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Healthy Alternatives for Ingredients in Holiday Recipes

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Healthy Alternatives for Ingredients in Holiday Recipes

I love trying out new recipes on my family and am always looking for different ways to make a recipe healthier without sabotaging the flavor. Last summer we had oodles of zucchini in our garden, so I shredded up a few to make this delicious dark chocolate zucchini cake. No one ever knew that there were veggies in their dessert! The zucchini was an excellent healthy alternative for much of the oil, making a super moist, lower fat cake.

If you are doing any cooking (or eating) this holiday season, then you may be concerned about packing on the extra pounds. One way to cut down the calories is by making healthy substitutions in your holiday recipes. For example, nothing says Christmas like sugar cookies, but the sugar, fat and carbs in most recipes are off the charts (do not even think about buying those pre-sliced sugar cookies from the refrigerator section). By substituting a few healthier ingredients, like white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose white flour or Stevia in place of white sugar, you can still have a tasty sugar cookie or two without all the guilt.

Healthy Alternatives for Ingredients

Instead of this... Try this...
oil, butter or shortening applesauce or low-fat yogurt
sugar cinnamon, honey, Stevia or applesauce
heavy whipping cream evaporated milk
whole milk low-fat or skim milk or almond milk
butter mashed bananas, pureed avocado or chia seeds
sour cream or mayonnaise   plain low-fat or Greek yogurt
eggs chia seeds
white flour whole wheat flour or white wheat flour
buttermilk plain low-fat yogurt
full-fat cream cheese low-fat cream cheese
chocolate chips cacao nibs
1 tbsp butter 3 tbsp flax meal + 1 tbsp water (let sit 5-10 min)
1 cup sugar 1 tsp liquid Stevia or 2 tbsp powder Stevia


*Another baking tip: You can reduce the sugar in most recipes by up to 1/2 without ever missing it.

“Healthier” Holiday Recipes:

Chocolate Fudge
Orange Dark Chocolate Truffles
Peppermint Patties
Healthy Sweet Potato Pie
Pumpkin Pie

Enjoy your favorite holiday recipes without the added fat, calories, sugar, carbs and cholesterol by making a few simple substitutions. Then, when January 1 rolls around, you won’t have to resolve to lose weight!



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