Friday, April 25, 2014

Creamy Grape Salad recipe makeover --- just a little bit better for you than the original

My favorite coupon goddess asked me to take a look at this recipe for creamy grape salad to see if I could make it a little bit healthier. As always, I came up with some ideas. I have NOT made this yet but The Spend Less, Shop More coupon and saving guru had the original at her bridal shower and said it was awesome.
Yummy grapes for Creamy Grape Salad -- the makeover!
From experience, I’m fairly confident that the changes I have suggested won’t change the flavor too much. It may not be as sweet, but I think you’ll still get an awesome dessert – great for potluck suppers, bridal showers, baby showers and summer picnics.

No one needs to know it’s better for them! This is the link to the original Creamy Grape Salad recipe from Taste of Home

And here are my suggestions to make the Creamy Grape Salad just a little bit healthier!

  • Substitute Neufch√Ętel (reduced fat cream cheese) for the full fat cream cheese
  • Use light sour cream – but find one that’s made with cream and skim milk, NOT one with fillers like lotus bean or modified food starch. Daisy Light is a good brand. If you use one with fillers you might as well use regular.
OR you could:
  • Substitute plain Greek vanilla or low-fat vanilla yogurt that has been strained so it’s thick for the sour cream completely. Watch the sugar though and make sure there isn’t any modified food starch – you’re better off with the Daisy Light sour cream than something with a lot of sugar. You can sweeten the plain yogurt. If you want to save money – don’t buy Greek yogurt – use plain 1% milk fat (or fat-free) yogurt. Strain the plain yogurt so that it is thick and then use that. Again, watch out – don’t use anything with modified food starch because it’s not good for you and it won’t thicken.
  • I’d reduce the amount of sugar – way down. Personally I’d skip the brown sugar on top all together and just go with the pecans or even walnuts. Seems that the salad itself will be sweet enough already!
  • I’d add just enough sugar to the cream cheese mixture to make it sweet. It seems that the grapes would be sweet enough to not need a whole lot of sugar.
  • Of course, if you insisted, you could use Splenda or some other sugar substitute, but I am NOT a fan of artificial sweeteners for reasons that are pretty well known to anyone who knows me! I’d rather have a little of the real thing!
In case you missed it -- here's how to strain plain yogurt to thicken it up so you can use it like Greek yogurt.

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