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Making a recipe healthier

Sometimes we see recipes that look delicious but might not be as healthy as they could be.  Below is a case study which shows how one recipe has been altered to make it healthier and to make it appropriate for provision in schools.

Altering a recipe

With the right recipe and a little skill, it is far more cost effective and potentially healthy to produce your own food rather than to use pre-prepared food products.  The following will use muesli slices as an example.  Some muesli bars do meet the ‘Sometimes’ criteria for the Food and Beverage Classification System however many do not.

With this in mind I set about finding a simple recipe that was cheap and easy to make and also tasted good.  I found a recipe for a ‘Smart Slice’ in the Healthy Food Guide.  While this recipe was pretty good, it didn’t meet the ‘Sometimes’ criteria for energy or saturated fat content. 

Here are the changes I made to make it fit the criteria, reduce the cost and make it delicious:

  • Reduced the amount of coconut which reduced the amount of saturated fat
  • Used soy oil instead of Olivani to reduce the cost
  • Used brazil nuts instead of walnuts which reduced the cost
  • Replaced white flour with wholemeal flour which increased the fibre content
  • I also added some whole rolled oats for added fibre, flavour and to account for the decrease in coconut
  • Reduced the serving size which lowered the saturated fat, sodium and energy content per serve.  The fibre content is also lowered per serve, but this was countered by the measures above
  • Used baking powder instead of self-raising flour which reduced the sodium content

I ran the recipe through the Food Standards Authority nutrition panel calculator to find out how it matched up to the ‘Sometimes’ criteria.  This recipe falls well within the criteria for ‘Sometimes’ in the Food and Beverage Classification System.  Unfortunately fibre is not factored in this nutrient calculator.  This I had to work out using some commercial software.

The result is a moreish muesli slice that children and adults can enjoy and school canteens can produce and sell knowing it meets the ‘Sometimes’ criteria for the Food and Beverage Classification System.

For more information on recipe modification visit here:

For more information on the Food and Beverage Classification System and much more visit: