Did you know that the average Thanksgiving Day meal contains around 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat? If the thought of consuming two days worth of calories in one meal has you calculating the hours you’ll need to spend on the treadmill to work it off, then you might want to read on.
You can have your turkey and gravy and slash that calorie count in half with a few substitutions and watching your serving size. Here’s how:
- Opt for less-fatty white meat over dark.
- When making gravy, use packaged low fat turkey stock not full-fat drippings. If you choose to use turkey drippings, cool or refrigerate first so that the fat floats to the surface where it solidifies and can be removed.
- Use whole-wheat stuffing over white bread or cornbread stuffing and use skim milk, low fat turkey or chicken stock and egg whites instead of whole milk and whole eggs.
- Instead of green bean casserole, sauté green beans in olive oil with sliced mushrooms or slivered almonds.
- Whether you serve mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes, keep it simple and low fat by substituting low fat milk for cream and skipping the butter. An alternative to decadent sweet potato casserole is to boil fresh sweet potatoes until fork tender, mash them up and add vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and low fat milk. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts and lightly drizzle with honey or maple syrup.
- Using this cranberry relish recipe is another way to save calories over canned sauces.
- Choose whole-wheat dinner rolls over traditional white rolls.
- As for dessert, choose pumpkin pie over pecan pie and save about 300 calories. Or better yet, try one of these two dessert recipes:
Tofu Pumpkin Pudding
This dessert tastes like pumpkin pie without the crust.
1 (16 oz.) can pumpkin
¾ c. granulated sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1 (10 oz.) pkg. soft silken tofu, blended in blender until smooth
Preheat oven to 425°. Cream together the pumpkin and sugar. Add the salt, spice and blended tofu mixing until thoroughly blended together. Pour into a greased 8 x 8 inch pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 350° and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until set. Makes 9 servings.
Nutritional information per serving: Calories: 122; Total Fat: 2 g; Saturated Fat: 0 g; Sodium: 284 mg; Carbohydrate: 23 g; Fiber: 0 g; Protein: 3 g.
Whole-wheat flour and less sugar per serving than cakes or pies make this a light but festive holiday treat.
Nonstick cooking spray
2 c. whole-wheat all-purpose flour
1 c. white all-purpose flour
1 c. sugar
1 T. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 egg white
1-2/3 c. skim milk
¼ c. oil
5 oz. dried cranberries
2 oz. chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease loaf pan with cooking spray. Stir together all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Pour into loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Makes 16 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: Calories: 268; Total Fat: 8 g; Saturated Fat: 1 g; Sodium: 197 mg; Carbohydrate: 43 g; Fiber: 2 g; Protein: 6 g.
Get more good-for-you recipes like these in the cookbook Wholesome Temptation, which was developed by experts in supporting good health through nutrition.
For more tips on holiday grazing that won’t expand your waistline, try Holiday Foods: Eat This, Avoid That.