Tips to Trim Calories in Your Holiday Treats
Eating an extra 300 calories each day between Halloween and New Year’s will translate into an unwanted 5.5 pounds. What is even more shocking is that a massive holiday feast may present you with 3,000 – 5,000 calories! More than most of us need in 2-3 days.
Certainly we would all like to prevent holiday weight gain, though with leftover trick-or-treats, holiday drinks, and Christmas cookies, it can be a challenge!
Thankfully with small tweaks to your holiday treats, saving calories can become a reality and when it only takes an extra 500 calories each day (1 slice of pecan pie, anyone?) to gain a pound of fat this week, those small changes can truly make a big difference.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to lighten up recipes:
- Cut the sugar: Most baked goods are forgiving when it comes to sugar. Cut the amount the recipe calls for by 1/3 to start and I bet you will not even taste the difference!
- Go Greek: Swap out the sour cream in your spinach dip or mashed potatoes for fat-free plain Greek yogurt.
- Boost the fiber: Swap half of the potatoes for cauliflower in your famous mashed potato recipes or prepare your baked goods with a 50/50 combo of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour. Any time you can add more fruits, veggies, and whole grains, you are doing yourself a favor!
- Add bubbles: Can’t enjoy the holidays without a few glasses of wine or perhaps something a bit stronger or richer? If you are able to cut it with sparkling water or extra ice, you will quickly save hundreds of calories. Cutting even two glasses of wine with club soda will save you up to 200 calories and it may feel even more festive with the added bubble, so why not?
- Shrink the serving size: Bake up mini-sized double chocolate treasures (my favorite!), cut your brownies into half the size you usually slice, or if you are offering soup or a gravy, include an extra small ladle for serving. Finally, no matter what you are serving, if you offer small plates and bowls, everyone will help themselves to a little bit less while still feeling satisfied at their heaping dishes.
Speaking of deLIGHTful treats, try out this delicious appetizer from Skinny Taste. This blogger swapped out high fat sour cream and cream cheese for light whipped topping and fat-free Greek yogurt while still maintaining a powerful punch of holiday flavor. Serve up this Pumpkin Pie dip with crisp apple or pear slices, or a handful of cinnamon graham crackers, and enjoy a sweet ½ cup serving for only about 100 calories – saving you over 150 calories and 10 grams of fat from the original recipe! (Note: I trimmed the brown sugar down even more to a mere ½ cup and it was still as rich as can be!)
Enjoy this recipe and happy cooking throughout the holidays!