It’s getting chilly out and the holidays are near. For many this means indulging in your favorite comfort foods that are typically high in fat and calories. Anything in moderation is fine but when your favorite pair of jeans cease to fit, it might be time for a makeover. Here you will find a few ways to makeover some of your favorite foods so they are more nutritious and figure friendly at the same time.
1. Pumpkin Pie – The first thing that comes to mind when you see a pumpkin is probably pumpkin pie. But, did you know that pumpkin is a low calorie squash that is high in potassium and a powerful antioxidant called beta-carotene? Why not try a pumpkin dip mixed with low fat cream cheese, some maple syrup and cinnamon. This would pair nicely with some apple slices and other fruits. Also, pumpkin & sweet potato pilaf make a great addition to any meal. Bake some whole wheat pumpkin bread with walnuts and sesame seeds for a fuller feeling.
2. Cranberry Jelly – Canned, processed cranberry jelly offers no real nutritional value. Fresh whole cranberries offer the most antioxidant, anti- inflammatory, anticancer and urinary tract health benefits. Dried cranberries and cranberry juice also offer nutritional value. Find a homemade cranberry sauce recipe you like for the holidays and ditch the canned jelly. Cranberry relish, salsa or chutney also pair well with turkey, chicken and other proteins. Try adding the fruit to salads, yogurt and oatmeal. Make cranberry muffins for a quick breakfast or snack.
3. Sweet Potato & Marshmallow Casserole – This dish tastes like the holidays! Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A, C, iron, fiber and low in calories. It’s alright to smother them in butter, brown sugar and marshmallows for that scrumptious holiday dessert or side dish. Try healthier alternatives during the rest of the year like curried carrot, sweet potato, and ginger soup or oven-roasted sweet potato chips with light ranch dressing. Try substituting sweet potatoes in white potato dishes for more meal ideas.
4. Turkey Stuffing – Thanksgiving, turkey and stuffing go hand in hand. You don’t have to replace your traditional stuffing with a bunch of nuts and berries! Stuffing doesn’t just have to be for the holidays. It’s a great side dish for any meal, any day of the week. Mix it up a bit by using whole grain breads as the base or taking bread out altogether. Why not try a wild rice dressing with apples and sausage? If you must have some hearty bread in your recipe try adding squash, brussel sprouts or wild mushrooms to the recipe to add more nutrition.
5. Drink Your Pot Liquor! – Pot liquor, pot – likker, collard liquor are all terms commonly used in the South and by chefs to refer to the broth in a pot of boiled greens. Some cooks add salt pork, bacon or smoked turkey as well as a variety of spices to collard greens, mustard greens or turnip greens. These greens are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients. These cruciferous veggies are highest in vitamin K which is important for blood clotting. You may know that cooking veggies can remove a lot of the nutritional value. Steamed or raw veggies are best for maximum benefits. Pot liquor contains a lot of vitamins and minerals that are leached out during the boiling process. It wouldn’t hurt to add more of the broth to your bowl of greens and drink it up.
Healthy Pumpkin Recipes –
Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes –
Healthy Stuffing Recipes – http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_stuffing_recipes
Health Benefits of Cranberries - http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/dried-cranberries-good-you-3668.html
Pot Liquor - http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=138