Healthy Holiday Eating: Tasty Cooking Swaps That Don't Skimp on Flavor

From mashed potatoes to gravy and fiber-full veggies, here are a few suggestions you can use to make these favorite treats into healthy ones.
Tue Dec 4, 2018
Cauliflower makes for a healthy food swap

The holiday season is joyful for many, filled with celebration, quality time with loved ones and lots of delicious food. While creating holiday meals can stressful, it is possible to prepare festive dishes that nourish your body and taste buds. From mashed potatoes and gravy to fiber-full veggies, below are a few ways you can healthily transform your favorite treats.

Swap Mashed Potatoes with Cauliflower

Mashed potatoes are a highlight of a holiday meal for many people. Try something new this year and substitute cauliflower for potatoes. Mashed cauliflower has a light and fluffy texture, it’s packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber, and it is lower in calories.

Try this simple recipe to get started. Steam the cauliflower and gently mash it the same way you would do with potatoes. To limit saturated fat, which tends to raise total cholesterol, skip the butter and sour cream and mix in plain Greek yogurt instead, packing in extra calcium and protein. Add in garlic and herbs, or chicken stock for additional flavor and enjoy.

Recipe: Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

Swap Store-Bought with Homemade

What goes better with savory turkey and mashed potatoes than a little something sweet? Prepare your own cranberry sauce this season to reduce the amount of added sugar and adjust the amount of sweetness to your liking. With either fresh or frozen cranberries you can make a simple, but just as tasty, cranberry relish in about 30 minutes. Use orange juice and flavorful spices to give it some natural sweetness. The same goes for gravy. When making your own homemade gravy, make sure to strain and remove the fat from pan drippings. Instead of flour, try using pureed butternut squash as the thickener. It adds a creamy texture and extra nutrients!

Recipe: Naturally Sweetened Cranberry Sauce

Sneak in More Fiber with Veggie Sides

Seasonal vegetables make for delicious and nutrient-dense side dishes. Emphasizing vegetables on your plate can help you get the fiber your body needs for balancing blood sugar and good digestion. They also offer tons of vitamins and minerals your body needs to feel well. Opt for seasonal vegetables like roasted squash, beets or brussels sprouts dressed with olive oil, salt and pepper and herbs. Green beans are delicious simply sautéed with olive oil and garlic. Sprinkle them with roasted almonds for extra fiber.

Recipe: Lemon-Herb Sheet Pan Roasted Vegetables

 

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