10 Easy Ways to Eat More Healthy this Holiday Season
- Use unsweetened applesauce in place of sugar or butter or oil in recipes. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Recipes will retain the right consistency and sweetness, while knocking much of the calories (for example, one cup of unsweetened applesauce is about 100 calories, whereas one cup of sugar is more than 770 calories). If you use applesauce in place of sugar in recipes, decrease your liquid in the recipe by ¼ cup for every cup of applesauce used.
- Swap out almond flour for wheat flour. Almond flour is gluten free, packed with protein, and Omega 3s, and has a wonderful taste. It is a lot heavier than wheat flour, however, so trying substituting about ¼ cup at a time.
- Try avocado puree instead of butter. It may sound weird, but avocado puree has the same texture and consistency of softened butter. Unlike butter, however, avocado is full of fiber, “good” fats, potassium, and vitamin C. Try it in brownies and other strong flavored foods on a 1:1 ratio.
- Greek Yogurt instead of sour cream or heavy cream. Try yogurt in your mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, salad dressings, even in your pumpkin pie for a dose of healthy probiotics as well as a significant reduction in calories (59 calories for 100 g of non-fat Greek yogurt vs. 193 calories for 100 g of sour cream, vs. 400 calories for ½ cup heavy cream).
- Turnips and/or cauliflower for potatoes. Both vegetables are delicious boiled and mashed instead of or mixed in with the traditional potatoes, while saving on both calories and carbs without losing out on flavor. Turnips also contain more fiber than potatoes, and cauliflower is high in vitamin C and calcium.
- Rolled Oats instead of breadcrumbs. This is a great way to sneak in some whole grains into your stuffing, improving its nutritional profile and reducing calories. If you must have bread in your stuffing, try whole wheat bread instead of the usual white or cornbread.
- Use egg whites instead of whole eggs in your recipes. You won’t miss the flavor, while eliminating the cholesterol and doubling the protein.
- Try puréed fruit with some honey instead of maple syrup. For breakfast as well as over sweet potatoes, or any time you would use syrup for a topping, try puréed fruit instead.
- Try soda water with fruit slices or a splash of juice instead of juice in your cocktails and punches. You can enjoy the same drinks as your friends while eliminating many of the calories and sugar.
- Use chicken broth instead of drippings to make your gravy. You’ll eliminate all of the fat without losing any flavor. To further improve the nutritional profile of gravy, use agar flakes instead of flour or cornstarch as a thickening agent. Agar flakes, a form of seaweed, is gluten free, suitable for vegans, and contains less than 1 gram of carbohydrates.