Home-Made Calories: What’s in Your Recipes?

03/28/2011 at 9:05 AM Leave a comment

One of the stumbling blocks for those watching their calories is home-made food.  Oddly, my grandmother’s recipe for blackberry cobbler didn’t come with a nutritional label. So how do I figure that into my day’s calories?

Well, I think the cobbler might be too embarrassing, so I’m going to go with a recipe from one of my favorite recipe magazines and online sites, CookingLight.com. They already list the nutritional information per serving, but let’s take a look at how they arrived at those numbers.

While there are many databases that you can use, I’ll be using the USDA National Nutrient Database to look up the calories.

Bulgur Salad

Bulgur Salad with Edamame and Cherry Tomatoes
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)

1 cup uncooked bulgur – 151 calories
1 cup boiling water – 0 cal
1 cup frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans) – 189 cal
1 pound yellow and red cherry tomatoes, halved (1lb = 453g) – 80 cal
1 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley – 22 cal
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint – 5.3 cal
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill – 0.5 cal
1 cup chopped green onions – 19 cal
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice – 13.5 cal
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil – 477 cal
1 teaspoon kosher salt – 0 cal
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper – 3.5 cal

1. Combine bulgur and 1 cup boiling water in a large bowl. Cover and let stand 1 hour or until bulgur is tender.

2. Cook edamame in boiling water 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain. Add edamame, tomatoes, and remaining ingredients to bulgur; toss well. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.

In adding up all of the calories in the above ingredients the total = 960.8 calories. That is for the whole amount. There are 6 servings in the recipe, so we divide by 6 which = 160.13 calories/serving.

So in order to calculate the nutritional information of home recipes, you find the value for each item(you can do this for protein, carbohydrates, and fat as well), add them all together and then divide by the servings per recipe. Once you do it for your favorites, you can then just plug that information in to your diet plan.

Let me know if you have any questions. Now I need to figure out that cobbler. 😉

Best wishes, Mark


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