Archive for the ‘healthy cooking’ Tag

Healthy Holiday Meal Substitutions

It’s become almost impossible to ignore the mass shift toward healthier eating. Sure, there are still the die-hards (heh- no pun intended) that still rely on fast food lunches to make up for the breakfast they skipped and then round out the day by pulling dinner out of a box but, by and large, the rest of us have become increasingly diligent when it comes to choosing foods for ourselves and our families. That having been said, the holidays can be an extra stressful time overloaded with chores, activities, and events that can cause us to let our healthy eating take a back seat to either tradition, our busy schedules, or a combination thereof. However, there are many simple substitutions you can choose to make that will have your holiday menu providing more of what bodies need and less of what they don’t, without catching flack from any family-members-turned-food-critics that might be hanging around.
Personally, my biggest weakness around the holidays (and most other days) is homemade mashed potatoes. Yet, as much as I love the starchy pleasure of carbo-loading on all that fluffy, white goodness, there are alternatives that taste just as good and, from a health perspective, have regular mashed potatoes beat. This year, consider oven-roasted potatoes seasoned with garlic, rosemary, and olive oil instead of mashed for a delicious and elegant looking side item. Oven roasting the potatoes as opposed to mashing them forces your body to work harder and longer in order to separate out the carbs, convert them to sugar, and start releasing into the bloodstream resulting in a more gradual and therefore healthier rise in blood sugar. Another even better option is to skip the potatoes altogether and use steamed cauliflower instead. It might sound a little iffy but, as a southern girl with a past history of potato addiction, I can assure you it actually tastes pretty darn close to the real deal. Throw in a carrot or two while steaming the cauliflower and mash them both together when soft for an even tastier, vitamin-packed, and attractive dish. Oh, and one more thing, there’s no law that says you have to tell them it’s cauliflower until after they’ve tried it.
But what about dessert?! Moderation is always a great place to start when dealing in sweets but there are also plenty of dessert ideas that bring more to the table than just being tasty. You can easily boost the nutrition value of the treats you offer this holiday season by looking for a recipe that calls for the use of whole grains instead of bleached flour and brown sugar instead of white, refined sugar.
Don’t forget that during the holiday season, when many of us use our ovens and stovetops more heavily, light fires in the fireplace and string lights on Christmas trees, the risk of home fires can increase. I recommend that you help protect your family with an ADT home security system, including a monitored smoke alarm. A monitored smoke alarm ensures that the fire department responds in an emergency, even if you are asleep or away visiting family. ADT is the leading provider of home security systems in the U.S., with more than 100 years in business.