We are all looking for ways to enjoy the holidays and also enjoy healthy holiday food.
Here are some great dishes and drinks that everyone will love without the guilt.
Mashed cauliflower vs. mashed potatoes
Mashed potatoes are a go-to recipe for the holidays. They are creamy, savory, and full of flavor. The same can be said for mashed cauliflower, which has the added benefit of vitamins, minerals, and is high in fiber. Substitute some of the usual ingredients of mashed potatoes with healthier alternatives. Instead of adding cream, add plain Greek yogurt for creaminess. Use olive oil instead of butter while preparing the recipe, and just top with a thin slab of butter to serve (or skip altogether). Load it up with fresh herbs and you have a dish guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser.
Sautéed green beans vs. green bean casserole
Most often casseroles, like the traditional green bean casserole, are loaded with creamy, sodium filled ingredients, also with unhealthy fats. You can still enjoy tasty green beans but make it a healthy holiday food. Sautee the beans with (a bit of) salt, pepper, onion, and garlic and a healthy fat (not all are created equally, after all), like olive oil. The result is a flavor-filled dish without the extra calories and sodium.
Mocktail vs. cocktail
Alcohol can wreak havoc on our bodies and should be limited as much as possible. A great alternative is to make “mocktails”, or drinks with all the flavor, but no alcohol. This variation has orange, cranberry, and apple juices, and is something people of all ages can enjoy.
Dessert in a mug vs. slab of pie
It can be near impossible to say “no” to all the delicious treats that are available over the holiday season. So, don’t! Rather, focus on portion size. Instead of loading up a plate full of treats, either make smaller portions, like this cake-in-a-mug idea, or use a smaller plate to limit your portion. But then enjoy it! No need for guilt. This recipe for a snickerdoodle mug cake only takes one minute in the microwave.
Dipping oil and herbs vs. butter
It’s no surprise to anybody that slathering butter onto dinner rolls and bread piles on the calories, fat, and sodium. Instead, opt for a flavor-filled alternative of a dipping oil (again, pick a healthy option like olive oil!) with a variety of herbs and spices. It’ll add another dimension to your dipping item and keeps you feeling good.
Tea vs. eggnog
Teas have been shown to benefit our bodies in many ways. From reducing inflammation, to helping digestion, reduces the risk of diabetes, improves weight loss, and more (read more about the benefits of tea, here). This recipe includes apple, cinnamon, and ginger, which is loaded with antioxidants, is anti-inflammatory, can help reduce the risk of heart disease, and can help reduce blood sugars. This is a slam-dunk alternative to egg nog that is often full of refined sugar, unhealthy fat, and preservatives that don’t benefit us in any way.
Hummus vs. cheese dip
Cheese balls, dips, and slices are tasty, no doubt. But they also add up quickly when it comes to the fat content. Over the course of the holiday season, this can easily contribute to a few pounds around the waistline that could otherwise be avoided. Hummus is a tasty alternative for a dip, and also has the benefit of a high fiber content. This recipe incorporates basil and pesto and will surely have you coming back for more!
Dark chocolate vs. white or milk chocolate
White chocolate doesn’t contain any cocoa solids, as do milk and dark chocolate, meaning it’s not technically chocolate. Milk chocolate contains about 30 percent to 40 percent cocoa solids, while dark chocolate contains a minimum of 50 percent up to 85 percent cocoa. The more cocoa the better, as that is what contains the antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation, can improve blood flow and reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. But, don’t go overboard since most chocolates still contain sugar and at which don’t benefit our bodies in high quantities. This recipe contains fruit and nuts, which you can mix up to your personal preference.
It’s amazing how a few changes can help keep the weight off and still offer a variety of delights to charm everyone’s tastebuds.