Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and give thanks for family, friends and blessings in our lives. But for a lot of us it is also about the food. Don’t worry about whether you must give up your favorite foods. You can have your favorites occasionally and in small portions. Here are a few tips to cut down calories, but not flavor:
1. Roasted Garlic & Lemon-Rubbed Turkey
Calories Saved: 199
Healthier Secret: Turkey doesn't need butter or brining to be a success. A simple solution this year is to use a rub made with roasted garlic and fresh squeezed lemons. Garlic provides flavor and the lemons provide a ‘salty’ flavor as well as moisture.
2. Zucchini Dressing/Stuffing
Healthier Secret: Stuffing (dressing) is best made from scratch. This dressing has about 1/2 the calories and 87% less saturated fat than traditional dressing because it uses more vegetables and less bread and sausage. Plus use whole-wheat bread for added fiber and turkey sausage for less fat.
3. Sweet Potato Casserole
Calories Saved: 403
Healthier Secret: Sweet potatoes need not taste like dessert. Cut the butter and sugar and use evaporated milk for creaminess and crushed pineapple (with just 2 tablespoons of brown sugar) for a mellow touch of sweetness. Plus skip the marshmallows and top it with meringue or a streusel crunch. The result: cut more than 400 calories and 15 grams of fat per serving.
4. Lean green bean casserole
Calories Saved: 175
Healthier Secret: Simple is better for vegetable sides. This casserole uses fat free condensed soup and skim milk mixed with the green beans and for crunch instead of french fried onions use sliced water chestnuts in the mix and 100% veggie onion chips crushed and crumbled on top.
5. Chive mashed potatoes
Calories Saved: 64
Healthier Secret: Chives add instant flavor. Add chopped chives and fresh crushed garlic to the boiling water for potatoes with just a pinch of salt. Use evaporated skim milk and fat free sour cream for creaminess and garnish with more chives.