Sunday, November 28, 2010

Trim Down Fat and Calories from Your Favorite Comfort Foods!

With the holidays upon us, our minds immediately go to thoughts of yummy dishes and desserts. I know my family starts talking about their favorite dishes that I make but once a year for the holidays,as soon as September rolls around. I'm sure this is the case with you and your family.

Foods can be such a comfort to us, especially in the cold winter months, not only because they taste so wonderful, but because they bring back many happy memories and traditions. Unfortunately, many of our favorite comfort foods are high in fat and calories. But don't fret because there are ways to trim down some of your heart-warming family favorites. Just making some small changes to the ingredients can help reduce a lot of the fat contents, as well as salt and empty calories. Here are some suggestions for you to consider:

1. If you are making a dip that calls for cream cheese, be sure to use the 1/3 less fat variety, or substitute 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese blended with 1/2 cup of fat-free cream cheese. Adding crushed garlic and other spices can really spruce it up too. Serve with whole-grain crackers.

2. Instead of using heavy cream when making creamy soups or casseroles, use fat-free evaporated milk instead.

3. Add lots of fiber and protein to your soups and stews by adding beans. They will not change the taste of what you are making and they are extremely healthy for you.

4. Substitute applesauce for butter and oil in your baked goods. Just a 1/2 cup apple sauce equals 1 cup of oil or butter.

5. Many people like to put out a plate of cookies or candies to decorate their table during the holidays and for guests to nibble on when they stop by. Why not put out a bowl of nuts with a nut cracker handy and some fresh fruit like clementines, or oranges and apples. Fruit goes great with nuts and is a wonderful snack. Be sure the fruit is washed and ready to eat.

6. When making your favorite homemade pies and breads, be sure to use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour. You will add lots of fiber and turn your simple-sugar dessert bread into a complex carbohydrate food bread.

7. Remember eggs are good for us, but for those who love to eat them and are watching their cholesterol as well, why not use egg beaters to cook with instead of whole eggs. Your dishes come out just as wonderful, you can eat the batter if you like (no worries about salmonella because they are pasteurized), and you can save the eggs in your diet for eating them as a meal where you can really enjoy them rather than in baked goods.

8. When making anything with ground beef, try substituting ground turkey instead. There is much less fat and cholesterol and your dishes taste virtually the same.

9. Love sausage? Try chicken sausage in your dishes or just at it plain. It has much less fat and is absolutely delicious!

10. When making mashed potatoes, eliminate the butter and use only skim milk to make them. They come out just as wonderfully fluffy and you save tons of calories.

Remember, you can enjoy desserts and yummy foods, just watch your portion size. Eating a small portion of dessert will help you fit dessert into your meal plan without sacrificing nutrition or your slim figure!

Happy Holidays and I'll see you on YouTube,
- YouTips4U

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