It's hard to make changes sometimes when it involves possibly leaving our favorite foods behind.
There are ways to add healthier twists on those foods — especially if they're connected to cherished family recipes.
Making changes or adjustments during the preparation is a key when it comes to reducing the fat and cholesterol.
The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension suggests making one change at a time in a recipe. Changing too many ingredients at one time may ruin your product.
Here are some tips on revitalizing your recipes by cutting fat and cholesterol:
• Use nonstick sprays and nonstick pans.
• Cut fat in recipes for baked goods by ¼ to 1/3.
• Bake, broil, boil, grill, poach or microwave instead of frying.
• Chill soups and stews and remove the fat on top before reheating.
• Cook vegetables in low sodium bouillon or broth instead of butter, margarine or fat back.
• Use two egg whites or ¼ cup egg substitute for each whole egg.
• Trim fat off meat and remove skin from poultry before cooking.
• Drain and rinse ground beef in a colander after cooking.
• Use low fat and nonfat milk, cheese, sour cream and yogurt.
• Use evaporated skim milk instead of cream.
• Use oil instead of butter, solid margarine or shortening.
• In baked goods, use ¼ less fat than the recipe requires.
• Make gravy and sauces without fat. Thicken the broth or skimmed pan juices with cornstarch mixed with a small amount of cold liquid stirred slowly into the hot liquid.
The eighth annual Spring Chicken Festival is set for April 28 in downtown Gainesville.
The event, sponsored by Keep Hall Beautiful, features a chicken cook-off. Visitors will sample a variety of chicken created by the teams in the competition.
The day's events include a parade and a 5K race. For more information, visit keephallbeautiful.org.
If your taste buds are already craving chicken, the Hall County Library system has a wide assortment of cookbooks to choose from.
A big "thank you" to the Hall County YMCA Afterschool Program staff members.
I recently visited 17 schools throughout the city and county. The students enjoyed a variety of activities plus samples of Peach Crumble, Fruity Parfaits and Munchy Mix.
"Food Talk," our free food and nutrition program, combines education with fun activities and recipes.
If your organization, child care center or church is planning summer youth activities or camps for children, Food Talk is available as a resource.
Sandra Stringer is a nutrition educator with the UGA Cooperative Extension office in Hall County. Contact: 770-535-8290. Her column appears biweekly on Wednesdays and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.