Low-Fat Calcium Surge

There’s nothing tricky about calcium. In plain English, you need it and you need it now! Try these sleight-of-hand maneuvers on unsuspecting family and friends (and yourself!) for a power surge of calcium — without the fat.

Whenever you pick up a container of …

Skim milk (8 oz = 300 mg)

First of all, beef it up by stirring in dry milk powder (1c skim milk = 300 mg, with 2 tbsp milk powder = 400 mg).

Then use it instead of water in hot cocoa and soup. Freeze it in ice-cube trays. Throw the cubes into your next blended smoothie or just use to keep your next tumbler of milk refreshingly chilled, banishing that dreaded wateriness regular ice cubes spawn. Stir it into your next batch of instant pudding – you can add even more nonfat dry milk powder for a thicker, creamier consistency.

 

Evaporated skim milk (1/2 cup = about 300 mg).

Cook with it! In any recipe calling for milk, replace it with evaporated skim milk. You can practically double the calcium in cream pies, white sauce, and quiche!

Lighten your coffee. Toss those nondairy creamers!

 

Nonfat or low-fat yogurt (8 oz plain = about 400 mg).

  • Pile onto baked potatoes; then sprinkle with seasoning mix.
  • Substitute for mayonnaise in dips, dressings, and salads.
  • Thicken soups and casseroles.
  • Spoon the fruit-flavored type over angel-food cake and let it spill over the sides.

 

Cheese

Top dishes with a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese
(1 tbsp = 70 mg).

Melt the nonfat or low-fat variety over veggie burgers, baked potatoes, steamed vegetables (1 oz = 200 mg). Tip: If your attempts at melting nonfat or low-fat cheese make you frown, JoAnn Brader of the Prevention Test Kitchen suggests shredding or grating it first, then tossing with a little cornstarch to coat.

Fat-free skim-milk ricotta is a can’t-do-without in cheesecake and lasagna (1/4 cup = 200 mg).

Spread fat-free cream cheese on a bagel (2 tbsp =150 mg).

No lactose, please

Are you lactose intolerant? Mother Nature and a bunch of scientists have taken your problem very seriously. Look for:

  • Lactaid calcium-fortified lactose-reduced nonfat milk
  • (1 cup = 500 mg). Use it just like regular milk … in everything!
  • Calcium-fortified soy milk or rice milk (1 cup = 300 mg). Ditto.
  • Calcium-fortified orange juice (1 cup = 300 mg). A delicious way to build bones.
  • Tofu thickened with calcium sulfate (1/2 cup firm = about 183 mg).
  • Make eggless egg salad or use soft-style in a creamy banana-date shake: Blend together 1 cup apple juice, 1/2 cup soft tofu, 1 ripe banana and 4 dates for 2 servings.
  • Lactose-free nonfat or low-fat cheeses taste just like regular cheese! One brand is Formagg (1 slice = about 200 mg).

What you have in your mind?