By: Michelle Faber, NBC- HWC, EP-C
The holidays are on the way and as we start cooking, baking and eating more, these simple ingredient swaps can help cut back on calories and fat in the foods we love.
These ideas are easy substitutes that won’t sacrifice taste for health:
- Use Greek yogurt or plain low-fat yogurt instead of sour cream. Using a 1:1 ratio, these substitutes can be used in place of higher fat sour cream in dips, casseroles and even as toppings for meals like Taco night or chili.
- Use rolled oats instead of breadcrumbs. You can use rolled oats in lieu of breadcrumbs in meatloaf and other casseroles. This swap offers less preservatives by using a whole grain, and still has great taste.
- Use whole wheat flour instead of white flour. Whole wheat flour can be used as a replacement for white flour in most dishes whether baking or cooking.
- Use real fruit instead of canned or frozen fruit. Using real fruit in pies and other yummy desserts is a great way to take out syrups, sugars and other preservatives that can come with canned or frozen fruits. There are a ton of recipes out there to choose from if this is something new.
- Use unsweetened applesauce instead of oil. Unsweetened applesauce instead of oil while baking can keep your food moist and delicious while saving calories and getting rid of some fat.
- Use maple syrup instead of sugar for baking. Using 100% maple syrup is a great way to add nutrients into some staples like banana bread and chocolate chip cookies. This would replace sugar almost on a 1:1 ratio — since syrup is a liquid, it is recommended to use a smaller portion of another liquid ingredient to maintain the desired texture of the dish.
Try one of these delicious, healthier recipes I really love for the holiday season:
- Banana Bread from gimmedelicious.com
- Homemade Maple Dijon Salad Dressing from the Food Network
- 15 healthy pies to bake from eatthis.com
- Cinnamon Apple Crisp from 100daysofrealfood.com
- Rolled Oats Meatloaf from tasteofhome.com
Make your holiday season a little lighter this year with these simple swaps and healthy recipes. And don’t forget to build in some extra activity after a hearty holiday meal to help burn some calories. Try our Get Moving Michigan ideas from my fellow health coach Kris Rich. Happy Holidays!
About the Author: Michelle Faber, NBC- HWC, EP-C is a national board-certified health and wellness coach on the wellness team at Priority Health. She has a passion for helping individuals find their motivation and purpose to make and sustain healthy lifestyle changes in all areas of life. Michelle is certified as an Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine and loves working with people who are managing chronic disease, pregnancy, and exercise in young children and families. She is also an Orthopedic Specialist through the American Council on Exercise.