|
|
|
Morning Sun
  • EXTENSION CONNECTION: Focus on the 'stars' — healthier holiday cooking

  • “Healthy” and “Holiday” don’t usually find themselves in the same sentence. That doesn’t have to be the case, though! Cooking healthy doesn’t have to mean food with virtually no flavor, nor does it mean you can’t enjoy any of your favorite foods for the holidays.

    • email print
  • “Healthy” and “Holiday” don’t usually find themselves in the same sentence. That doesn’t have to be the case, though! Cooking healthy doesn’t have to mean food with virtually no flavor, nor does it mean you can’t enjoy any of your favorite foods for the holidays.
    Each of our favorite holiday dishes – such as candied sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie -- begins with a very healthy main ingredient.   Large amounts of added fats and sugars cause the recipe to become unhealthy!
    To create a healthier dish, try concentrating on the “Star” ingredient.
    For example, consider the apple which is the star ingredient of apple pie.  Most apples have a sweet taste all by themselves and about seventy calories for a medium apple.  However, if you go to the store to purchase applesauce, you often find applesauce that has around 170 calories per cup. 
    Close examination of the applesauce Ingredients Label  will reveal some type of added sugar. 
    Taking the time to look further and purchase applesauce with no added sugar can save you around sixty to seventy calories per cup.  As great as apples taste, is that added sugar really necessary?
     
    Apple Crisp or baked apples can be a healthier alternative to traditional apple pie at holiday time or any time.  Both of these eliminate the crust which is a large calorie reduction since the regular crust on a one-crust pie per serving is around 120 calories (1/8 of 9” pie).  A double-crust pie has even more calories and fat.
    Traditional apple pie can have up to 459 calories per slice but the very tasty Fall Apple Crisp recipe shown here has 190 calories saving you 269 calories.    It would take over two miles of walking to burn off those extra 269 calories.
    In addition, preparing the traditional Thanksgiving favorite pumpkin pie with a ginger snap crust instead of the regular crust saves approximately 115 calories per slice and 9.5 grams of fat.   This Light Pumpkin Pie recipe has wonderful flavor and also is included here for you to try.
    A few simple changes to the traditional Green Bean Casserole, such as using reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup, can be another easy way to save calories and fat in your holiday meal.  The Healthier Green Bean Casserole recipe shown here has around 81 calories per serving and saves 61 calories and five grams of fat over the traditional version.  Most taste testers notice little difference in flavor between the two recipes.
    It may sound like 100 calories here or 80 calories there is not a big deal, but think about this.  Americans typically gain one to three pounds (or more) between Thanksgiving and the New Year. 
    This may not sound like a lot, but, many of us don’t lose that excess weight.  Over time this little bit of excess can add up to ten or fifteen extra pounds or more.  So saving a few calories per serving in each of several holiday dishes can go a long way toward keeping your family members in a healthy weight range.  And, if calories can be eliminated without sacrificing flavor, it just might be worth starting a new holiday recipe tradition.
    Page 2 of 2 - If you would like more tips for healthier eating at holiday parties and family get-togethers or more recipe transformation ideas, you may contact the Wildcat Extension District, Crawford County, 620-724-8233; Labette County, 620-784-5337; Montgomery County, 620-331-2690; Pittsburg Office, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education (EFNEP), 620-232-1930.
      • calendar