Healthy Recipes For The Holidays
The holiday season means get-togethers with family and friends and, of course, food. But this doesn’t mean we have to eat horribly. Finding healthy recipes that the whole family can enjoy is the key to having a happy guilt-free holiday season. For some holiday inspiration, today we’re sharing 5 healthy holiday recipes. From savory foods to sweet, we got you covered! And if you have a recipe you want to share, comment below or send us an email here.
5 Ways To Make Any Recipe Healthier
Already have your recipes planned ? Check out these 5 tips to make them healthier !
1. Reduce the amount of fat, sugar and salt
- Fat: For baked goods, use half the butter, shortening or oil and replace the other half with unsweetened applesauce, mashed banana or prune puree.
- Sugar: Reduce the amount of sugar by one-third to one-half. Instead, add spices such as cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg, or flavorings such as vanilla or almond extract to boost sweetness.
- Salt: For most main dishes, salads, soups and other foods, you can reduce the salt by half or even eliminate it. You can reduce salt by half in baked goods that don’t require yeast too. For foods that require yeast, you may need to experiment. Some salt may be necessary for leavening to keep baked goods from being too dense or flat.
2. Make Healthy Substitutions
- Pasta: Use whole-wheat pasta instead of enriched pasta.
- Milk: Prepare a dessert with fat-free milk or almond milk instead of whole milk to save more than 60 calories and 7 grams of fat per cup.
- Meat: Scale back on meat, poultry or fish and increase the amount of vegetables. You’ll save on calories and fat while gaining more vitamins, minerals and fiber.
3. Eliminate or cut back on some ingredients
- Toppings: Eliminate items you generally add out of habit or for appearance, such as frosting, coconut or whipped cream toppings.
- Condiments: Cut condiments, such as pickles, olives, butter, mayonnaise, syrup, jelly and mustard, which can have large amounts of salt, sugar, fat and calories. Use fresh condiments such as cucumbers vs pickles, cherry tomatoes vs olives, non-fat or reduced fat spreads vs butter or mayonnaise. Instead of syrup or jelly, try fresh berries that are mashed, or thin slices of fresh apples, peaches or pears. Use low-sodium soy sauce in a smaller amount than a recipe calls for to decrease the amount of salt.
- Cheese: If a recipe calls for 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, use 1/2 cup instead.
4. Change cooking and prep techniques
- Cooking method: Healthy cooking techniques include braising, broiling, grilling, poaching, sauteing and steaming.
- Basting liquid: If the directions say to baste the meat or vegetables in oil or drippings, use a small amount of wine, fruit juice, vegetable juice or fat-free vegetable broth instead.
- Nonstick cookware: Using nonstick pans or spraying pans with nonstick spray will further reduce the amount of fat and calories added to your meals.
5. Downsize the portion size
- Slow down: Eat your meals more slowly to give your body a chance to register the fact that you’re filling up. Put your fork down between bites if necessary.
- Check portion sizes: Many portions today are so large you may not realize what a true portion or serving is. Train yourself by using smaller plates, spoons and cups.
- Plan ahead when eating out: It’s easy to go overboard when eating out. Take precautions such as splitting a dish with a dining companion, skipping the bread basket, or asking for a doggie bag and packing up half your meal.
Putting it all together to create healthy recipes
Before plunging ahead with a recipe, look it over and think about what you can change to turn it into a healthy recipe. Make notes of any alterations so that you can refer to them the next time you prepare the recipe. You may have to make the recipe a few times before you get the results you want. But finding the right combination of ingredients — for the desired taste, consistency and nutrients — is well worth the trouble.