Trim the Fat at Thanksgiving
With all the mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and sweet potato casserole passed around the dinner table on Thanksgiving, it's no surprise that this is one of the more calorie-heavy holidays. However, putting together a traditional dinner that's lower in fat and calories is a snap with a few simple substitutions. The best way to make sure you are being health conscious while whipping up delicious dishes is to plan ahead, this will help avoid falling prey to those more indulgent impulse buys. ZipList, the online and mobile grocery list service lets you create and categorize shopping lists, as well as search and save healthy recipes, so you have everything you need to prepare for the big day.
1) Skip the Whole Bird. If you're hosting a smaller group, opt for a turkey breast rather than a whole turkey. White, breast meat is lower in calories than the dark meat you find in thighs and drumsticks.
2) Stick with Cooking Spray. If you choose to roast a whole turkey, spray the skin with a low-fat cooking spray rather than butter or oil to save on fat and calories.
3) Mix Up Your Mashed Potatoes. Re-think butter in your mashed potatoes too. Instead, mix in the cooking water, which will give the potatoes a creamier texture. Use broth or evaporated skim milk for extra flavor.
4) Change Your Gravy Strategy. Gravy can be one of the most calorie-packed items on the dinner table. To make gravy more calorie-friendly, use vegetable oil rather than turkey drippings to reduce saturated fat. Even better, make a broth-based or vegetarian gravy.
5) Go Low-Fat or Fat-Free: If you must use cream, butter or sour cream in your recipes, look for low-fat or fat-free versions. If green bean casserole is on your list, opt for 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup. These simple substitutions can cut the fat without compromising on flavor.
6) Take the Fat Out of Your Eggs: If you're baking pies or cakes that require eggs, substitute two egg whites for one egg. Or, look for an egg substitute to cut down on fat and cholesterol.
7) Re-Think Your Pie Crusts. Interestingly, most of the fat from holiday pies comes from the crust. Try a recipe with a reduced-fat graham cracker crust, like this pumpkin pie recipe found on ZipList, which you can add to your recipe box and shopping list with one click.
8) Watch the Whipped Cream. Make your own whipped cream using evaporated milk instead of heavy whipping cream to cut the fat in half. Or, look for non-dairy whipped cream options at the supermarket.
To keep calories in check on Thanksgiving Day, grab this checklist of Healthy Thanksgiving Substitutions or quickly add each item to your ZipList shopping list. (Check out the GalTime Recipe Box powered by Ziplist. It saves all your recipes and will organize your ingredients into a shopping list. There's even an app to send all your shopping list to your phone when you shop!)