Cooking at home is a great way to save money and eat healthy, but sometimes our favourite recipes can be loaded with hidden calories. Luckily, there are some easy ways to cut down on the calories in your home cooked meals without sacrificing taste or nutrition. Here are five of our favourite tips:
- Go for leaner cuts of meat
If a recipe calls for ground beef, try using ground turkey instead. You can also look for leaner cuts of steak, like flank or bottom round. Not only will you save calories, but leaner meats are also generally lower in saturated fat.
- Make your own cauliflower rice
Cauliflower is having a moment right now, and for good reason: it’s low in calories and carbs but high in fibre and vitamins C, B6, and K. One cup of cauliflower “rice” has just 25 calories, as opposed to the 158 calories in one cup of white rice. So next time a recipe calls for rice, try substituting cauliflower “rice” instead – you probably won’t even taste the difference! You can buy cauliflower rice in lots of supermarkets these days.
- Cut back on cheese
Cheese can be a great source of protein and calcium, but it’s also high in saturated fat and calories. If a recipe calls for a full cup of shredded cheese, see if you can get away with using half a cup instead. You may also want to experiment with lower-fat cheeses or even Nutritional Yeast as a cheesy substitute.
- Use less oil
When cooking with oil, it’s easy to pour a little too much into the pan. But every extra tablespoon of oil adds 120 calories to your dish. To cut back on oil without sacrificing flavour, try using an oil sprayer instead of pouring oil from a bottle. You’ll be surprised how much less oil you use when you’re not guessing at how much you need!
- Serve smaller portions
This one may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning: serving size matters! When we cook at home, we often make larger portions than we would serve ourselves if we were eating out at a restaurant. If you’re trying to cut back on calories, make sure you’re portioning out your food appropriately. And when in doubt, always err on the side of smaller portions – you can always go back for seconds (or thirds!) if you’re still hungry!
Some other tips include:
- Use low-fat milk or almond milk in place of whole milk
- Add more vegetables to your meals
- Trim the fat off of meat before cooking it
- Bake, broil, or grill foods instead of frying them
By taking some of these tips on-board, you can drastically cut down on your calorie intake without much effort at all. Good luck!