Modifying Recipes for Better Health
Modifying or changing a recipe
can produce a product that doesn’t
meet traditional expectations.
However, some changes can be
made that can result in an “
acceptable” change or one that
some people don’t even notice.
The following are some modifications
you can make in a recipe
that might be acceptable for you,
your family and friends:
Reduce sugar by one-third: Instead
of 1 cup of sugar use 2/3
cup. This works best in canned
and frozen fruits, puddings and
custards. For quick breads and
muffins, use 1 tablespoon of
sugar per 1 cup of flour. Add
vanilla, cinnamon, or nutmeg to
help enhance flavor.
Reduce fat by one-third: If a
recipe calls for 1/2 cup fat, use
1/3 cup fat. This works best in
gravies, sauces, puddings and
some cookies. For cakes and
quick breads, use 2 tablespoons
fat per cup of flour.
Omit salt or reduce by one-half: If
recipe says 1/2 teaspoon salt, use 1/4 teaspoon. Do not eliminate
salt from yeast breads or
rolls—it is important for flavor
Substitute whole grain and bran
flours: Whole wheat flour can replace
from 1/4 to 1/2 the all-purpose
flour. If a recipe has
3 cups of all-purpose flour, use
1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour and
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour.
Oat bran or oatmeal can replace
1/4 of the all-purpose flour. Bran
cereal flour can replace up to 1/4
cup of all purpose flour.
Do not try to substitute oil for
margarine or shortening — they
are not interchangeable when
A traditional recipe can still
taste good and be good for
Do not substitute lite or diet margarines
for solid shortenings or
regular margarines in baking. Instead,
use less regular margarine.
Written by Lynnette Mensah, Nutrition and Wellness
Educator, University of Illinois Extension, Countryside Extension
Edited by: Katherine Reuter, Extension Educator,
Consumer and Family Economics, University of Illinois Extension,
Countryside Extension Center.
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