Make Holiday Cooking Healthier with Tips from TOPS

Published: Monday, December 24, 2012 at 11:12 AM.

Pie, mashed potatoes, cookies, and carved ham – these are just a few of the popular seasonal dishes we tend to consume more of during the holidays. According to Katie Ferraro, M.P.H., R.D., C.D.E., nutrition expert for TOPS Club, Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the nonprofit weight-loss support organization, the holidays don’t have to sabotage your healthy meal planning.

“Use parties and family get-togethers as an opportunity to try out new, healthy recipes and incorporate several of the following tips into your upcoming celebrations,” says Ferraro. “Special holiday recipes prepared healthier with simple substitutions can add nutrition and won’t break the calorie bank.”

Mash cauliflower instead of potatoes

One cup of mashed potatoes made with skim milk and no butter has 150 calories, while one cup of mashed cauliflower made with skim milk and no butter has one third of the calories, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – and tastes nearly identical. For the pickiest eaters, mix half mashed cauliflower, half mashed potato. “Add fresh herbs in place of salt for zesty flavor,” notes Ferraro.

Unsweetened applesauce instead of sugar, oil, or butter

Cut calories in baked goods while providing a hint of sweetness with this substitute. According to the USDA, a cup of sugar contains 775 calories, while a cup of unsweetened applesauce contains only about 100 calories.

Nutrient-rich leafy greens instead of iceberg lettuce



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