Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Healthier Options for Thanksgiving

In honor of my first holiday season since FC, I wanted to share some healthier recipes I have found. If you have anything to share, please put them in comments, or email them to me and I will add them to a future post. If any of you actually try any of these recipes, please let me know what you think! I LOVE feedback! =)

The average American scarfs 4,500 calories & 229 g fat on Thanksgiving! Let's see if we can't do a little bit better than that this year, while still enjoying ourselves!

These three recipes are from Prevention Magazine.

Candied Sweet Potatoes
Flip out: Brown sugar, marshmallows, butter
Flip in: Maple syrup, olive oil

Calorie savings: 93

Roast it!
Preheat oven to 375°F. Wash and peel 4 med sweet potatoes and cut into 1" pieces. Toss in large bowl with 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/4 c pure maple syrup, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, and 1/4 c chopped pecans. Place mixture in 13" x 9" baking dish and roast until fork-tender, about 40 minutes. Serves 4.

How to cut calories

Traditional versions of this dish call for lots of brown sugar and a cup of marshmallows--no surprise it's called "candied." Plus, recipes are generally brimming with butter, which is laden with saturated fat. It's why a serving can pack in 430 calories. Our slimmed-down rendition is sweetened with just a touch of antioxidant-rich maple syrup and has the same nutty flavor but only 237 calories and 1 g of saturated fat. 


Mashed Potatoes

Flip out: Heavy Cream
Flip in: Low-fat buttermilk

Calorie savings: 182

Make it!
Put 2 lbs of cubed Yukon Gold potatoes in a large pot, add 1 Tbsp salt, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Warm 1 c low-fat cultured buttermilk in a saucepan over low heat, being careful not to overheat. In a large bowl, mash the potatoes and pour in buttermilk; season with salt and pepper and finish with 1 ½ Tbsp butter. Top with 2 Tbsp chopped chives. Serves 4.

How to cut calories
Replacing heavy cream with low-fat buttermilk reduces artery-damaging saturated fats from 17 grams to 3. Buttermilk is thicker than regular milk, which helps the mashed potatoes retain their characteristic creamy texture, plus it’s also a source of probiotics—live beneficial bacteria that can boost immunity and improve digestion.


Pumpkin Pie

Flip out: Store-bought piecrust
Flip in: Quick graham cracker crust

Calorie savings: 175

Bake it!
Preheat oven to 375°F and coat 12-cup nonstick muffin pan with canola oil cooking spray. In small bowl, combine 3 Tbsp wheat germ, 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed, and two 2 1/2" graham cracker squares, crushed. Add 1 heaping teaspoon of the mixture to each muffin cup. Whisk 2 lg eggs and stir in one 15 oz can plain pumpkin puree, one 12 oz can fat-free evaporated milk, 2/3 c packed brown sugar, 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Pour evenly into cups. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until sides are set and filling jiggles slightly. Mix 3/4 c nonfat Greek yogurt with 1/4 c pure maple syrup; keep cool in the fridge. Let pies rest 10 to 15 minutes before removing from tins; top each with a dollop of the maple-yogurt mixture. Serves 12.

How to cut calories

Replacing the buttery crust with a thin layer of crushed graham crackers and nutty grains drops the calorie count from 316 to 141--without compromising flavor. Flaxseed adds heart- and brain-healthy omega-3s, while wheat germ boosts vitamin E, which helps control blood sugar. A piecrust that fights disease! What's not to love?


Courtesy of Bethenny Frankel:

Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake
Celebrate fall with this delicious marbled pumpkin cheesecake that looks fancy and tastes fabulous.
  • 1 ½ cups graham crackers, crushed finely (approximately 9-10)
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 8 oz. containers reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup raw sugar plus 2 teaspoons
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2  tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 can of 15 oz. pumpkin (do not substitute pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl, mix together the crushed graham crackers, butter, applesauce, and ground ginger. Press into the bottom, and about 1 inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake crust 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, ½ cup raw sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Mix eggs in one at a time, blending well after each. Set aside 1 cup of the mixture. Blend ¼ cup raw sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar and nutmeg into the remaining mixture.
  3. Spread the pumpkin flavored batter into the crust, and drop the plain batter by spoonfuls onto the top. Swirl with a knife to create a marbled effect.
  4. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until filling is set. Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Allow the cake to cool before removing pan rim. Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

 Hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

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