How can I reduce the fat content when preparing my family’s meals?

Here are some suggestions for “cutting the fat”:

Saute vegetables in fat free chicken broth or bouillon instead of butter, margarine or oil.

Look for lean cuts of meat that do not have visible fat running through it. Trim off as much fat as possible before cooking.

Remove the skin from poultry before cooking, or purchase skinless items such as skinless chicken breast.

For a ground turkey with less fat, choose the product labeled “ground turkey breast” rather than “ground turkey”.

When preparing dishes that include both meat and vegetables, do not brown them together. The vegetables will absorb the fat from the meat.

Place a rack in the bottom of the pan when cooking meat or poultry so that the fat will drain off.

Reduce the need for oil and shortening by using nonstick cookware and nonstick cooking sprays.

Refrigerate stews, soups, meat and poultry until the fat solidifies and rises to the top so that it can be easily skimmed off with a spoon.

Do not add oil to the water when cooking pasta; it is not necessary.

When making dips, use low-fat plain yogurt, cottage cheese or buttermilk instead of sour cream

Prepare rice without butter or margarine and mashed potatoes without butter, margarine or milk. Instead, prepare mashed potatoes with fat free chicken or vegetable broth, non-fat yogurt or low fat buttermilk. Flavor rice with herbs and spices.

Decrease your use of regular mayonnaise by using a low-fat brand or mixing an equal amount of low-fat mayonnaise or low-fat yogurt with the regular mayonnaise, especially when making dressing for things such as potato or tuna salad. Use mustard instead of mayonnaise on sandwiches, or mix mayonnaise and mustard together.

Use fat-free or low-fat salad dressing or whip low-fat cottage cheese or yogurt in the blender with herbs, such as dill.

Allow butter or margarine to come to room temperature before use so it can be spread as thinly as possible.

Use non-fat or low-fat milk in recipes calling for whole milk.

Replace half of the oil, butter or margarine used when baking cakes and muffins with unsweetened applesauce. Because applesauce is naturally sweet, you may be able to reduce the amount of sugar used in the recipe by one-third.

Prune “sauce” can also be used in place of half or all of the oil, butter and margarine in baked goods. To make one cup of prune sauce, blend 1 1/3 cups of pitted prunes and six tablespoons of water. May be made in advance and stored in refrigerator for two months. Because prunes are naturally sweet, you may be able to reduce the amount of sugar used in the recipe by one-third.