Holidays can be stressful when you’re trying to be health conscious. The dinners are laden with high-fat meat, carb-heavy sides, baked goods galore and enough butter to make Paula Dean look twice. You don’t have to deprive yourself of festive food to keep healthy at the end of the year. Consider these quality food choices anyone would be happy to eat.
Bring Out the Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a holiday favorite and offer an excellent alternative to regular potatoes. This versatile ingredient can work as a puree in the soup for the appetizer or put in the oven and roasted. Don’t forget dessert! A sweet potato casserole will end up on your most requested dish list.
Brine Low-Fat Meat Mains
The dark meat on chicken and turkey tastes great, but the higher fat content makes it difficult to include on your plate when you’re health-conscious. However, you can use a technique called brining to add juiciness and flavor to low-fat cuts. Your bird goes into a salt, sugar, vinegar and water bath for eight to 12 hours. You rinse it off and cook it normally after that. This solution adds a lot of flavor and works well with any lean meat. If you don’t like poultry, try it out with pork loin.
Crown Mashed Cauliflower as the New King of Sides
Holiday plates often look bare when you skip over the mashed potatoes and gravy, but cauliflower is capable of stepping up to the plate and then some. You get the same texture as perfectly boiled potatoes, then you add sour cream or Greek yogurt to get a creamy dish without a lot of carbs.
Go Crustless on Your Cheesecake
Sometimes you want to indulge your sweet tooth a bit, but holiday desserts go slightly over your calorie comfort zone. If you eliminate the Graham cracker crust from a cheesecake, you eliminate one of the main sources of carbs in this desirable treat.
Your health-conscious holiday doesn’t need to be filled with uninspiring food. Use these ideas as the jumping point for one of the best seasons you ever had.