Having the same meals can get boring and the temptation to stray into the snack cupboard instead of grabbing something healthy can be real. So, how do we make sure we're eating healthy while also enjoying ourselves?
To try and find fresh ways to feed themselves, one person turned to social media for new ideas. According to one user, swapping out high-calorie dips like Ranch dressing or sour cream with Greek yogurt has been a game-changer.
“I discovered mixing a bit of a ranch dry seasoning pack with Greek yogurt has blown my mind,” they wrote. “It’s way less calories, and a lot higher in protein! And as for sour cream, straight-up Greek yogurt. I can’t tell the difference! It’s made such a huge difference for me.”
1: Hummus on Sandwiches
If you're looking to add protein to a meal but either don't have or don't want meat, hummus is a great substitute.
Redditor wrote: “I use hummus on my sandwiches instead of other condiments like mayo. More protein plus I like the tang and different flavor choices of hummus.”
2: Homemade Sauces
Instead of relying on store-bought sauces, making your own sauce not only ensures healthy ingredients, but you're also in complete control of the taste.
“I used to hate stir fry at home because store bought sauce is always off,” one Redditor shared. “Now I can make it identical to a restaurant!”
3: Pureed Butternut Squash
Creamy, thick dishes are a major comfort, but are usually full of dairy, which many people can't have, and/or a lot of calories, which many people don't want.
On Reddit, user u/Agnaolds suggested butternut squash puree as a substitute. “I add pureed butternut squash (I find it in the frozen aisle) to chili, bean/veggie/ taco dishes and some pasta sauces to make things creamy and sweet.”
4: Sesame Oil
If you're making ramen and want to add more flavor, try using sesame oil.
For u/lizarto, “Just a little but boy it makes it taste so much better.”
5: Chili Oil
Instead of using sesame oil, you can add more of a kick by adding chili oil.
u/Partagas2112 responded, “Chili oil from Thailand, Vietnam and China.”
6: The Risotto Technique
Pasta is really easy to make, but can get boring after awhile. To change things up, Reddit user u/notsoslootyman uses what we're calling the “risotto method.”
“I cook pasta like I'm making risotto,” they wrote. “It creates a sauce thickening base filled with all the flavors left in the pan. I cook up some meat and veggies, use the same pan to boil the noods, and reduce the liquid into a sauce.”
They said you can also, “Add in some lemon juice and cheese for flavor and you've got a next level hamburger helper good for any meat+veg+pasta combo you can come up with. The YouTuber Ethan Cheblowski made a vid and it became a staple.”
7: Add Almonds to Candy
If you have a sweet tooth and don't want to give up candy completely, try making some DIY trail mix.
u/jokesterjen that they “mix regular unsalted almonds into the [M&M bag] and then, I still enjoy my M&M’s but I’m eating less of the chocolate ones.”
8: Cook it in Chicken Stock
To instantly add more flavor to your rice, start cooking in stock instead of plain water.
According to u/gitismatt, “when you are cooking something in water, follow this rule: if the water will get dumped (pasta) then just use water. if the water gets absorbed (rice) then use stock. it's a simple way to add flavor or at least a base of flavor to build on.”
“I do this with chicken stock and pearl couscous and it’s so good,” added u/lizarto.
9: Everything Bagel Seasoning
Trader Joe's “Everything But The Bagel Sesame Seasoning” is a cult favorite for a reason. For many, everything bagel seasoning is their go-to cooking hack
u/barberica said, “Everything bagel seasoning on everything savory. Sweet potato, russet potato, rice, etc.”
10: Easy Breakfast Sandwich Hack
If you're a fan of Starbucks egg sliders but want to save money, they're super simple to make at home.
Redditor oakenToken said they used a “a silicon muffin top pan” to get the job done. They added that there's, “Easy clean up and 6 egg patties for quick & healthy breakfast sandwiches during the week.”
11: Simple Baked Veggies
Making a side dish is as simple as using whatever vegetable you have on hand.
According to u/dark_brandon_20k, you can, “Just chop up whatever vegetables you have, put on a baking sheet with a few spices, 20 mins at 400°f.”
12: Fish Sauce
Another great way to add flavor to. your foods is to use fish sauce.
Redditor u/Capt__Murphy said they, “Add fish sauce (Red Boat is my go to brand) to all my soups and sauces. You don't taste fish at all but it adds a huge umami bomb.”
13: Season Your Frozen Pizza
Just because a pizza is frozen doesn't mean you can't still upgrade the flavor before you bake it.
u/stowrag said: “Seasoning your frozen pizza w/ basil/oregano ups the experience 100x.”
14: Use Your Ripe Avocados
We've all been there: we blinked and suddenly our perfectly ripe avacado is now a bit too ripe. Instead of tossing the food, turn it into a sauce.
Reddit user u/Critical_Wafer_9057 shared that, “When I have an avocado that's about to go too ripe, I will puree it with Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and cumin. Makes a great sauce for tacos and lays a long time.”
15: Add Something Acidic
According to one Reddit user, your love of “high-calorie sauces” might mean your dish is actually missing an important ingredient: acid.
“USE ACID. If you're always adding high-calorie sauces, you're missing an ingredient,” u/Covid22part2 wrote. “Sauces are usually just sugar, salt, umami (like anchovies or mushrooms), and acid. Use the ingredients independently to reduce the calories. Usually, that Missing ingredient is acid. Add a lemon's worth of juice or some balsamic vinegar to get that missing flavor.”
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Maya (she/they) is a queer entertainment and culture journalist. They cover interviews, reviews, roundups, news, and more. She loves horror, history, and creativity. They hope their writing both entertains readers and inspires them to think critically. Her favorite pastimes include needle felting, gaming, and drawing.