The beginning of a new year is the time of the year when many people are thinking of being more healthy. So this is a perfect time to think about fat free entertaining. When you have guests to your home, you are taking charge of their welfare while they are with you. You want them to feel comfortable enough to relax and to enjoy a delicious meal and good conversation. As the host, you are responsible for their dietary needs which might entail avoiding food items to which they are allergic or respecting their desire to avoid meats or other food types.
If you want to take extra care when cooking for your guests, you can prepare healthy meals even when your guests don’t make special requests. Cutting fat in your cooking allows you to offer healthy menu items to your guests without cutting flavor.
When serving appetizers, you should try to avoid fried and buttered items. Avoid cheddar cheese which has the highest fat content of the hard cheeses. Gouda, Swiss and feta have a lower fat content. Semi-soft cheeses Camembert and Brie have a lower fat content because they have more water in them.
When creating dips for appetizers, use fat-free or low-fat sour cream and reduced-fat cream cheese. Use cut-up fresh vegetables as your dippers. Don’t butter cocktail sandwiches, and leave off the mayonnaise which is also high in fat. Use a non-fat or reduced fat mayonnaise or specialty mustards. You might also make your sandwiches with no condiments and offer small bowls of condiments for each guest to use as desired.
The simplest way to cut fat from foods is to actually trim the fat from meats like beef, pork or chicken before cooking. When hosting a backyard cookout, trim the fat from steaks, chops and chicken breasts before putting them on the grill.
When buying ground beef for hamburgers, meatballs, or casseroles, be certain to buy the leanest type. Substituting ground turkey for ground beef in burgers, tacos, spaghetti sauce, meatloaf and other recipes can reduce the saturated fat and cholesterol in your meals. But you need to read the label to be certain the ground turkey you are buying is the leanest type made with the white meat of the breast.
When hosting guests for dinner, use whole-grain foods whenever possible. If serving a pasta dish, choose whole-grain pastas instead of traditional white pastas. Try to cook meats and vegetables with broth rather than butter, gravies or cheese sauces.
Health-conscious hosts can cook with or serve skim or even low-fat milk instead of whole milk. At breakfast, after dinner when serving coffee, try these lower-fat milk options which many guests already do in their own homes.
When serving breakfast to guests, use egg whites which contain no fat and no cholesterol, but are still flavorful. Egg whites have become increasingly popular, so your guests may already be accustomed to egg whites for their own regular breakfasts.
Another way to trim some fat from the first meal of the day is to offer low-fat butter and cream cheese when serving bagels, muffins and toast. Low-fat or fat-free spreads tend to be just as flavorful as their less healthy alternatives. Check the nutrition labels on cereals you plan on buying to find those which are lower in fat.
For desserts, serve your guests lighter options like fresh fruit with a light sauce or fat-free whipped cream. Angel food cake is fat-free and is delicious with fruit. You can also choose from a variety of fat-free, sugar-free pudding mixes which can be served with fruit or made into pies by pouring them in graham cracker crusts.
Being a health-conscious host is not hard to do, and both you and your guests will benefit from the elimination of excess fat in your cooking. Try fat free entertaining, and everyone will be healthier!