Healthy Holiday Swaps for a Nutritious Festive Feast!
Ah, the holidays—that time of year when the scent of browned butter and caramelized sugar in the air threatens to undo all of the nutritious choices we’ve made for months. Whether you’re getting ready to undergo a procedure, are recovering from surgery and sticking to a nutritious diet, or simply want to stay on the (semi-) healthy train, the holidays (and all of the tasty dishes that ensue) can seriously test your willpower. Today, then, we’ve decided to help you on your quest for holiday wellness by rounding up 15 healthy holiday swaps to make those favorite dishes of yours far more nutritious (without totally straying from their original taste). Read on for simple switches with serious benefits.
Substitute sweet potatoes for white potatoes
for fewer calories, fewer carbs, more vitamin B, and far more vitamin A
Keep the skin on your potatoes
for added fiber, B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, calcium, and potassium
Sautee a fresh onion with panko bread crumbs instead of using canned fried onions on your green bean casserole
for fewer calories and much less sodium (2 tablespoons of the classic canned fried onions contain 60mg of sodium)
Add toasted macadamia nuts or toasted pecans to your stuffing
for healthy fat, protein, fiber, iron, vitamin B6, iron, and manganese. Plus, the addition of nuts will help keep you full longer
Make a healthy crumble topping with rolled oats, whole wheat flour, and cinnamon in place of a traditional pie crust
for fewer calories, added soluble fiber, and tons of antioxidants.
Sauté using coconut oil, avocado oil, or extra virgin olive oil—instead of butter
for added essential fatty acid and no dietary cholesterol.
Use a pecan pie recipe that calls for raw honey instead of traditional corn syrup
for a lower concentration of fructose and added antioxidants
Work flaxseed into your salad dressing, spice mixes, rubs, or baking batter
for healthy fats, antioxidants, and added fiber
Skip the marshmallows and opt for apples instead in your sweet potato dish
for antioxidants, flavonoids, and dietary fiber—not to mention no processed sugar
Swap out coconut sugar for refined white sugar in your baking recipes
For a lower glycemic index and a little added iron, zinc, calcium and potassium
Switch out white rolls for whole grain rolls
for added fiber, vitamins B6 and E, magnesium, zinc, folic acid, and chromium
Skip the can and make your own cranberry sauce
for fewer calories and no high-fructose corn syrup.
Make whipped coconut cream instead of traditional whipped cream
for lower fat, lower carbs, zero dairy, and a little added protein.
Replace the traditional semi-sweet chocolate chips in your baking recipes with dark chocolate chips
for less sugar and added antioxidants
Use roasted chickpeas in place of croutons to get that classic “crunch” in your salad
for fewer calories and added fiber, protein, folate.
(Psst…notice we didn’t mess with your turkey? Consider that our holiday gift to you!). After you enjoy these healthy holiday swaps, browse the rest of the Mend Well blog for empowering pre-op information, helpful nutrition advice, and pro-medical tips!