Eating healthy this holiday season

‘Tis the Season…

… To help each other eat well. Holiday food is characteristically rich in flavor, and often loaded with fat and sodium. Many of us get caught up in all the merriment and surrender our smart cooking and eating habits to relish in those loaded holiday treats and tastes. Not to worry, there are easy ways to cut back on fat and sodium without sacrificing all of your festive favorites and their delicious flavor this holiday season. Check out the cooking and baking substitution suggestions below and enjoy your holiday favorites without the guilt.

  • Replace cream or regular evaporated milk with nonfat evaporated milk. It cuts calories and fat, but maintains that creamy consistency and texture.
  • Instead of whole eggs, try ¼ cup egg substitute or two egg whites per whole egg in the recipe.
  • Applesauce or prune puree can be used in place of oil or butter in many recipes – cut out half of the butter or oil called for in the recipe and swap with applesauce or prune puree.
  • In place of butter or margarine, you can also use trans fat free spreads suitable for baking.
  • Reduce sugar in recipes by half and add a little flavor through vanilla extract, nutmeg, or cinnamon
  • Sour cream can be switched out with fat-free sour cream or nonfat plain yogurt (Greek yogurt is especially high in protein).
  • Try flavored vinegars in place of salad dressing. Another option is citrus fruit juice mixed with lowfat or nonfat yogurt.
  • Season salt can be traded out for herbs and spices such as garlic powder and onion powder which contain no sodium.
  • Use low sodium soy sauce instead of the original version.
  • You can try carrot or potato puree instead of creamed soups as a thickening agent.
  • Choose fresh fruit or canned fruit in juice instead of fruit in syrup when adding fruit to your recipe.
  • Fruit flavored yogurt can be traded out with plain yogurt paired with fresh fruit pieces – chopped or sliced.
  • Ditch the table salt for seasoning power and look to salt-free herbs and spices such as oregano, basil, thyme, marjoram, rosemary and mint. Fresh cut herbs provide more flavor that the dried varieties (and, incidentally, more antioxidant power).

Try out some of these suggestions to save you and your guests some calories and fat. Let’s help each other eat well this holiday season and have a head start in January on our New Year’s resolutions.

Happy healthy eating!

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Eating healthy this holiday season