The holidays are a notorious time for eating and drinking merrily. However, many of the things we tend to sink our teeth into during a big holiday feast are not exactly good for our health or waistlines.
If you are hoping to have a more balanced holiday meal that will not completely wreck all that hard work you have been doing at the gym, try swapping out some of the fattier dishes for some more healthful ones. Here are six healthy Christmas food swaps to fill your holiday table with.
1. Swap artichoke and spinach dip for yogurt-based dips
You do not have to keep appetizers and snacks off the table in order to be healthy. While the turkey or ham is roasting in the oven, you can still put out a dip that everyone will love.
Make your favorite creamy dips by using nonfat plain Greek yogurt instead. No one will be able to taste the difference. Serve it with plenty of fresh cut sticks of carrots, celery, and cucumber.
2. Instead of pigs in a blanket, try shrimp cocktail
Before you know it, you’ll eat more calories in those pigs in the blanket you’re mindlessly munching on than you will in your whole Christmas dinner. So serve shrimp cocktail with light cocktail sauce on the side, which is a healthier and more elegant option.
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3. Make roasted sweet potatoes instead of sweet potato casserole
Sweet potato casserole is filled with sugary marshmallows. Tasty, but not exactly the healthiest option. Sweet potatoes are full of amazing nutrients and are waistline-friendly. Brush them lightly with olive oil and roast them in the oven for an equally as a delicious side dish without all the calories and fat.
4. Make your own stuffing
You can still enjoy stuffing, but making it yourself is the best way to go. Store-bought options are always loaded with extra calories and use white bread as the basis. Make your own healthier stuffing by using whole wheat cubes of bread, olive oil instead of butter, and chicken broth for moistening. It will still be perfectly flavorful without being full of fat and calories.
5. Swap a pecan pie or chocolate cake for healthier desserts
You do not need to forgo a dessert table for the holidays to be healthy. A little sweet indulgence is good. You can bake apples or pears in the oven with maple and cinnamon for a sweet and decadent treat, or go for pumpkin pie. While pumpkin pie is not exactly health food, one slice is only 300 calories and comes packed with vitamin A, calcium, and iron.
Read also – 6 Popular Cocktails with High Calorie Counts
6. Serve apple cider instead of egg nog
For many, the holidays mean a merry cup or two of egg nog. Cut out the excess calories by serving hot apple cider. To save even more calories, drink it sans alcohol.
Whether you are trying to drop weight or improve your heath, consider making these smart tweaks when cooking for Christmas. What foods will you swap off your Christmas holiday meal table to be healthier? Tell us your favorite!