Don’t let the holidays spoil your healthy eating habits. See what our guest blogger has to say about healthy foods to serve over the holidays.
The Best Healthy Foods to Serve for Holiday Dinner
Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner can be a feast of healthy meals filled with nutrition and flavor for keeping the family fit and happy. Choose a variety of colors, textures and flavors to make an unforgettable spread and beautiful presentation. From the appetizer to the entrée, all the way to desserts and beverages, there are many healthy options that you can prepare and eat for the holidays without feeling guilty.
You can cut hundreds of calories from traditional Christmas dinners without sacrificing flavor. Many classic Christmas ingredients are actually healthy food and it is only in the way that they are prepared that they can become high-calorie, high in fat, and unhealthy. For example, turkey itself is actually lean meat, filled with beneficial nutrients. Whether it is dark meat or white meat, turkey contains an amino acid known as tryptophan, which is crucial for the body to produce certain proteins that help build new cells. Tryptophan may also help alleviate symptoms of multiple sclerosis and soothe overactive immune system of autoimmune diseases.
In addition, turkey also provides the body with B vitamins, which are essential in energy production. Most of the fat in turkey is contained in the skin. If you remove the skin in turkey, you reduce around 40 calories per portion. Turkey breast is lower in calorie than the leg or thigh. Before cooking the turkey, you can prick the skin to allow the fat to drain out and lessen the total calories. Cook the turkey on a trivet or rack so that it does not sit on the fat. Do not use butter or rich ingredients to baste the turkey. Instead, use fresh and aromatic herbs that are high in cancer-fighting antioxidants and vitamins.
For side dishes, choose roasted vegetables of different colors and textures such as sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips, onions, garlic, and potatoes. Chestnuts also make a delicious side dish or stuffing, low in fat and rich in potassium. Combine it with dried fruits and wheat bread for a filling and low-calorie dish, instead of sausage meat stuffing. Don’t forget to include green leafy vegetables in your menu, tossed with roasted walnuts and cranberries or peaches. Collard greens, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, and spinach are especially nutritious and full of flavor.
Written by: Angel Vicky, Writer for Gourmandia
About the Author:
Angel Vicky writes for Gourmandia and is a freelance web designer, writer for food, and loves cooking. For her, food has been a life journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and as she continues along her own culinary path, she hopes to share some of the lessons and flavors learned along the way.