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5 Holiday Meal Hacks

Is a healthy family feast on your wish list this year? Studies show that the average weight gain during the holidays is about two pounds. Enjoy all your favorite holiday foods while staying healthy by incorporating some of these simple tips;


1/ Gravy: Try making gravy 1-2 hours ahead and refrigerate to harden the fat so it can be easily skimmed off. Reheat to serve.


2/ Mashed Potatoes: Instead of making mashed potatoes with lots of butter and heavy cream, try using milk,
low sodium chicken or vegetable broth, or low fat sour cream or Greek yogurt instead. Go easy on the salt and try cooked onion, chives, or fresh grated garlic to season your potatoes instead. Try swapping out half of your white potatoes for sweet potatoes for extra fibre and beta-carotene, or if you prefer a reduced carb version, try our feature recipe Garlic Mashed Cauliflower “Fauxtatoes”.


3/ Eggnog: For many, the holidays just aren’t complete without https://blog.medisys.ca/en-ca/alcohol-free-eggnoge! Swap out cream or whole milk with reduced fat milk (eg. skim or 1%), or use unsweetened almond milk. Blend ripe banana into your milk base to sweeten and thicken your eggnog instead of using refined sugar. Use natural vanilla instead of artificial.


4/ Stuffing: When considering stuffing it’s always best to make your own so you can control the nutrient content – the boxed stuff is typically packed with sodium! Substitute white bread with whole grain bread, or even wild rice. Ramp up the nutrition value by adding chopped veggies (like carrots and celery), fresh herbs (like thyme and rosemary), seeds (like flax, pumpkin, or sunflower), or unsalted chopped nuts.


5/ Desserts: Here are seven ways to help improve the health of your desserts. 1) Try making crust-less pies. 2) For pie fillings, try replacing 1/2 the butter or oil in your recipe with unsweetened applesauce or mashed bananas. 3) Substitute 2 egg whites for one whole egg. 4) Reduce the sugar by ½ or try sweetening with pureed dried fruit instead until just sweet enough vs. overly sweet. 5) Substitute white flour with whole wheat flour. 6) Replace frosting with fresh fruit or homemade unsweetened fruit. 7) Replace heavy cream with evaporated skim milk in cheesecakes and cream pies.


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