For many, the holiday season is truly the most wonderful time of the year! Although it may be tempting to let loose and lean towards comfort foods during the holidays, why not aim to have as healthy of a holiday season as possible this year.
There are many ways to still appreciate this time of year while putting an emphasis on nutrition. Try the following Holiday Recipe Enhancements to enjoy your holiday favorites while giving them a healthier twist:
· Add fruits and/or vegetables to your turkey stuffing
· Replace sour cream with yogurt in your mashed or baked potatoes
· Use low-fat milk products when cooking and baking
· Replace half of the white/all purpose flour in recipes with whole wheat flour
· Use evaporated skim milk instead cream in recipes
· Cut your eggnog with milk to reduce the sugar and fat content per serving
Holiday Food Tips:
· Be sure to use the entirety of the turkey – use the giblets to make broth or gravy, freeze the leftovers, add turkey to soups, salads, stir-fries, casseroles, etc.
· Have lots of vegetable options on the table – try frozen, canned or fresh vegetables!
· Buy what’s on sale- Turkeys, canned soups and gravies, and fresh root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, beets, squashes) are often on sale this time of year. Check the grocery store flyers and shop the deals!
· Enjoy ALL foods! Instead of feeling like you are missing out when it comes to less healthy food choices, have a smaller portion of your favorites and take your time to
Even during the holiday season, aim to follow Canada’s Food Guide!
Have ½ your plate be vegetables and fruits, ¼ plate whole grains and ¼ plate protein.
Healthy Homemade Hot Chocolate
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
Pinch of salt
1 cup milk, soy milk or almond milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Whisk together the cocoa, sugar, salt, and about 2 tablespoons milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until cocoa and sugar are dissolved.
2. Whisk in the rest of the milk and heat it over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until it is hot.
3. Stir in the vanilla and serve.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Yogurt
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt, divided
5 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 cup yogurt
Black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chopped chives (optional)
1. Place the potatoes and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large pot and fill with cold water to cover the potatoes. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and then simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.
2. While the potatoes are boiling, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the butter or margarine, and after it is just melted, stir in the garlic. Stirring frequently, cook the garlic for about 2 minutes, or until soft and light golden. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Drain the potatoes in a colander, shaking the colander to help remove excess water. Pour the potatoes into a large bowl.
4. Add the garlic and butter mixture to the potatoes. Mash to break down the large pieces of potato.
5. Stir in the yogurt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Continue mashing to your desired texture.
6. Stir the chives into the potatoes and then place in a serving dish and serve warm.
Oven Roasted Root Vegetables
1 large butternut squash, (1 1/2 to 2 pounds) halved, seeded and peeled
3 large potatoes (1 1/2 pounds), scrubbed
3-4 medium beets, (about 1 1/2 pounds), scrubbed and tops trimmed
1 medium red onion
2 large parsnips (about 8 ounces)
1 head garlic, cloves separated, and peeled (about 16 cloves)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Black pepper, to taste
1. Place 2 baking sheets in the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F.
2. Cut all the vegetables into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Cut the onions through the base core to keep some of the layers in chunky pieces. Toss all the vegetables with garlic, olive oil and salt in large bowl. Season generously with pepper.
3. Carefully remove the heated baking sheets from the oven, brush or drizzle with olive oil. Divide the vegetables evenly between the 2 pans, spreading them out to assure they don’t steam while roasting. Roast the vegetables until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.