Give your favourite family recipe a healthy makeover
By Stephanie Lawrence

(NC)—Love that old family recipe but not the fat and calories that come with it? Your favourite recipes may not be as healthy as you'd like them to be, - but it doesn't have to be that way. There are so many simply and easy ways to trim the fat and keep the flavour of the recipes you and your family love.

Carol Dombrow, Heart and Stroke Foundation registered dietitian offers tips on how to make your favourite recipe healthier, “try cutting down on some of the less healthy ingredients like fat, sugar and salt and at the same time increase healthy nutrients like fibre. While it seems tricky, it's actually quite simple and can be done without losing any flavour.”

Carol recommends these easy tips to reduce calories and fat and make your own recipes healthier:

• Substitute healthier fats and lower sodium ingredients, for example use soft margarine instead of butter, and sodium reduced broth.

• Load up on the vegetables.

• Use whole grains and whole wheat flour.

• Use fresh or dried herbs, spices, flavoured vinegars or lemon juice instead of salt to enhance flavour.

• For baked goods, cut down on the fat content and substitute part of the fat with a 100 per cent fruit sauce.

• Add lentils or cooked beans to soups, salads and casseroles.

• Add dried fruits, unsalted nuts or seeds to yogurt, salads and muffins.

• Use lean cuts of meat and remove the skin from poultry and watch the portion size.

You don't have to give up your favourite recipe. Look at the ingredients and see where you have room to improvise. The Heart and Stroke Foundation's Health Check website at has more tips on how to make your recipes healthier and submit your recipe for a healthy makeover.
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Herbs and vegetables can easily be grown right in your backyard garden or in containers on your patio or balcony. Certain items such as tomatoes come in a variety of vibrant colours and when mixed in with traditional flowers and plants, make for breathtaking displays.