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Holiday Food and Health Tip #6: Try these healthy holiday recipe substitutions

Posted 12/13/2007

By: Kerry Seymour, Area Nutrition Specialist

Traditional holiday favorites often contain large amounts of fat and sugar. However, some recipe substitutions can save calories and boost the nutritional value, without sacrificing flavor.

Fat carries flavor, so the goal is to cut back, but not eliminate, fat in your recipes. In addition, substitute healthier oils for solid fats. Here are some options:

  • Use applesauce or yogurt as a substitute for one-half of the fat called for in bread and cake recipes.
  • Substitute evaporated skim milk for the full-fat variety in pumpkin pie and sauces.
  • Use broth in place of at least half the fat in stuffing and mashed potatoes.
  • In savory recipes that call for butter, use half the butter called for or less, and half olive or canola oil to make the recipe more heart-healthy.
  • Add a pinch of fresh or dried herbs, or freshly ground pepper, to add flavor without adding fat.

To cut sugar:

  • In cake, muffins and quick breads, cut back on the total amount of sugar called for by one-quarter.
  • Use Splenda as a substitute for up to half the sugar called for in cranberry sauce, cookies, cakes and breads.
  • Increase vanilla and sweet spices, such as cinnamon and nutmeg, and sprinkle a little coarse sugar on top to increase the sense of sweetness without adding a lot of sugar.

To boost fiber and nutrition:

  • For one-half of the all-purpose flour called for in your baking recipes, use the new white whole-wheat flour or whole-wheat pastry flour.

For more information on healthy eating and cooking, in western Nevada contact Joe Dibble or Kerry Seymour at 775-784-4848. For more information in southern Nevada, contact Mary Wilson at (702) 257-5507. At Logandale, contact Penny Blair at (702) 397-2604.

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