6 smart food swaps to save calories

Cauliflower Rice

This stuff is amazingly versatile – use it to replace rice, couscous or other grains in a meal. You can prepare it either plain or lightly fried with whatever spices and vegetables you would normally add to your rice. It has just 20% of the calories compared to boiled rice (25 calories per 100g vs 130 calories per 100g boiled rice) and not only that it is quick to prepare with just a grater and a microwave – it can be easily frozen too!

Here’s a great recipe for savoury cauliflower rice, courtesy of the Tinned Tomatoes website.


Courgette (Zucchini) Spaghetti

Use a peeler or simply slice your courgette into long thin strands and boil/steam/microwave for a few minutes to make a low calorie, low carb alternative to spaghetti. Gram for gram it contains just 11% of the calories you’d find in pasta (17 calories per 100g vs 158 calories per 100g cooked spaghetti) as well as giving you lots of lovely nutrients.

‘The Yes Chef’ features a great ‘skinny spaghetti’ recipe based on courgettes, especially for fasters.


Celeriac Oven Chips

With 45% less calories than you find in potato, celeriac makes a healthy, low calorie and very tasty alternative to traditional chips and fries (42 calories per raw 100g vs 77 calories per 100g raw potato).

For more details on how to make these ‘fries’, click here to visit The Indolent Cook.


Lettuce Leaf Wraps

Whoever thought of this one is a genius! Why stuff a wrap with salad and other tasty fillings when you could use a nice big healthy leaf instead? It’s all about the filling anyway!  Save loads of calories by using a large salad leaf to wrap your tacos, sandwich wraps, spring rolls etc. A small wrap contains around 100 calories – about the same as two entire lettuces!

This recipe for Asian Chicken Wraps from London Unattached is a fantastic and quick way to put this calorie saving idea into action!


Mung Bean Sprouts

Who said stir fries have to be served with rice or noodles? Bean sprouts are a great way to bulk these Asian dishes out, add crunch and for so few calories. They contain 30 calories per 100g while 100g of cooked egg noodles would contain over four times as many at 138 calories.

Take any stir fry recipe and replace the noodles or rice with bean sprouts to reduce the calories and bulk out the meal!


Shirataki (Konjac) Noodles/Rice

If you’re not so fond of veggies to replace your favourite carb sides, you could try some Shirataki Noodles. Popular in Japan, these are now available in the West. Made from the Konjac root these noodles (also available in ‘rice’ and ‘pasta’ forms) contain a natural substance called glucomannan which swells in the tummy, making you feel fuller for longer. They contain only around 5 calories per 100g and on top of that are quicker to cook than normal pasta or noodles.

Take any stir fry recipe and replace the noodles or rice with shirataki noodles to reduce the calories and bulk out the meal!

Now those are some smart swaps – like and share if you agree!

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