(NAPSA) - Making a few easy substitutions and using healthful cooking techniques can help you rejuvenate your favorite family recipes.
Here are some easy ways to give those recipes a makeover:
Use smart fats. Not all fat is bad. Opt for unsaturated fats-such as canola oil-over saturated fats such as butter.
Canola oil is cholesterol-free, trans fat-free, low in saturated fat as well as high in unsaturated fat and omega-3s. It can be used in place of any oil called for in recipes-to saute, bake, use in salads and more.
Plus, switching from a solid fat such as butter or shortening to a liquid oil such as canola usually means that you will use less fat. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, change to 3/4 cup of canola oil and use as the recipe directs. For a handy fat substitution chart, visit www.northerncanola.com.
Decide which ingredients you can reduce or eliminate altogether without altering the flavor or appearance of the dish. For example:
Reduce nuts and coconut by 50 percent and toast the nuts for enhanced flavor; reduce chocolate chips by 25-50 percent.
Reduce sugar by 25 percent. It won't change the taste appreciably, especially if you use a bit more vanilla, cinnamon, etc.
If the recipe calls for baking chocolate, try cocoa instead. Replace one ounce of baking chocolate with 3 tablespoons cocoa powder plus 1 tablespoon canola oil.
Make changes to your recipe gradually, just one or two ingredients at a time, to see if you like the results.
Here's a lighter version of a traditional sweet potato casserole that can be used as a side dish throughout the year.
5 pounds sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cubed into 1/2-inch pieces
1 red onion, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons herbes de Provence
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Mix sweet potatoes, onion, oil and herbs in a large bowl; spoon into a baking dish. Salt and pepper to taste. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the potato edges become brown and crisp.
For more recipes and tips, visit www.northerncanola.com or call (701) 221-2028.