Each winter, many of us will let a little extra comfort weight creep on. Putting on weight is much easier than taking it off, so it’s important to go into winter in the right frame of mind. If you continually gain an extra 2-3 kg each winter, year after year it could mean a gain of 20 kilograms.
With this weight comes the drastically increased risk of chronic lifestyle diseases, such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes. As with anything in life, it’s about being both aware and organised.
The colder months attract us towards comfort eating with more hot meals, hot creamy soups, rich stews and comforting desserts.
Here are some easy tips that remove those extra kilojoules from your winter favourites:
Take out the pasta and throw in some cauliflower. Baked cauliflower is delicious. It maintains its texture and its flavour complements cheese. If you can’t go without the pasta, a simple compromise of half pasta and half cauliflower will also help cut the kilojoules.
An easy to make white sauce that’s reduced in saturated fat: Simply use 1 cup of evaporated milk, half a cup of chicken stock and 3 teaspoons of cornflower to make a creamy white sauce that contains less than one third the energy. Adding garlic, white pepper and nutmeg will add to the flavour.
What’s the best thing about macaroni and cheese? The crunchy cheese top! I wouldn’t want you to miss out on this, but be careful with how much cheese you use. Just 50 grams of cheese equals 840 kJ. The images above are examples of why portions matter. Each image adds up to 840 kJ.
Another health substitution is meat for mushrooms. 50g of beef has the same amount of energy as 900g of mushrooms. Mushrooms are great in stews and pasta sauces. You can enjoy a larger portion without worrying about those extra kilojoules.
Creamy mash, another winter favourite. Try using butter beans and cauliflower. Blend cooked ingredients in a food processor, adding water to achieve the consistency you desire. The result isn’t just one quarter of the kilojoule content compared to mashed potato, but also providing the added benefit of extra fibre!