Christmas recipes aren't usually good for anyone on a diet! If you're worried about your waistline this holiday season, try these simple steps to trimming the calories and fat from your favorite Christmas recipes:
Try a low-fat or fat-free version. Almost all packaged ingredients like butter, cream, sour cream, and mayonnaise also come in a lower fat or fat-free version, so why not take advantage of them? For instance, instead of using regular cream of mushroom soup and whole milk in your green bean casserole, try 98 percent fat-free cream of mushroom soup and 1 percent milk. This simple change slashes 14 grams of fat (about 125 calories). Apply the same strategy for your mashed potatoes. Swapping half & half cream and regular butter with buttermilk and light butter will save 21 grams of fat (about 190 calories). Your kids will never know the difference … but there's a good chance your hips and waistline will!
Consider substituting sugar. Studies have revealed that the average American eats the equivalent of 20 teaspoons of sugar a day (that statistic may not be surprising if you've ever watched your kids eat it straight from the sugar bowl!—and the intake skyrockets during the holiday season. Sugar intake is of particular concern for kids with diabetes. As a general rule, you may substitute unsweetened applesauce or pureed prunes for half the sugar in recipes. In addition, you may consider no-calorie artificial sweeteners such as Splenda. You could shave 380 calories from a cake recipe that calls for one cup of sugar by replacing half with an artificial sweetener. You will shave 770 calories if you replace it all with a sweetener.
Try a different kind of whip. Kids have a love affair with whipped cream—and admit it, you do, too! We add whipped cream to specialty coffee, hot chocolate, desserts like sundaes, pies, etc. But one cup of whipped cream contains 14 grams of fat. Try making your own whipped cream using evaporated milk. This will trim half of the fat away! Alternately, try non-dairy Cool Whip Free. It offers a similar mouth feel without the fat and guilt.
De-fattening your eggs. If you're making pies and cakes this holiday season, eggs are an integral ingredient on your baking list. If your guests have heart health concerns, or if you're just worried about your kid's dietary intake, try substituting one egg with two egg whites to cut down on fat and cholesterol. However, be careful, because this substitution may not work in all recipes—although serving up a cake that's as hard as a rock and flat as a pancake is definitely one way to ensure the kids don't come back for seconds! For bakery recipes requiring eggs as an emulsifier, you can look for commercial fat-free, cholesterol-free egg substitutes like Egg Beaters. As a general rule, substitute one egg with ¼ cup of egg substitutes.
Go skinless. It's not a holiday meal without the turkey! And believe it or not, turkey is considered a healthy food item on the holiday menu. In addition to being an excellent source of protein, turkey offers the least amount of fat per serving among all meats, if you pass on the skin. One serving (3 ½ ounces) of deep-fried turkey with the skin on contains about 12 grams of fat, compared with 10 grams in roasted turkey with skin. But if you remove the skin, you will save 5 to 7 grams of fat. Serve up skinless portions when you're making the kids' plates, and do the same for your own!
We promise—even with less sugar and fat, your Christmas recipes will taste delicious. The kids might not even notice the difference!report abuse