In place of oil or butter in frying or broiling, use cooking spray. As thickening agents use mashed potato flakes, pureed carrots or fat free milk-based soups. Use two egg whites or 1/4 cup of egg substitute in place of a whole egg. Use skim milk in place of whole milk (evaporated milk is good in recipes). Use fat free or low fat versions of cottage cheese, yogurt and sour cream. Use extra lean cuts of beef, chicken and turkey for ground meat. Use reduced calorie mayonnaise. Make a good quality salad dressing with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and then add one part water to two parts salad dressing. TO REDUCE FAT: Place chopped onions in the microwave in a small amount of chicken stock instead of sautéing in butter or oil. Substitute apple, apricot or prune puree in place of some butter in sweet recipes. TO REDUCE SUGAR: Substitute 1 cup of sugar with 3/4 cup of honey and a pinch of baking soda. Reduce the liquid by 1/4 cup. Substitute 1 cup of sugar with 1 1/4 cups of molasses and 2 teaspoons of baking soda. Reduce the liquid of the recipe by 5 Tablespoons. Never substitute more than half of the solid sugar in a recipe with a liquid sugar substitute such as maple syrup or honey. This recipe is full of anti-carcinogens, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories; the three “A's” that are good for us! Apricots and almonds are both high in antioxidants which reduce inflammation.
APRICOT ALMOND SQUARES 1 cup dried apricot halves 2 cups water 2 Tablespoons butter 1/4 cup oatmeal 2 Tablespoons water 1 cup flour 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 cup almonds, dry-roasted, ground 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup egg substitute, liquid 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon almond extract 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar Preheat the oven to 350° F. Place apricots in a pan of cold water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Slice thinly and set aside. Blend the butter and oatmeal with 2 Tablespoons of water. Add 1/2 cup of the flour and the ground almonds. Spread in an 8-inch square baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes. While the pastry is baking, sift the remaining 1/2 cup of flour with the baking powder and salt. Lightly beat the egg substitute with the brown sugar, and blend in the flour mixture. Add the vanilla and almond extracts, and stir in the apricots. Spread over the pastry. Bake for 30 minutes until brown. Cool. Sift powdered sugar over the squares before serving. Total Servings: 36 Total Calories: 67 Protein: 1g Carbohydrate: 13 g Fat: 1 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Dietary Fiber: 1 g Calories from Fat: 15%