Fresh tips to help you do just that.
Healthy Food Swaps
Prepare favorite dishes by using ingredients/methods that result in foods and drinks that are lower in fat, sugar and calories. These little changes make a big difference.
Gravy. Use a gravy separator to skim the fat off drippings before making gravy. This simple step saves a whopping 56 gm of fat and 504 calories per cup. Another method is to freeze drippings for 15 minutes and skim fat off the top. You can also make gravy with fat-free turkey broth in place of the drippings.
Turkey. Take the skin off of the turkey after cooking and enjoy the white meat.
Mashed Potatoes. Use skim milk and/or low-fat chicken broth in place of whole milk and butter in mashed potatoes. Use evaporated skim milk to boost protein. Cauliflower mash is a healthy low calorie alternative that tastes surprisingly similar to mashed potatoes.
Stuffing. Make stuffing in a pan rather than stuffing the bird, using low-fat, low-sodium broth.
Dips. Make dips with nonfat sour cream or nonfat plain Geek yogurt in place of regular sour cream to save 35-40 calories an ounce.
Sweet Potatoes. Instead of serving candied yams (215 calories per half-cup serving), substitute oven-roasted sweet potatoes or a sweet potato casserole made with a sugar sub or sugar free maple syrup in place of brown sugar.
Vegetables. Give vegetables center stage. We’re not talking about the classic green bean casserole made with fried onions, butter, cheese, salt, and cream of mushroom soup—hardly a healthy option. We’re talking about fresh green beans sautéed in olive oil with a garnish of slivered almonds; roasted cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, onion, and garlic with a touch of fresh Parmesan cheese browned on top; or a broccoli salad with apples, chopped walnuts, sunflower seeds, green onion, and tossed with Skinny Girl Poppy Seed dressing. Delicious vegetable options like these make it easy to enjoy vegetables as much as other holiday fare.
Eggnog. Make faux eggnog—blend together until smooth 4 bananas, 1-1/2 cups skim milk 1-1/2 cups plain nonfat yogurt, and 1/4 teaspoon rum extract. Pour into glasses and top with a sprinkle of nutmeg. This eggnog recipe has you set for a party (https://bit.ly/2KtZuad).
Breakfast Casserole. Many breakfast casserole recipes start with hash browns and pile on the fat and calories with sausage and cheese. Instead, make mini egg white crust-less quiche with lean meats and lots of veggies—they will be so flavorful that you can skip the cheese.
Cheese and Salami Platter. Replace this calorie-laden tradition with shrimp cocktail, Swedish meatballs or chicken kebabs.
Mixed Nuts. It’s easy to get carried away with nuts. They can be an easy grazing food. Keep your portion small—about 100 calories worth or make a healthy sub. Salty and crunchy doesn’t need to mean high fat. Substitute light popcorn, baked kale chips, turkey jerky, or dill pickle spears.
Apple Pie. A slice of pie can set you back 300 calories or more. Cut your calories in half with these easy and delish recipes:
- apple crisp (https://bit.ly/2R4oU0N)
- apple strudel (https://bit.ly/2TEoe3W)
- baked apple (https://bit.ly/2BtLnio).
Pumpkin Treats. Pumpkin is healthy and easy to make into delicious holiday treats. Most pumpkin pie recipes call for 1 cup of cream or evaporated whole milk and two eggs. Swap that with evaporated skim milk and three egg whites to cut fat and calories. Here are some other healthy pumpkin recipes sure to become family favorites:
- pumpkin mousse (https://bit.ly/2r0uvtA)
- pumpkin dip (https://bit.ly/2FyBRP4)
- pumpkin roll (https://bit.ly/2zn0dWF)
Sour Cream. When incorporated into recipes, it’s hard to tell the difference between sour cream and plain Greek yogurt. Make the sub in any dish that calls for sour cream and you’ll not only save calories and fat, but you’ll get a boost of protein as well.
Butter or Margarine. Replace butter or margarine in recipes with no-added-sugar applesauce, baby prunes or Greek yogurt.
Cream Cheese. Light cream cheese has 40 fewer calories per 2 tbsp. serving and fat free cream cheese reduces calories by 70.
Cream. Replace cream with evaporated skim milk or fat free half and half.
Eggs. Replace with egg whites or liquid egg substitute.
Pasta. Get the garlic and tomato flavors you love and fill your plate with fiber and vitamins by swapping out pasta with zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash. You may also want to try some of the chickpea, black bean or other alternative pastas that are now readily available.
Hot Cocoa. Warm up Fairlife milk, stir in sugar-free Nestle Quick and top with a dollop of sugar-free cool whip and you have delicious traditional treat Barix style. You can sprinkle on some crushed sugar-free peppermint candies or shaved sugar-free Hershey’s chocolate for an extra special treat.
Hot Cider. Alpine Spiced Cider Sugar Free is nice to cozy up with on a cold evening. It is especially good with a couple of whole cloves and a cinnamon stick.
Sugar. Use erythritol or stevia to in place of sugar in baked products. Truvia is a product that combines erythritol and stevia to make a great-tasting sweetener you can bake with. Use sugar-free maple syrup, sugar-free flavored syrups (in the coffee aisle), and fresh fruit purees to sweeten without sugar.