SUBSTITUTES TO MAKE YOUR HOLIDAY MEAL HEALTHIER
Sticking to a diet can be difficult during the holidays. We attend many holiday parties and events this time of year where food and drinks are present, and it’s hard to say no to all the goodies our friends bring to dinners and our co-workers bring to the office. Aside from absolute will power, you can make adjustments along the way to help cut the extra calories this holiday season. One thing I always recommend is to have a healthy snack at home before you leave to your event. It helps you to not overindulge at the party and you don't arrive famished, grabbing everything that comes your way. You can also try substituting the following healthy ingredients into your dishes.
The holidays are a time for soups, stews, and desserts with heavy milk and cream in them. By substituting coconut or almond milk, you’ll still have the same creamy taste, but half the calories. Substituting the milk and butter in a dish will not change the taste and will make the dish better your and anyone at your party that may have a dairy intolerance.
Reduce the amount of oil in your holiday baking by substituting it with unsweetened applesauce. Applesauce can be used cup for cup in bread, muffins, and boxed brownie and cake mixes. Oil traditionally keeps everything moist, but switching it out for applesauce does not change the moisture, it increases it. OR you can also use a healthy oil like flaxseed, coconut or avocado oil for a good dose of omega-3‘s.
The easiest ingredient swap to make this holiday season may be in the type of flour you’re using in your dishes. Nut flours like almond are higher in fiber and protein than white flour. One of the biggest reasons to change to nut flours is because they are gluten-free. Keep in mind that nut flours do not rise and can’t be swapped cup for cup. Make sure to check the recipe you're using and find the correct conversions if the original recipe does not call for nut flours. Oat flour is another healthy and delicious option to consider as well made simply by grinding oats in your vitamix or high powered blender. (Have your tried my flaxseed and almond flour low carb bread?).
'Tis the season to indulge in holiday flavored cocktails while toasting to a great year and the future of the upcoming year. Most people fail to realize the amount of sugar that's in holiday drinks and cocktails. Instead of adding juices or soda as the main mixer in your drinks, use sparkling water and mashed fruit which is a great natural sweetener and cuts down on the excess sugar. I like to use berries (high in fibre, low in sugar), cucumber, basil and frozen grapes. Try making a cucumber cocktail with blended and strained cucumber for the juice, soda and your favourite sweetener. Top with a white spirit for reduced calories.
Milk Chocolate Substitutes
Chocolate is the main staple in holiday desserts, and most people use milk chocolate for their cookies, cakes, and pies. Instead of milk chocolate, switch it up and try dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is known for having less sugar than white or milk chocolate,
and it contains flavonoids that help improve blood circulation and heart health.
Here’s to a healthy holiday season!