Simple Ways to Keep Holiday Foods Healthy
Can you believe that it’s already November? Thanksgiving and Christmas will be upon us before you know it! While we always strive to make healthy choices, admittedly, it is difficult to resist that beautiful piece of pumpkin pie and a scoop or two of warm, homemade mashed potatoes and gravy.
For those who still want to make smart choices about food during the holiday season without ruining the enjoyment, we would like to share some simple ways to keep holiday food healthy AND delicious.
How to Enjoy the Meals
- Don’t arrive at the meal or the gathering starving. To prevent overeating, have some light snacks in advance.
- Instead of eating a huge meal at one sitting, eat small meals throughout the day to improve digestion, and keep blood sugar and energy level steady.
- Take small portions and eat slowly.
The Ultimate Alternatives
Whether you and your loved ones are looking for healthier alternatives to calorie-heavy holiday foods or have dietary restrictions, these alternative ideas will help you make the party top-notch.
- Marshmallow – consider replacing marshmallows with meringue on your sweet potato casserole. When making the meringue, replace sugar with Swerve Confectioners.
- Substitute for Carbs – Cauliflower makes a great replacement for high-carbohydrate ingredients such as rice, potato, and macaroni. Try making cauliflower stuffing, cauliflower mac and cheese, or mashed cauliflower (in place of potatoes). Still enjoy the food you love while cutting out the carbs.
- Butter – apple sauce, mashed banana, or pumpkin puree
- Sugar – honey, agave syrup, or Swerve
- Chocolate chips – dried fruit
- Cream cheese, sour cream, or mayo – Greek yogurt or dairy-free yogurt
- Heavy cream – low-fat, skim, or plant-based milk
Your Turkeys Matter!
Select your meats wisely. Quality meat not only is better for your body but also cooks and tastes better. We recommend pre-ordering your turkey from Georgetown Market to get the best kind and size of turkey you want for the big day. Georgetown’s turkeys are locally raised, non-GMO, free-range, no antibiotics, vegetarian diet, and USDA-inspected.
Let’s wrap up our tips to keep holiday foods healthy with a couple of mouthwatering, low-calorie recipes of some holiday favorites!
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cups sliced mixed mushrooms
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- ¼ cup dry sherry (can be substituted with apple cider vinegar or white wine)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose gluten-free flour (Arrowhead Mills Organic All Purpose Gluten Free Flour)
- 2 cups mushroom broth or vegetable broth (Cadia Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Broth)
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add mushrooms, salt, and pepper.
- Cook without stirring for about 3 minutes until the mushrooms are golden brown on one side. Then stir and continue cooking for about 3 minutes more until mushrooms have released most of the liquid.
- Stir in shallot and cook for a minute until fragrant.
- Stir in sherry or its alternative for a minute until evaporated. Add flour and combine well.
- Add broth and bring to a boil. Stir until thickened for about 5-7 minutes. Stir in thyme and serve.
Pear Cheddar Crisp
- 2 ripe pears, cored and thinly sliced (Organic Bartlett Pear)
- 3 ounces cheddar cheese, thinly sliced or shredded (or dairy-free alternative)
- ½ cup rolled oats (Bob’s Red Mill Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats)
- 2 teaspoons honey (Madhava Organic Light Blue Agave)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons applesauce
- In four 8 oz or 10 oz individual baking dishes, divide pear and cheese, arranging alternately.
- In a small bowl, combine rolled oats, honey, and cinnamon. Stir in applesauce and melted butter until combined, and sprinkle over the pear and cheese mixture.
- At 400 F degrees, bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve warm.
Even the most delightful food cannot beat the time spent with family and friends, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. With what we’ve shared, we hope you and your loved ones have a happy, healthy holiday!