Alternative Options for Holiday Gatherings
Check your list twice for healthful alternatives this holiday season
With the holidays in full swing, there's no better time to check your grocery list for alternatives to your favorite indulgent treats and ingredients.
Eggnog is a holiday staple at many gatherings. This year, slip some soy-based Silk® Nog or lower-fat/lower-calorie versions of the real thing into the punch bowl. Your guests will feel less full and have more room to sample your other goodies!
Chocolate is today's equivalent of those sugarplums that once danced in dreaming children's heads. The good news is more people are opting for the dark varieties these days. Dark chocolates containing at least 70 percent pure cocoa powder can be effective in supporting and protecting the body's systems and providing an added measure of wellness. Flavanols in the cocoa bean have an antioxidant effect that may help lower blood pressure and reduce cell damage associated with heart disease.
It's important to remember that what makes chocolate healthy is the chocolate itself — that is, the pure cocoa that comes from the bean of the cacao plant. If in doubt, remember this — bitter is better.
Baking this year? Instead of using cream in your holiday desserts, quiches and casseroles, try mixing in low-fat Greek yogurt. It can be used to replace all or part of the oil, butter, shortening or cream in a recipe. Growing in popularity, Greek yogurt is available in a wide variety of flavors — from plain to fruit — so take your pick for the taste that's just right for your dish.
Substitute Fage Greek Yogurt for cream in your next dish to lower calories and fat and see if your loved ones can taste the difference. You'll find Fage Greek Yogurt in the dairy section at your neighborhood Publix. By making these kinds of simple changes, you'll not only be sharing special foods, you'll also be treating your family and friends to healthier options this year.
Sources: www.mayoclinic.com, www.sparkpeople.com, www.webmd.com, www.my.clevelandclinic.org