Hoping to steer clear of the 10-pound weight gain over the holidays? Making some healthy substitutions in your Thanksgiving recipes may be all you need to cut back on the calories and fat this season and maintain your healthy lifestyle. Common ingredients such as eggs, butter, cream of mushroom soup and ice cream all have favorable substitutes for the health-conscious holiday reveler. Here are some healthy ingredient substitution ideas for your Thanksgiving recipes:
Butter Substitutions for Thanksgiving
When the Thanksgiving recipe calls for butter, switch to light butter or an olive-oil based margarine for a healthier dish or dessert. Butter substitutions work especially well in baked goods where you can add applesauce or low-fat milk to the mix, ensuring a moist and flavorful dessert or holiday bread.
Egg Substitutions in Thanksgiving Recipes
If the recipe calls for eggs, consider substituting two egg whites or an egg substitute for a single whole egg. Egg substitutes are your closest choice to the ‘real thing’ for Thanksgiving recipes, but if you do decide to use egg whites, you may end up making a lighter and fluffier version of your favorite baked good. Keep in mind that egg substitutions don’t work as well for recipes that require only egg yolks (e.g . custards and puddings), so think of other ways to lower calories and fat content from dishes that demand real egg yolks.
Ice Cream Substitutions for Thanksgiving
When the recipe calls for ice cream, consider switching to a low-fat version of your favorite flavor, or serving frozen yogurt instead. Frozen yogurt typically has half the fat (or less) than regular ice cream, and has the added boost of protein and calcium. Low-fat ice cream may suffice for traditional Thanksgiving favorites such as apple pie a la mode, or ice cream sundaes.
Chocolate Substitutions in Thanksgiving Recipes
Substitute low-sugar or sugar-free chocolate syrup and chocolate bars for desserts. If you’re making Thanksgiving desserts that require real chocolate bars or chocolate syrup, you can substitute with a sugar-free or low-sugar version for a tasty and flavorful treat. You will be compromising on taste with these, but the payoff comes in the form of over 50% fewer calories and less than half the fat, in some cases.
Cream of Mushroom Soup Substitutions for Thanksgiving
Planning on making your famous green bean casserole this Thanksgiving? Substitute the cream of mushroom soup in the recipe for the fat-free version and no one will know the difference. The substitution will save you a few hundred calories per dish and will lower the fat content of this popular side.
Sour Cream Substitutions in Thanksgiving Recipes
If you’re required to use sour cream in a Thanksgiving recipe, or when making desserts such as cheesecake and puddings, make the switch to a low-fat sour cream or skip the sour cream altogether and use low-fat plain yogurt instead. Low-fat plain yogurt still has that ‘kick’ you need to add some flavor to your dish, and has a similar texture to sour cream, blending into most recipes with ease.
Cheese Substitutions for Thanksgiving
Whether you’re making cheese bread, cheese fondue or a cheese quiche for a Thanksgiving brunch, there are many ways to make your dish healthier. Low-fat versions of your favorite cheeses may not melt as well as the full-fat kind, but you can consider making the switch to mozzarella, Parmesan and extra-sharp cheeses that offer plenty of flavor and texture, without adding on too many calories and fat grams. Smaller servings of sharp-flavored cheeses may help to offset some of the quantities required in many Thanksgiving recipes.