While the Thanksgiving feasts may be behind us, the holiday season is in full swing. Most holiday celebrations center around traditional food fare like creamy casseroles, starchy sides, decadent pies, and overly sweetened cookies. All of these foods have one thing in common, when consumed in larger portions the calories can add up quickly.
Healthier Ingredients for a Healthier Holiday
Practicing portion control during the holiday season is key, but creating healthier recipes may also prevent unwanted weight gain this holiday season. In fact, whipping up healthier recipes may be simpler than you think. Healthier recipes don’t have to be boring and lack taste. You can make trouble-free recipe substitutions that will not sacrifice the flavor, but will result in a healthier recipe outcome.
Below are some healthier holiday ingredients to consider this season.
6 Healthier Ingredient Alternatives
Instead of sour cream or cream cheese
Try: Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt makes a wonderful protein-packed creamy substitution in a variety of dishes and sweet treats. Dips, salad dressings, creamy casseroles, and cheesecake recipes are just a few recipes to try. For best results choose the plain Greek yogurt variety.
Instead of bread crumbs
Try: Coconut flour
Add an outer crunch to your lean protein sources or veggies with coconut flour, an ingredient that offers more protein, fiber, and vitamins than traditional breadcrumbs. Even better, you are offering your holiday guests a gluten-free food option.
Instead of added sugars
Try: Fruit puree
Most baked goods are packed with added sugars, an ingredient recommended keeping under 100 calories total per day. For a natural sweetness and additional fiber try adding pureed fruits like dates or banana to replace some or the entire sweetener in baked goods.
Instead of heavy cream
Substitute heavy cream with silken tofu to add protein and reduce fat content in your holiday recipes. Pureed tofu can be used in puddings, milk bases, or sauces. Your vegan friends will be thrilled with this recipe substitution.
Instead of using oils in baked goods
Try: Unsweetened applesauce or bean puree
Replace at least half of the oil in your favorite baked goods with unsweetened applesauce or bean puree. The substitution will help maintain a moist baked good while not altering the taste.
Instead of potatoes
Keep your carbohydrate-rich side dishes in check this holiday season by substituting carbohydrates for potatoes in mashed potatoes. Cooked cauliflower can be mashed up easily to create a consistency and flavor similar to mashed potatoes.