Easy Ways to Cut 100 or More Calories

Brussel sprouts cooking in a cast iron pan

By: Karen Ilhardt, Home Economist, Kroger Customer Connect

When cooking or baking:

  • Sauté vegetables in 2 tablespoons of water or broth (under 4 calories) instead of 2 tablespoons of butter (220 calories).
  • For baked goods, substitute ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce (26 calories) for ¼ cup oil (480 calories).
  • Chicken or tuna salad: Use 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt (18 calories) instead of 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (200 calories).
  • Use plain yogurt (140 calories per cup) in place of sour cream (410 calories per cup) for casseroles, baked potatoes and dips.
  • When baking, use a light touch with cooking sprays (about 10 calories) to replace greasing pans with shortening (110 calories).
  • Oven bake French fries (185 calories per 5 oz.) instead of deep frying (350 calories per 5 oz.).
  • Use 1% milk (102 calories per cup) instead of whole milk (152 calories per cup). This will work for recipes and for drinking.
  • Remove the skin (and fatty layer) from chicken or turkey before roasting. This will save about 50 calories per serving.
  • Prepare toasted cheese sandwiches rather than grilled cheese. Toast the bread, add slice of cheese, and then microwave briefly to melt the cheese. Saves all the butter calories (about 220 calories per sandwich).
  • Use creamed cottage cheese (230 calories per cup) instead of whole milk ricotta cheese (430 calories per cup) in foods like manicotti and lasagna. Or, better yet — use 1% low-fat cottage cheese (115 calories per cup).
  • Use 3 tablespoons of liquid egg whites (25 calories) to replace each fresh large egg (75 calories). Works great for omelets, frittatas, quiche, French toast and baking. Reduces cholesterol, too!

When eating:

  • Replace sugared soft drinks (about 110 calories per 8 oz.) with water (0 calories) or water with a few drops of flavor enhancer (about 5 calories per glass).
  • Use 1½ tablespoons of whole fruit spread (30 calories) or 1½ tablespoons of apple butter (50 calories) on toast, rolls or muffins to replace 1½ tablespoons of butter (170 calories).
  • Skip the croutons on salads; they have 125 calories per ounce!
  • Choose 2 tablespoons of a fat-free red wine vinaigrette dressing (15 calories) instead of a mayonnaise-based dressing (110 calories).
  • Choose broth-based soups (chicken noodle or vegetable) instead of cream-based soups (cream of chicken, broccoli cheddar or loaded potato).
  • Season fish with lemon juice or fresh herbs — skip the tartar sauce (100 calories per 2 tablespoons).