Yes Virginia, There Really ARE Healthy Holiday Foods!

Don’t want to feel like the health freak at holiday festivities? Tired of being singled out as being the ‘one’ who spoils the party by not indulging in large amounts of sugar, cheese, creamy salads and rich desserts? Been accused of giving someone the ‘look’ as they bite into a jelly-filled pastry when you know they’re on a diet? (We know you didn’t mean to give them the eye, you were just trying to figure out how to make a healthier, lower fat version of it is all!)

Well, fear no more – you can camouflage a healthy dessert or dish as being the real deal and no one will know! And if you want to indulge, pick ONE full fat version to savor this holiday season.

The following list is a great place to start making healthy holiday changes. Some quick and easy, sweet and cheesy ways to cut the fat and calories and still be healthy:


* Shrimp cocktail instead of crab cakes.

* Veggie salsas and hummus instead of artichoke or spinach dips.

* Chopped red and green peppers, mushrooms and cucumber slices instead of salty chips.

* Strawberries and pineapple chunks dipped in 70% cacao melted dark chocolate.

* Include fat-free cheeses on a platter mixed in with fruit like sliced apples, pears and red grapes.

* Use plain nonfat yogurt instead of sour cream for dips.

Main Courses and Side Dishes:

* Skinless turkey and chicken.

* Turkey ham slices or turkey meatballs.

* Low sodium/low fat gravies (store in the refrigerator to skim off even more fat).

* Mashed cauliflower or yams instead of traditional white potatoes – use chicken broth or skim milk instead of butter to make them creamy.

* Whole grain (and possibly gluten-free) biscuits and rolls instead of buttery biscuits.

* Use plain nonfat yogurt to top your side dishes with – boost its flavor with spices and herbs – it’s better than sour cream!

Desserts and Fancy Drinks:

* Want to toast the celebration but don’t want the egg nog or Bailey’s Irish Cream? Drink champagne or wine mixed with tonic water to make spritzers. Top them off with frozen berries or fruit slices.

* Warm, homemade ginger snaps are wonderful, and make good replacements for frosted sugar cookies.

* Gluten-free crust or crustless pumpkin pie instead of cheesecake.

* When using oil and eggs in recipes, many times unsweetened applesauce will suffice.

For the most part, I eat healthy versions of food around the holidays. This year my pick for total indulgence to savor will be the piece of red velvet cake with my name on it. I plan on enjoying each and every bite of it!

Happy, Healthy, Safe Holiday Greetings to You and Yours from Oaktree Wellness Center!