What's a food hack? It's a fun way of re-inventing your favorite foods in a healthier way, (less fat, less salt, fewer calories), but keeping the deliciousness factor.
Impossible, you say? Read on. Now remember, these food hacks are not exactly like the foods you crave, but they're a darn good substitute. Give them a try and see which ones are keepers. Here is my short list.
French fries. I've fallen in love with butternut squash and turn them into French fries.
Here's a hint. Trying to cut into a butternut squash is like trying to slice a bowling ball, so soften it in the microwave for a few minutes first. If you want crinkly edges on your fries, you can buy one of these gadgets for under ten dollars.
On to pizza! Can anything really be a substitute for pizza? I've tried the cauliflower crust pizzas and didn't care for them. So I make "pizza boats."
Are they exactly like the real thing? No, of course not, but they do have that "pizza" taste. Just soften some zucchini in the microwave, hollow them out and fill with diced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Add a little spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce. Pop them in the oven or microwave and top with some parmesan cheese when they come out. A fantastic low calorie snack!
Spaghetti! I'm a great fan of my spiralizer and use it all the time. You can make delicious "mock" spaghetti with zucchini. I like to use them unpeeled so you get the white and green color.
This is what they look like when they've been spiralized.
I steam them for a couple of minutes and top with home-made spaghetti sauce. If you need to "get used to" the idea of substituting zucchini for the real thing, start by filling your bowl half with pasta and half with spiralized zucchini. Eventually you can ditch the pasta.
Finally, milk shakes!
This is my new way to start the day. I add one cup of ice cubes and one cup of water to the blender and use the "ice chopping" option. Then I add 1/2 a banana, a container of lowfat yogurt and a cup of berries. If I want extra protein, I throw in a scoop of protein powder. If I've got a craving for a chocolate milk shake, I use chocolate yogurt and a big tablespoon of malted milk powder. (also delicious in chocolate chip cookies.)
Try one (or all!) of my favorite food hacks and see if you like them. Maybe one or two will strike your fancy.
Bon appetit! Mary Kennedy