Each of our lives is a journey, and on our journey we travel through and past many different lifescapes. Sometimes life dictates that we take a bit of a different route. Right now my main path is one to regain health and fitness. That doesn’t mean there won’t be bunny trail hikes into decor, crafts, gardening, and more (after all, a girl has to have fun!), but making our diet more healthy has to be the main priority.
So how do you re-create a family favorite without ruining it? Here are a few important steps to consider.
Recipe Re-creation Step 1: Temper your expectations!
Realize that it won’t taste exactly the same. You are looking to create similar flavor notes within new boundaries which will inevitably mean shifts in taste and sometimes texture. I mean, let’s be real! Mashed potatoes moistened with chicken broth are good but they are not decadently creamy like those that have lots of butter and cream. Be real with your expectations.
Recipe Re-creation Step 2: Choose substitutions carefully.
There are lists galore on Pinterest with ingredient substitution suggestions. I have pinned a few on to my Pantry and Fridge Shelf board. As you peruse the possible substitutions be sure to consider whether the dish is savory or sweet, as that may greatly influence making the best choices. You may not want to substitute applesauce for butter in a savory recipe. Olive oil may be a better choice; it is still a fat but a “better” fat. (See caution in next tip.)
Recipe Re-creation Step 3: Don’t overwhelm yourself or your recipe.
Make gradual changes. If you make a lot of changes to the recipe and it’s not quite right, how will you know which change to tweak? Some substitutions are easy and predictable, i.e. fat-free Greek yogurt for sour cream. But be careful about substitutions with vast flavor or textural differences, i.e. when substituting oil for butter you will need to compensate for the additional liquid in the recipe especially if you are baking, or you may want to use a mild nut oil rather than olive oil.
Recipe Re-creation Step 4: Try to keep it real.
I have been a label reader for a long time. I try to keep my recipes as close to whole, real foods as possible which means I have to be able to pronounce and identify all the ingredients in any packaged food I buy or better yet but single ingredient real meats, fruits, vegetables, and grains. “Artificial sweeteners” versus “natural” sweeteners is one of the toughest parts of this navigating this process. My best advice is read labels, investigate and make your own informed decision.
Recipe Re-creation Step 5: Decide which recipes to leave alone.
Yes, that’s right. There are some recipes that you should just leave alone. Keep them for special occasions and make the appropriate adjustments in your eating plan to make room for them. With summer around the corner, I will be sharing my ventures into sugar-free and reduced sugar canning recipes. But my “trademark” jelly that I am known for isn’t going to change. I will make Wine & Roses Jelly the same way I have always made it and enjoy it on very special occasions and give it as gifts.
Are you ready to start adjusting recipes to meet the health and fitness needs of you and your family? The truth is that most of us have room to improve our eating habits on our way to real health and fitness. I shared my first makeover in the last post. It’s a longtime family favorite that was a successful recipe re-creation. Use the link to check it out.
Moving towards health and fitness while sharing my heart 4 home!