Is your holiday eating already in full swing? Have you sampled the foil wrapped chocolate at the bank, dunked the office Christmas cookies in your morning coffee, or taken your famous dessert to the neighborhood gathering?
Among the most cherished of holiday traditions is sharing special foods especially desserts and sweets. While many of these favorites are heavy on sugar and fat, you don’t have to feel guilty about splurging.
This year, give the gift of health by making someone a special, healthy treat. Nothing warms the heart and delights the taste buds (of friends, relatives, and co-workers alike) more than a delicious, beautifully wrapped gift of homemade food.
You can still enjoy those special dessert recipes by following these tips:
Healthy Holiday Substitutions:
- When muffin and quick bread recipes call for fat (such as oil), try reducing it by one third to one half. You won’t even miss it.
- Use canned applesauce or plums in cake and pie recipes as a healthier alternative to butter, margarine, or oil.
- Replace heavy cream in puddings, cheesecakes, and cream pies with evaporated skim milk.
- Use nonfat yogurt as a substitute for sour cream. Two egg whites can be substituted for each whole egg in many baked recipes.
- Since much of the fat in cake comes from the frosting, try topping cakes with fresh fruit, fruit sauce, or a sprinkle of confectioners’ sugar.
- Use Splenda brand sweetener in place of all or part of the sugar in baked goodies. It works great in pie fillings and puddings too. Follow the baking tips on the box and visit www.splenda.com for ideas.
- Save the fat by using cocoa powder instead of chocolate. Substitute three tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder for each ounce of unsweetened chocolate in baked goods such as cakes or cookies. For chocolate fillings, you may need to add one or two teaspoons of oil in addition to the cocoa.
- Decrease the amount of nuts used in a recipe by half, substituting it with Grape Nuts cereal to keep the crunch and texture.
- Reduce the amount of chocolate chips or nuts in a recipe by one fourth. No one will even notice!
- When baking quick breads (like zucchini, pumpkin, blueberry, etc.), use unsweetened applesauce instead of oil, it makes very moist bread and cuts out a load of fat and calories.
- Use fat free whipped cream in place of regular whipped cream. In ice cream desserts, use ice milk or low fat frozen yogurt.
- Substitute skim milk for regular milk.
Cut Even More Calories by Cutting Down On Size:
- Cut pies into 10 slices (instead of the standard 6-8 slices).
- Cut cakes and brownies into bite size pieces.
- Bake bite size cookies and muffins.
To savor the flavor of every bite, slow down and enjoy your dessert with a cup of herbal tea, flavored coffee, or low fat, sugar free cocoa. Enhance the flavor by using fat free half and half, fat free whipped cream, colored sugars, and sugar free sweeteners. Yummy! Now that’s a taste.