The holiday season is almost upon us…and for most of us that means food. Lots and lots of delicious treats that we only see once a year. We’ll all enjoy our buttery, sugary indulgences in December…but when our pants don’t fit in January, we just might regret some decisions. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make your favorite holiday dishes a little bit healthier.
Here are a few ideas:
Go simple, but elegant.
Skip the chips and dip, and serve your guests a shrimp cocktail instead. Six jumbo shrimp have fewer than 50 calories and less than one gram of fat. Mix up a simple cocktail sauce using just horseradish and ketchup – or try this fancier version.
Try savory instead of sweet.
Instead of candied yams, try serving savory roast vegetables. Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil (instead of butter and sugar) for a rich, delectable side dish. Chop and roast your favorite winter vegetables, or try out this recipe for Rosemary Roasted Butternut Squash.
Enjoy your turkey.
Fortunately, as a staple holiday entrée turkey is pretty healthy. Choose a pasture-raised bird to help boost the omega-3 profile of your meat. There are endless ways to roast a turkey – try this recipe, which includes roast vegetables. Whichever recipe you choose, be sure to leave the skin on while roasting– this keeps the meat juicy without significantly raising the fat content.
Replace the refined sugar.
This Maple Apple Crisp is moist, crunchy and delicious – but its flavor comes from apples, maple syrup, and oats, so it’s richer and healthier than your average dessert.
Little tweaks can make a big difference to the health of a recipe. Do your best to reduce the fat and sugar, and add in as many fruits and vegetables as you can. And remember, moderation will take you far. Have some of everything – but limit yourself to a small portion and skip a second helping. Come January, your favorite pants will still slip over your hips with ease.
How do you make your holiday favorites healthy? Leave us a comment below!