Low-fat Country Recipes, is this possible?
Admittedly, country recipes have an undeserved reputation for being high in fat and calories but we certainly cannot blame people for thinking this way. Country cooking can have rich ingredients coupled with the fondness for deep frying everything from chicken to cheese. But you need not shy away from country cooking. You have several ways to make low fat yet delicious country dishes and desserts that your family and friends will love – or better yet, devour to the last morsel.
Use other cooking techniques aside from the usual deep-frying of the raw ingredients. Frying infuses the food with fat, which many will not appreciate considering their elevated cholesterol counts.
Your best bets: Use cooking techniques that require little to no oil. Think of grilling, baking, broiling, steaming, and braising dishes and desserts. Even pan-frying and sautéing are better options. For example, instead of deep-frying potatoes to make classic French fries – one of the staples in country recipes – try the technique known as oven-frying. Since little oil is used, the fries have comparatively low fat content than their classic counterparts.
Drain the fat from the cooked meats and then blot with kitchen paper for good measure. Basically, you will still enjoy the flavors of fried food, which are staples in country cooking like deep-fried chicken, but with reduced fat. Think of it as enjoying – or eating – the best of both country cooking and healthy cooking worlds.
Look at the country recipes and decide what substitutions can be done. Examples:
• Use 2 egg whites and 1 whole egg for every person on egg-based dishes like omelets and cakes
• Substitute smoked turkey, turkey bacon and lean prosciutto for bacon
• Replace butter, margarine and oil in baked goods with applesauce for one-half of the amount required in the recipe
• Use cooking spray on non-stick pans
• Replace ground beef with lean or extra-lean ground beef or with chicken and turkey breast sans the skin
Yes, these tips also apply to all kinds of cooking genres aside from country recipes. The trick is in keeping to the spirit of country cooking – only the freshest ingredients cooked so that their flavors, textures and tastes are preserved while also complementing the rest of the materials; no fuss, no pretentions – while keeping it healthy.