NDSU Extension - Burleigh County


| Share

Recipe Makeovers!

As your individual health circumstances evolve, you may be looking for ways to make updates to our favorite family recipes and keep up with what is currently recognized as healthier. For the next few weeks, follow our recipe modification suggestions for creative ways to make over a recipe. Just remember, recipe modification is a trial-and-error process. If you don’t like the way something turns out the first time, try readjusting it the next time until you find a version you like.

Many of our favorite holiday recipes contain higher amounts of fat, cholesterol and/or sugar than do our more everyday foods.  And while the holidays are a time for special treats there are also some proven ways to modify recipes without losing taste.  Consider the following before making any changes to that family heritage recipe.

close up of ingredients on a table

Is the recipe already low in fat, cholesterol, sugar or salt?
If so, only minor or no changes may be needed. If a recipe calls for one egg and the dish serves eight people, the amount of cholesterol per serving already is relatively low.

How often is the food eaten?
It is not as important to modify a recipe for a dish eaten once or twice a year as it is for foods eaten more often. It is more important to cut the fat in a weekly tuna fish salad sandwich than it is to cut the fat in a birthday cake.

How much of the food is eaten?
Sometimes the best way to modify the intake of a certain food is to eat less of it. Decreasing the quantity eaten may be more satisfying than decreasing the quality. Many people prefer to eat less real jam or jelly than to eat the regular amount of a low-sugar jam.

Tips for Healthy Modifications

These suggestions apply to most foods except when specific proportions of ingredients are essential to prevent spoilage (such as cured meats, pickles, jams and jellies).  Don't forget to check out some of our publications:  Ingredient Substitutions and Recipe Makeovers!


NDSU Extension Publication FN-198 Ingredient Substitutions front page   NDSU Extension Publication FN-1447 Now Serving: Recipe Makeovers!     


Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.