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Healthy Balance

5 Healthy Holiday Cooking Substitutions to Try

a family in the kitchen ready for delicious holiday cooking

Holidays are a time for enjoying family. They’re also a time for indulging in favorite foods that may be outside of your normal dietary pattern.

An occasional slice of pumpkin pie or mound of mashed potatoes won’t wreak havoc on your diet. But overindulging on holiday cooking throughout the entire season can make it difficult to manage chronic conditions like obesity, diabetes, or hypertension.

Try These Substitutes

If you find yourself gaining weight during the holidays, know that you're not alone. In fact, several studies suggest that the holiday season, from the last week of November to early January, is a time that many adults gain weight.

But don’t think that if you want to eat healthy or maintain your weight, you have to deprive yourself of all of your favorite holiday goodies. With some simple substitutions, traditional holiday favorites can be both delicious and nutritious.

Here are five ways to make holiday cooking healthier without sacrificing on taste:

Greek Yogurt For Sour Cream 

Sour cream is used in many holiday dishes, including mashed potatoes, dips, and sauces. While it is delicious, it doesn’t provide much in the nutrition department and is relatively high in saturated fat.

Replacing sour cream with plain Greek yogurt can cut your calorie intake. It also gives you a boost of healthy probiotics and the creamy texture you love.

Coconut Milk for Heavy Cream

If you're making a cream-based soup or a casserole that calls for heavy cream, use coconut milk instead. This one simple substitution will cut your calorie intake in half without sacrificing taste or creaminess.

Need Holiday Cooking Inspiration?

Browse our Healthy Balance recipes to find more recipes for the holiday season.

Unsweetened Applesauce for Oil

Using unsweetened applesauce in place of oil when making baked goods can help cut your fat and calorie intake. Applesauce has an amazing ability to keep baked goods moist without adding any fat to the recipe. If you don’t have applesauce on-hand, mashed bananas work, too.

Mashed Cauliflower for Mashed Potatoes

If you haven’t gotten on the cauliflower train yet, you will be surprised to learn how satisfying it can be. Mashed cauliflower has the same texture as mashed potatoes, but contains far fewer calories than the classic option.

Bonus? It has nutrients like vitamin C to help keep your immune system strong. If you don’t want to make a complete switch, just swap half of the potatoes for cauliflower – no one will even notice the difference!

Whole-grain Bread for White Bread

Simply using 100% whole-grain bread in your stuffing recipe can give this classic side dish a boost of fiber, antioxidants, and minerals. While the dish may look slightly different than the traditional version, you’ll still enjoy the classic flavor you know and love.

Copyright 2020 © Baldwin Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. 

Health eCooking® is a registered trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Cook eKitchen™ is a designated trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein without the express approval of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. is strictly prohibited.

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