Healthy Holiday Foods & Ingredients

Spruce up your holiday recipes with some healthier ingredients or choose a nutritious alternative to a seasonal favorite. Here are a few of my favorites:

Eggnog is a traditional holiday favorite but is usually high in calories and fat. Horizon Organic has a low fat eggnog that contains only 3 g of fat in a 1/2 cup serving compared to 9 g in the regular eggnog. This is a savings of about 50 calories.

If you are lactose intolerant, several dairies carrry a lactose free eggnog, but it is usaully the high fat variety. You might want to try a vegan eggnog such as Silk Soy Nog, which contains only 2 g of fat in a 1/2 cup serving. Another treat from the Silk people is Pumpkin Spice Soymilk that is offerred exclusively during the holidays.

´╗┐Many holiday recipes call for chicken stock or broth that usually contain a high amount of salt. Kitchen Basics carries a line of unsalted stocks with sodium in the range of 160 to 180 mg per cup, which is much less than the 800 to 1000 mg found in many popular products.

Cheese is a staple of holiday entertaining but an item that is considered a ‘stay away from’ item on the party buffet if you are trying to control your weight and/or cholesterol. You can cut half the fat (4.5 g vs. 9 g) and 30 calories per 1-oz serving by choosing President Light Brie rather than the regular. The fat and calories are still high so portion control is important.

Another great cheese choice is goat cheese that usually contains less fat and calories than regular cheese. My favorite is Montchevre Cranberry Cinnamon Goat Cheese Lot. At just 4.5 g of fat and 80 calories per ounce, this is a treat at any time. The cranberry and cinnamon flavors lend a festive touch to your party table.

I can’t think of the holidays without including cranberries–tart cranberry relish, dried cranberries, cranberry juice in a holiday punch, cranberries baked into breads or muffins, and strings of popcorn and cranberries hanging on the Christmas tree. For a quick cranberry treat try Ocean Spray Craisin Trail Mix or Haagen Daz Fat Free Cranberry Blueberry Sorbet.

If you need a gluten-free dessert, check out Pamela’s Products ready-made gluten-free cheese cakes, coffee cate, and chocolate fudge cake. These desserts are not low calorie or fat but like all Pamela’s products, they are gluten-free and delicious. Check out Pamela’s Celebrate the Holidays Together Gluten Free for a compete list of gluten-free desserts and recipes.
What is your favorite healthy holiday food and ingredient? I’d love to hear from you.
Look for blogs on Healthy Holiday Gift Ideas and Healthy Holiday Gifts from your Kitchen in a few days.

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