Diet Conscious: When Do You Use Low-Fat Substitutes?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Cream and butter have their time and place, but for every-day cooking, sometimes we need to cut corners to keep things healthy. Do you ever cook with low-fat, low-carb, low-sugar, low-sodium, or just plain low substitutes?

We find the biggest challenge is creating healthy dishes that don’t sacrifice flavor or texture. We’ve found that low-fat ricotta works well in our chunky cheese lasagna recipe, but using it in our ricotta gnocci makes for bland, watery dumplings.

For pantry staples like like canned broth, canned or jarred vegetables, dried fruits, and yogurt, we prefer to buy products that have no salt, sugar, or flavorings added. This way, we have more control over how much and what kinds of those seasonings are being added.

Another challenge is that we don’t want to use low-fat substitutes if it means cooking with products that are high in artificial ingredients, preservatives, or corn products. In these cases, we personally feel that the “whole” food is the healthier choice. We’ll find a different recipe if we really don’t want the fat.

What low-fat substitutes do you use in your cooking? Are there times when you never use substitutes?

(Image: Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)