Splitting the Wishbone: Keep the Food, Cut the Calories

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: November 19, 2012

Root Vegetables

It’s November, and bam! Just like that, we’re all in a mad rush to get those turkeys brined and our tables set. Before you know it, we’ll roll right into December and our days will be occupied with friends, family, gifting and what do ya know… more meals. Have you ever taken a moment to think about all this food? There is a lot to be grateful for everyday.

I’m talking about those foods that elicit the essence of fall; crisp days, colorful leaves, warm fires and cozy sweaters. Sure, the pumpkin pie, sparkling cider and cranberry sauce all become standard fare at supermarket during the Thanksgiving Day frenzy. However, there are some notable, healthy comfort foods that I can’t help craving this time of year.

  • Apples, cider, applesauce
  • Butternut squash
  • Root vegetables
  • Stews
  • Sweet potatoes and sweet potato dishes
  • Pumpkin anything
  • Cranberries
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg… oh my!
  • Of course, we tend to saturate these foods in butter and fats during the holidays, but you don’t have to ruin your diet to curb your indulgent comfort food cravings. You can still stimulate your taste buds without forsaking your healthy diet. Here are some tips to satiate your comfort food cravings at Thanksgiving and throughout the holidays without packing the caloric punch:

  • Soups and stews – Load them up with vegetables and proteins for key nutrients. Stay away from the cream base. Instead, use a good quality, flavorful stock or broth.
  • Casseroles – Think lots of protein, vegetables and low-fat sauces. The more veggies, protein and tomato sauce present in your casseroles and bakes, the more nutritious they will be. Oh, and cut the fried onion rings out of your green bean casserole.
  • Pies – Make them with more fruit than sugar. Avoid chocolate or cream cheese based desserts. Instead of topping with ice cream, use frozen yogurt instead. Greek frozen yogurt is an even healthier option. Other alternatives are pumpkin pudding or mousse. Yum!
  • Potatoes- Bake them instead of mashing and mixing with lots of fat.
  • Remember, there is a lot to be thankful for this year. Food is definitely on the top of my list. Food is love and it is possible to be healthy without sacrificing the flavors of Fall.

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