7 Ways to Make Healthier Recipes at Home

5 minutes
August 5, 2022
Andi Gleeson

 Want to make your favorite foods better for you without giving them up completely? Try some of these easy tips to make your recipes healthier!

Try these easy ways to make recipes healthier without giving up your favorite foods!

How to Easily Make Healthier Recipes?

Most of us know that we could eat healthier, but it’s so hard to make a major lifestyle change. I don’t eat terribly, but I love big portions, dessert after dinner, and lots of meat and cheese. I know I should alter some habits, but I love to eat. LOVE IT. If a diet or eating style makes me feel like I’m going to have to give up my favorite foods or go hungry, I lose interest real quick.

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to make your diet healthier without giving up all the foods you love. I’m going to share some tips I use to add in extra good stuff and take out some bad stuff while still enjoying my favorite recipes. I hope that by the end of the list, you’ll be fired up to make your recipes healthier too!

Add in Extra Vegetables to Make Healthier Recipes

Pretty much any savory recipe has room for more vegetables. Add cauliflower to your chicken spaghetti. Stir pumpkin into your etouffee. Mix cucumber into your salsa. There are so many ways to incorporate more vegetables into your recipes, and your body will thank you for the additional vitamins, minerals, and fiber. To make sure you always have fresh vegetables on hand to use in recipes, keep your produce fresh in Rubbermaid® Freshworks™ containers!

These produce savers keep vegetables and fruits fresher up to 80% longer than store packaging, and they are essential for storing your farmer’s market finds that don’t come in any packaging at all.

Rubbermaid Freshworks containers keep produce fresh 80% longer than grocery store packaging!

Use Healthy Oils to Make Healthier Recipes

I have known for a while about saturated and trans fats being bad and unsaturated fats being better, but I only recently found out about polyunsaturated vs. monounsaturated fats. Apparently, not all unsaturated fat is created equal! 

Both kinds of unsaturated fats can help lower your cholesterol and promote heart health, but polyunsaturated fats can also help raise your good cholesterol levels. (source: sfgate.com) I have started using a lot less butter and more olive and safflower oils in my recipes to try to get more of the good and less of the bad when it comes to types of fats.

Eat Fruit for Snacks

OK, this isn’t exactly a tip about making recipes healthier, but it is a good tip for getting your recommended daily servings of fruits! It’s harder for me to sneak fruit into my recipes than vegetables, so I just try to always eat fruit at breakfast and between meals.

I’m loving all the fresh berries available this time of year, and the Rubbermaid® Freshworks™ containers are perfect for keeping them fresh so I can stock up and enjoy them for several days!

Keep your produce 80% fresher than with store packaging with Rubbermaid® Freshworks™ Produce Saver!

Add Less Meat to Make Healthier Recipes

I typically start with a pound of meat for most of my recipes that serve four people, but I’ve found lately that I can cut that in half and still get all the flavor and protein I want in my recipe. When it comes to a steak or other piece of meat that will be served on its own, it’s pretty noticeable if you cut the portion in half.

However, if it’s a recipe with the meat stirred in like pasta or stir fry, you can boost the veggies and cut back the meat without even noticing! This can not only cut the fat and calories in your dish, it can also help stretch your grocery budget since meat can get very expensive.

In Order to Make Your Meals Healthier, Use Strong Cheese

Oh, how I love cheese. In fact, my love of cheese is one of the main reasons I’ll probably never become vegan. Still, cheese can really add on a lot of fat and calories when you add a cup or more to a recipe. One way I’ve been able to cut back on the amount of cheese I cook with is to use strongly flavored cheeses like parmesan, feta, or gorgonzola.

Because these cheeses have such a potent flavor, you can add a small amount to a recipe and still get all the flavor and aroma you are looking for.

Use small amounts of strong cheeses in your recipes to get more flavor with less fat.

Substitute Applesauce For Oil

I use this one a lot. When you’re baking, you can substitute applesauce for an oil cup for a cup. While it keeps recipes very moist, it does make them a bit denser. I usually only substitute half the oil called for with applesauce and then use a healthy oil for the other half. This works great in cakes, cookies, and more.

Try substituting applesauce for oil in your baking recipes to reduce the fat and calories.

Don’t Forget Cauliflower!

Have you gotten in on the cauliflower craze? I need to get into it more. I hear cauliflower rice, alfredo sauce, and pizza crust taste incredible but are dramatically lower in carbs and calories than the originals. The closest I’ve gotten is to sub in cauliflower for some of the potatoes in my Creamy Potato Soup. I want to try more with this vegetable!

For now, I just like to roast it or eat it raw with ranch dressing for an anytime snack. This is another great one to keep stocked in your fridge in your Freshworks™ containers to always have on hand.

Ready to make recipes healthier?

Was this helpful? I hope so! Now go make a veggie-loaded pizza with cauliflower crust and rejoice in how healthy you are while still getting your pizza fixed. I’m going to go snack on some fresh berries while baking applesauce brownies. Let’s meet back here tomorrow!

Keep your produce 80% fresher than with store packaging with Rubbermaid® Freshworks™ Produce Saver!

Andi Gleeson, food blogger

Andi Gleeson

Andi Gleeson is a passionate blogger and mom based in San Francisco who focuses on easy and delicious dinner recipes.


Michelle | A Latte Food
8 years ago

I love, love, love your tips! They are totally manageable, which is definitely what I need in my hectic schedule!

Andi @ The Weary Chef
8 years ago

Thanks so much, Michelle!

Ashlyn @ Belle of the Kitchen
8 years ago

So many great tips, Andi! Adding in extra veggies is one of my favorites. Sometimes ya gotta get a little sneaky with my crew. ;)

Andi @ The Weary Chef
8 years ago

Thanks, Ashlyn. Yes, I have to get sneaky even with my husband sometimes!

8 years ago

The best tips!! This is pretty much how I *try* to live. :-D

Andi @ The Weary Chef
8 years ago

Thanks, Kate! I try too, but sometimes you’ve gotta just live it up ;)

Michelle @ The Complete Savori
8 years ago

I think I am going to need to get some of those containers. Help keep my produce longer.

Jessica Segarra
8 years ago

Such great tips! Thanks for sharing!

Andi @ The Weary Chef
8 years ago

Thank you, Jessica!

Justine@Cooking and Beer
8 years ago

So much useful information in this post! Love all of these ideas!

Amy Engberson
8 years ago

My family is trying to sneak more fruits and veggies into our days and these containers look like a great way to keep them fresh. And as far as the cheese goes, I’m not cutting that out! Haha!

Patricia Miller
8 years ago

I have seen ads for the new rubbermaid containers. Do they really help to keep the produce fresh longer? All of these are great ideas.

Andi @ The Weary Chef
8 years ago

Hi, Patricia. I do find that the containers keep produce fresher than in plastic bags or sealed containers without a vent. I often have bagged lettuce go bag before the expiration date because it seems to get too wet in the bag, but it lasts better in the Rubbermaid boxes. Hope that helps! Thanks :)

Patricia Miller
8 years ago

Yes, it does. Thank you. I will pick up a container or two from the store next time I go shopping.

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