- Author: The MenuSano Team
- Published: 11/6/2018 9:53:52 AM
There are several benefits to investing in nutrition facts label software including keeping up to date with legislation and boosting your sales by increasing your customer base.
One of the key features of Menusano is recipe experimentation. By changing ingredients and quantities on the fly, you can get the desired nutrition outcome whatever that might be (low sugar, reduced fat or low cal).
It’s super easy to use the MenuSano software to adapt your recipes. Essentially, you start with a recipe, tap in the ingredients along with the amounts, and you can immediately see what the total nutritional count for your product is.
The nutritional printout will alert you to where you need to make changes.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some tips for adapting recipes to produce healthier dishes your diners will have no reason to resist.
Recipe Adaptation Made Simple
First and foremost, some recipes are great to adapt, and some are more difficult. Most recipes can be adjusted, and some are surprisingly not as bad as you might think in the first place.
The key things you are looking to reduce are fat, sugar or both. When it comes to desserts, ingredients like eggs, milk, and flour are your friends.
The thing is dessert wouldn’t be dessert if it weren’t sweet by definition. Which doesn’t mean sugar is a given, but for the most part, you will need to add sugar or something sweet in its place.
You can reduce the amount of sugar in some dishes and substitute with xylitol, stevia or other sweeteners. Slimmers and those watching their weight prefer these.
You can also replace sugar with honey or maple syrup, but that won’t reduce calories per se, it’s just more natural and popular with many consumers. It’s also the preferred choice of many vegan and vegetarian customers.
But think before you go ahead, some things are harder to adapt than others. Some recipes can only be reduced slightly, but some can be reduced significantly.
If you are looking to come up with some lower calorie desserts to wow your diners and have them ordering dessert, coffees, and liqueurs rather than heading straight home after their entrees then here are some ideas to work with:
Experiment With Healthy Dessert Ideas
Any desserts that are naturally lower in fat, fruit or milk-based are good to feature on a menu and or adapt. Examples include:
- Fruit Salads
- Custards/Milk and Egg-based Desserts
- Fruit Crumbles
- Baked Fruits
Cakes are a little tricky. A cake is essentially chemistry in action, and you can’t just cut the sugar content of a cake or switch to a reduced fat spread; the results will, for the most part, be disastrous.
However, some of the best cakes are made without fat. Classic fatless sponges are made to prepare many cream cakes and swiss rolls, which are delicious and made with just eggs, sugar and flour.
Better still, in terms of fat is an angel food cake. This sponge is made with just egg whites, flour and sugar -- it’s almost a meringue! It doesn’t have the mouth-feel of other sponges though and takes skill to incorporate the flour.
You can experiment to make delicious lighter spongers and use cocoa in the mixture to make rich chocolate sponges.
Chocolate sauce is straightforward to adapt; you can make a delicious chocolate sauce using cocoa powder with no need for chocolate, creating a huge calorie and fat saving immediately. The resulting sauce will be delicious and sophisticated similar to a sauce made with dark chocolate.
Try out the chocolate sauce recipe below which is a perfect topping for ice cream, frozen yogurt and even profiteroles made with reduced-fat choux pastry and reduced-fat creme patisserie.
The cocoa in the recipe makes it super healthy, and it’s packed with B vitamins, iron and flavonoids.
Low-Calorie Low Fat Easy Dark Chocolate Sauce Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1 dash salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan over a gentle heat. Whisk the sauce constantly until it thickens and simmers. Remove from heat and stir the vanilla into the sauce. Serve warm or refrigerate and serve chilled.
Custard is essentially milk and eggs sweetened to make it delicious. I prefer creme patisserie filling to a whipped cream filling in choux pastry and other desserts. Baked custards are also healthy desserts as long as you leave out the cream and whipping cream.
Shortcrust and puff pastry has a very high ratio of fat to flour, but choux has a far lower ratio and also uses healthy eggs. So try experimenting with choux pastry desserts.
You can also reduce the fat in choux pastry more easily without suffering from issues with working and rolling the pastry. I’d sooner pipe or spoon choux pastry than deal with too sticky or too crumbly traditional rolled pastry.
Some desserts, however, such as fruit pies are healthy albeit for the pastry. In such cases, make the pastry thin, cut out or make lattice tops or experiment with a reduced fat shortcrust like the recipe below:
Low Fat Short Crust Pastry for use with Fruit Pies
Makes pastry for a 20 cm fruit pie
- 1 3/4 cup of plain flour
- ½ tsp of baking powder
- 2 tbsp of castor sugar
- 1/4 cup of liquid vegetable oil
- 4 tbsps of cold water
Sift the flour into a large bowl along with the baking powder and castor sugar. Using the baking powder will prevent the pastry from becoming too hard. Place the oil and cold water into a jug, and whisk together with a fork until emulsified and creamy. Combine with a fork to produce a moist dough.
Wipe your counter with a damp cloth and cover with waxed paper. Place your dough on top and cover with a second piece of waxed paper. Roll out the dough until large enough to line your pie dish. Prick and pre-bake before adding the desired filling.
Low Sodium Dishes
The tips above will put desserts back on the menu for many diabetic people or dieters. MenuSano will also calculate the amount of sodium in your dishes, and this can be an issue for many elderly consumers who may have high blood pressure or are following heart-healthy diets.
If the printout isn’t great in terms of sodium, then substitute salt for low sodium salt and broths for low sodium broths. You can pack a punch in terms of flavor by adding herbs, spices, chilies, and garlic. Reducing and replacing salt (and sugar) over time is a favored tactic of large food conglomerates to re-educate palettes slowly without consumers noticing the difference.
An increasing number of consumers are looking for products that are wheat and gluten-free. It’s estimated that up to 13% of the population may suffer from wheat or gluten intolerance to some degree. The most severe of these being celiac disease.
With such a large proportion of consumers needing gluten-free foods such as pasta and bread, it makes economic and social sense to include some gluten-free options on your menu. Experiment with flourless cakes and gluten-free flour such as rice flour as well as pasta made from gluten-free flour.
Try MenuSano Easy To Use Nutrition Fact Label Software
Recipe experimentation is an excellent feature with MenuSano software your team will love. If you aren’t currently using MenuSano software, then it’s super affordable and costs from as little as $25 per month when purchased annually.
It’s also a great way to invent and prove to every type of diner, whatever their health needs and desires, that you have something for them too.
To get started inventing and adapting desserts, your diners will love why not try out the software for free.