The holidays make for a wonderful time of year and it can be a great time to try several new dishes. With everything the holidays have to offer, enjoying food with family is one of the best traditions. The holiday foods are often filled with calories, sugar and fat and can be a really easy way to stray from your diet. If you are looking to try some new dishes this year for the holidays that are healthier, here are five suggestions.
1. Instead of serving chips and dip at your holiday gathering, hummus and pita bread could be a great healthy alternative. Pita bread is often made from wheat and has a lot of essential nutrients without being too full of starch. Hummus comes in a variety of flavors and styles and can be a great dip to use instead of standard ranch dip. Hummus often comes in garlic and tomato or basil flavors which all provide you with some of the best essential vitamins and minerals. Making these items available as a holiday dish is certainly healthier than traditional chips and dip and it also looks very festive. To add another healthy touch to the hummus and pita bread, you can sprinkle tomatoes on them or add your own unique blend of herbs.
2. Ginger squash soup could also add a healthy option to your holiday menu and it serves itself as a wonderful appetizer to the main course. You can just make the soup from squash, which is a vegetable containing many healthy minerals and then sprinkle some ginger into it. You might also think of adding healthy spices such as onion and garlic, which can make this soup rich with antioxidants and vitamins. When it comes to squash soup you can not go wrong on adding a personal touch to it, just look for fresh herbs and spices to turn this into an incredibly healthy holiday dish.
3. Meatballs are a traditional holiday favorite, but you can add a variety of different ingredients to them to make them healthier. Instead of just meatballs, you could add cranberry sauce to make them a little healthier and they will also turn out sweet to satisfy your sweet tooth. Cranberry sauce is a great addition to just about anything you have cooking this holiday season and it is full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Most people enjoy meatballs with barbecue sauce, but this is full of sugar and unhealthy ingredients that can make you feel bloated and sick if you eat too much. Adding some cranberry sauce will make the meatballs tender and juicy while adding a healthy touch to a classic holiday dish.
4. For a holiday such as Thanksgiving where you normally serve turkey, there are several ways to make this a healthier food for your family. Turkey could be cooked with basil, garlic, sage, onions, tomatoes or lemon juice for a healthier option. You could add so many different ingredients to your turkey to make it healthier, but the best options include the garlic and sage. Garlic and sage are two of the most nutritious spices you could use to add flavor to your turkey and provide a unique taste for all to enjoy. Garlic and sage have a lot of benefits including for your heart and skin and they are also wonderful antioxidants. If you are not a fan of garlic or sage then you can add basil and tomatoes with onions for a more festive option. The additions to the turkey you choose will benefit the taste of the turkey and will go a long way at helping turn an ordinary meal into unique and healthy.
5. Wild rice stuffing is a new spin on one of the most classic holiday dishes, cornbread stuffing. Wild rice stuffing features a variety of foods that come together to make a healthier option than traditional stuffing. Brown rice and wild rice have a lot of essential nutrients in them and then you add some healthy vegetables. Green onions, celery and mushroom are just a few of the items you can add to make this healthy stuffing. Using a low-sodium chicken bullion will also help turn this into a delicious but yet healthy stuffing to cook for the holidays.
Heart Healthy Online Staff, “Holiday Recipes Made Heart Healthy”, Heart Healthy Online
Myself, personal experience