Monday, March 22, 2010

Healthy Recipe Alterations - By Lori Nicholls

Healthy Recipe Alterations - by Lori Nicholls, of Delta Personal Training

The first time I read about altering a recipe I couldn't believe that a normal average Joe like me could do such a thing! I'm not a chef! I cook, I eat, but I am certainly not an expert on what a certain ingredient will or will not do.

Like many families, Sunday breakfasts tend to be a tradition of breaking from the norm and doing something special. During the week we're all very busy, I work on Saturdays too, so once I get home on Sunday morning from the gym (yes I'm there when the doors open) a breakfast feast starts.

Some time ago, I was inspired after reading some recipes from the Figure and Fitness Models/Competitors and well, in an effort to inflict a little additional "health" on our family, I thought I would alter things a bit... let me share an experience with you.

On this particular Sunday, I was going to make pancakes with my Home Made Blueberry Sauce... it is a family favorite. All the sauce is fruit, with about a tablespoon of lemon juice and depending on the fruit 1-2 tablespoons of sugar, heat it all up on a low temperature and mush it to a sauce.

VERY YUMMY !! (**be careful it can have some hot patches)

But this is where it went very WRONG...

The recipe for the pancakes was from a fitness magazine and instead of flour you take rolled oats and use your blender, blend the oats until they are a fine powder and it becomes your flour. My whole family didn't just dislike my pancakes... they hated them! This was over a year ago and they still remind me of my cardboard pancakes!!!

The above is not altering a recipe - it was an absolute mutilation of one!

Let's face it if the family won't/can't eat it-it's not worth the energy.

Now I use 1/2 white flour, and the remaining 1/2 I divide it with wheat germ and brown flour... It's healthier and everyone eats it!

Just today I made carrot cake and instead of 1 cup oil, I did 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup water. Instead of two cups white flour I did 1 cup white flour, 1/2 cup brown flour, 1/4 cup wheat germ and 1/4 cup rolled oats.

Everyone really, really loved it, and no-one was questioning what was in there??!?!?

Here is a tip to implementing healthy recipe alterations...

When you are just starting a healthier approach with your family - start off slow. Don't go from Homogenized Milk to Skim Milk, try going to 2% first, then 1%; make the changes gradually. I use Skim Milk in my Macaroni and Cheese recipe - again everyone loves it.

I have a better understanding of cooking than I once did.

After all, recipes come from someone goofing around (or goofing up) in the kitchen. Recipes get altered all the time, quite often because we're half-way through making something and realize that we're out of eggs or whatever.

Deciding to eat more healthy is an awesome choice! But unless your doctor has given you a very strict, stern talk, like, "Alter Your Diet NOW Or You'll Die", just try altering recipes slowly.

Adjust them and then alter them to be slightly healthier again, again and again.

There is a chef in all of us, and with having a family, you usually have at least one critic at the table at all times. So go slow and make it stick - but not like my cardboard pancakes did to the roof of our mouths!

Bon Appetite!

For more healthy lifestyle choices and some recipes that I have successfully altered, visit my website at

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