Gator Nation News

Healthy (& Yummy) Holiday Recipe “Swaps”

Beat the battle of the holiday bulge with lower-calorie recipes that are big on festive flavor.

The holiday season is here! And when people come together to celebrate, there is food — lots of it — and often on the rich side. (Think, creamy, gooey casseroles, butter-laden mashed potatoes and indulgent cakes and pies.) That can present a conundrum if you’re trying to eat healthy: How to feast with family and friends without gaining weight or clogging up your arteries?

Fortunately, the experts at UF/IFAS have got you covered. With the aid of registered dietitian nutritionist Andrea Nikolai (Family and Consumer Science Agent for Polk County Extension), UF/IFAS has created a timely infographic with food-swap options for your next holiday menu. The Healthy Holiday Swaps infographic highlights alternatives to 10 traditional dishes that pack on the pounds, with healthy substitutions suggested below each.

Try roasted Brussel sprouts with balsamic vinegar instead of creamy vegetable casserole, for instance. Or pass over corn-syrup-laden pecan pie for rustic pear tart.

To help health-conscious Gators stay on track, Nikolai has pulled together tested recipes for four of the most popular Healthy Holiday Swaps, which are sure to please foodies and calorie-watchers alike. Follow the easy steps below to create lighter dishes that are big on holiday flavor.