10 Tips For A Healthier Holiday Season Slideshow

1. Slim Down Dips and Sauces

Use creamy Greek-style yogurt as a base for easy savory or sweet dips and sauces in place of mayonnaise, sour cream, or processed store-bought dips. That classic artichoke and spinach dip will never be the same! — AR

2. Eat the Peel

Save yourself time while increasing nutrients and fiber by not peeling. Some of the richest nutritional value is found in the skin of potatoes, sweet potatoes, fruit, and other holiday ingredients. — AR

3. A Healthier Mash

Think beyond mashed potatoes and serve puréed cauliflower, squash, turnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, or even beans. They pack a higher nutrient punch and have more natural flavor, which will reduce the need to load in the cream and butter. — AR

Click here to see the Mashed Cauliflower recipe.

4. Add Some Spice to Your Life

Use ethnic spices like smoked Spanish paprika, cumin, curry, harissa, turmeric, or Asian five-spice to add exciting flavors to classic recipes without increasing the fat or calories. Experiment with creating your own signature blends. — AR

5. Try Alternative Grains

Substitute protein-packed whole grains like farro or quinoa in your favorite rice or pasta recipes. A single serving of quinoa packs eight grams of protein, while white rice contains only half that amount. — AR

6. Stick to Natural Products

Cooking for gluten-free guests? Watch out for hidden culprits. Many brands of turkey and ham are injected with flavoring solutions or contain seasonings that may include wheat. Stick with an all-natural product and brine or season in your own kitchen for a moist meat. — OD

7. Make Sure to Read Labels

Bouillon cubes, canned broths, and jarred gravies can contain an outrageous amount of sodium, MSG, and other things you can't pronounce. Always read the labels or better yet — make what you can from scratch. — TDM

8. Slowing Down

Take a break! Quality over quantity should be your mantra this holiday season. Instead of loading your plate with second helpings, prepare to-go containers for your guests. For food safety, remember to allow heated foods to come to room temperature before putting in the refrigerator. — TDM

9. Cut Back on Fat

Many classic sauce recipes call for beurre manié (kneaded flour and butter) as a thickener, but potato starch or cornstarch are great substitutions without any of the saturated fat. Dissolve in a bit of cold water and whisk away! — OD

10. Lighter Eggnog Options

For a festive drink without the heart-stopping cholesterol of eggnog, try a warm mug of almond, soy, or coconut milk with the traditional splash of bourbon and freshly grated nutmeg. — TDM