Food Swaps for a Happy Healthy Holiday

The holiday season is full of nostalgic comfort foods that we love but that don’t necessarily love us back.  But eating well doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice flavor or miss out on the deliciousness of the season. Try our favorite better for our body holiday food swaps.

Traditional – Mashed Potatoes
Swap – Cauliflower Mash

Potatoes are yummy.  But they’re high in white starchy carbs that quickly turn to sugar in the body.  Cauliflower is a vitamin packed low-carb alternative that can be prepared as you would mashed potatoes.  The result is equally flavorful and satisfying.  Not convinced?  Try a half-and-half blending potatoes and cauliflower together.

Traditional – Green Bean Casserole
Swap – Green Beans with Wild Mushrooms and Caramelized Shallots

Traditional green bean casserole recipes are typically made with preservative laden high sodium canned cream of mushroom soup, canned green beans and canned fried onions.  Forgoing the cream and opting for fresh veggies makes this a more nutrient dense dish that’s full of flavor.  

Traditional – Sweet Potato Casserole
Swap – Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries

Sweet potatoes are great and have a lot of health benefits!  But that gets lost when we load them up with sugar and butter. This swap is lower in sugar and fat but tastes great thanks to flavorful herbs and naturally sweetened dried cranberries.

Traditional – Gravy
Swap – Pan Sauce

What’s the difference?  When meats are sautéed or roasted they leave behind little caramelized bits.  This “fond” may look burnt but it’s actually the flavorful base of both gravies and pan sauces when deglazed with wine or stock. The difference is whether or not thickening agents are used in the process.  Gravy is usually made by adding white flour to the liquids to thicken whereas pan sauce is simply a flavorful reduction of the fond and liquids themselves. Our bodies don’t need white flour.  Pan sauce will still give you all of the flavor without the negative health effects of flour.

Traditional – Turkey
Swap – Turkey cutlet or Turkey London Broil

If you’re a fan of white meat then skip the roasted turkey and opt for turkey cutlets with a pan sauce or grill a turkey London broil.  Both are as satisfying as a piece of roasted turkey plus your heart and your waist line will thank you.

Traditional – Apple Pie
– Baked Apples
There’s nothing like the aroma of a fresh baked apple pie.  But you know what?  Baking apples topped with brown sugar, cinnamon and crunchy oats also smell amazing, are just as delicious and you’ll never miss the extra calories. 

Traditional – Stuffing
– Fuggetaboutit!
Just do it!  There’s no substitute in my opinion and some traditions just shouldn’t be messed with.  

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