Top 10 Healthy Holiday Cooking Tips

By WACS Certified Global Master Chef Karl Guggenmos, Senior Culinary Advisor at Healthy Meals Supreme

Cooking and eating healthy during the holidays does not necessarily mean giving up the dishes we really love.

I think the best way to look at the whole season is to see where you can substitute ingredients, where you can cut back and understand the real culprits in upsetting one’s healthy eating habits and lifestyle.

Here are some tips to help you plan right and enjoy the same flavorful dishes, with just a few adjustments.

Foods to Avoid and Their Healthy Substitutes.

  1. Instead of refined sugar, use honey, monk fruit sugar or coconut sugar.
  2. Don’t use diet sweeteners. They are loaded with additives and not really all that healthy. They also don’t work well in baking and most of them have an unpleasant after taste.
  3. Instead of making pure mashed potatoes, use 50% cauliflower mash and 50%  regular potatoes. 
  4. Instead of white potatoes, use sweet potatoes
  5. Rather than a flour crust, try to make a cauliflower pie crust or buy it already made. These are great, tasty crusts and you will not know the difference from a regular crust.
  6. Reduce all carbs and increase your vegetables, especially green ones. 
  7. Try using red beans and avocados to replace flour when making items like brownies and pies.
  8. Even if you love whipped cream on pies just as much as I do, instead, add a little fruit liquor…after all, it is the holidays.  But if you must make whipped cream, don’t add sugar.
  9. When baking, try to replace white flower with a whole wheat or ancient grain flower. Oatmeal flower works great. Just experiment with reductions first until the dish meets your expectation.
  10. Use spices such as cinnamon and vanilla to enhance your dishes when reducing sugar.

 

Final thoughts:

The most important thing to remember is to choose the most natural and “unprocessed” ingredients and to enjoy all dishes to the fullest, even if you reduce the portion sizes of those that may not be as healthy.  Try to eat “in color” by adding fresh fruits to your desserts and reduce the number of baked items. 

Finally, FORGET the guilt trips. They are counter-productive. If you are like me and just NEED to eat good, pure mashed potatoes, then make them, BUT, eat a smaller amount and eliminate other high carb dishes.

Wishing you and yours a very happy, healthy and delicious holiday season!

 

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