a little less water or milk, if the recipe calls for it. (extra hint: You can also use applesauce instead of oil to reduce fat — use the same 1:1 ratio).  For baking, use very ripe mashed bananas as a sugar substitute, halving the amount. Taste-test to adjust for sweetness based on ripeness and your preference.

4) Use less oil or butter if desired.  

We don’t want to eliminate the fat as it can help absorb beta carotene and lycopene and other antioxidants in the meal but a little can go a long way!

5) Add a pinch of sea salt if the flavor falls flat.  

Don’t forget to taste your food before serving.  Rebecca Katz uses the acronym FASS (Fat, acid, sweet, salt), assessing these factors if the flavor falls flat. You can add apple cider vinegar or lemon juice if it needs acid. 

6) Swap ground meats in burgers, meatloaf, lasagna and other recipes calling for ground beef.  

We use ground venison, turkey, chicken, bison too. Why Venison? It is high in protein, lower in calories and fat, it has an excellent omega-3 to omega-6 ratio [3], is a wonderful source of B Vitamins, and contains high amounts of Zinc.

7) Use olive oil instead of sunflower, canola or grape seed for baked recipes or low heat recipes.  

Olive oil is rich in healthy monosaturated fats [4], contain large amounts of antioxidants, strong anti-inflammatory properties, may help prevent strokes [5], protect against heart disease [6], and have antibacterial properties [7] to name a few.

8) Substitute 1-2 cups of regular chicken or veggie broth in a soup or stew recipe with my homemade bone or immune broth.

9) Throw in 1-2 optional add-ins for pancakes, muffins, granola or other baked goods

–1-2 tsp Dr. Cowan’s triple blend veggie powder (extra veggies)

–1-2 Tblsp of collagen peptides (additional protein)

–1/2 tsp beet root powder (nitric oxide boost!)

–1/2 tsp matcha green tea powder (fab antioxidant)

–1 Tblsp oat bran or ground flax powder (for bonus fiber)

10) Increase the vegetable to starch ratio in recipes like paella, lentil or bean soup, risotto.  

For instance, when I make paella I usually double the veggies and 1.5 x the meat.

[1] Ried K. Garlic lowers blood pressure in hypertensive subjects, improves arterial stiffness and gut microbiota: A review and meta-analysis. Exp Ther Med. 2020;19(2):1472-1478. doi:10.3892/etm.2019.8374

[2] Kianoush S, Balali-Mood M, Mousavi SR, et al. Comparison of therapeutic effects of garlic and d-Penicillamine in patients with chronic occupational lead poisoning. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2012;110(5):476-481. doi:10.1111/j.1742-7843.2011.00841.x

[3] Ponnampalam EN, Mann NJ, Sinclair AJ. Effect of feeding systems on omega-3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid and trans fatty acids in Australian beef cuts: potential impact on human health. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2006;15(1):21-29.

[4] Menendez JA, Lupu R. Mediterranean dietary traditions for the molecular treatment of human cancer: anti-oncogenic actions of the main olive oil’s monounsaturated fatty acid oleic acid (18:1n-9). Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2006;7(6):495-502. doi:10.2174/138920106779116900

[5] Schwingshackl L, Hoffmann G. Monounsaturated fatty acids, olive oil and health status: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies. Lipids Health Dis. 2014;13:154. Published 2014 Oct 1. doi:10.1186/1476-511X-13-154

[6] Covas MI. Olive oil and the cardiovascular system. Pharmacol Res. 2007;55(3):175-186. doi:10.1016/j.phrs.2007.01.010

[7] Servili M, Esposto S, Fabiani R, et al. Phenolic compounds in olive oil: antioxidant, health and organoleptic activities according to their chemical structure. Inflammopharmacology. 2009;17(2):76-84. doi:10.1007/s10787-008-8014-y