Keeping an eye on the fat content of your meal might be something you already do without a second thought, but new research suggests some of us should be doing it even more. This week the BBC reported on a study which indicated certain people are genetically wired to prefer the taste of higher fat foods. It is thought that 1 in 1000 people carry the MC4R gene which not only controls hunger and appetite but also affects how calories are burnt off.
But for those who do carry the gene, all is not lost – although in general lower fat food just doesn’t tastes as nice (and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is either lying or fooling themselves), there are ways to make it more than palatable if flavour is your priority. This involves making only a few small changes as well as sourcing good ingredients, many of which are available with Sainsburys voucher codes. Rather than highlighting specific dishes, we’ve picked out some techniques that you can adapt to a number of different recipes…
Using Low Fat Greek-Style Yoghurt
Greek yogurt can be much richer and creamier than plain yogurt, and its low fat version is very versatile indeed when it comes to not just desserts but also a large number of main courses and snacks. For dips, you can use it to put together a lower fat homemade tzatziki by combining with grated cucumber and crushed garlic, or mix with sweet chilli sauce. For those recipes that require a rich béchamel sauce topping, substitute for one made with a pot of low-fat Greek yoghurt, 2 beaten eggs and a small amount of grated Parmesan cheese. Carefully combine then pour on top of the dish before baking. This creates a different, but rather pleasant alternative. You could also use this ingredient as a mayonnaise substitute for salad dressings.
The problem with so many low-fat alternatives is that they taste very bland. Sometimes you can’t really get around this problem – for example, we’re yet to find a low-fat hard cheese that actually tastes nice and you’re probably better off just using less full-fat cheese. But if you want to cut down on fattier elements of your dish, there is plenty you can add to up the flavour anti – the garlic in the low fat tzatziki mentioned above is a prime example. So for salad dressings, use less oil and more of something punchy like mustard, make sure everything is well-seasoned, and always use top quality ingredients such as those available with Ocado promo codes.
How you prepare and cook certain ingredients can considerably affect how much fat they take on during the cooking process. We’ve all heard of those fryers the help you make much lower-fat chips without compromising too much on flavour (available with Currys discount vouchers), but did you know there’s an even easier way to make your roast potatoes much lower in fat? When you peel or chop your potato and the middle is exposed to the fat, it absorbs so much more of it during the cooking process. As an alternative, roast the smaller and more flavoursome new potatoes with their skins on, lightly tossed in olive oil and seasoned.
Skimming the Fat
One simple way of cutting down on the fat is to simply get rid of it yourself. We don’t mean staring at a bottle of salad dressing trying to figure out exactly to do this – we’re talking meats, sauces and soups. Cooking with mince is popular because its cheap to buy, easy to prepare and versatile, but higher fat mince can leave your end result swimming in the stuff. To cut down on this oil slick, skim most of the fat off with a spoon once you’ve fried it, and you can do the same with a stock or a soup. But remember, it’s ok to leave a little bit of fat – this is where you find the best flavour, after all.
So even though fat can add flavour, it’s also possible to create tasty food that can at least go part of the way to being a decent substitute. Just remember to steer clear of the low-fat ‘cheddar’…
By Anna Scott, 7th October 2016