Sticking to a healthy eating routine throughout the holiday season is easier said than done - but it’s not impossible. Picture: Pexels/Anastasia Belousova
Sticking to a healthy eating routine throughout the holiday season is easier said than done - but it’s not impossible. Picture: Pexels/Anastasia Belousova

4 healthy holiday cooking substitutions to try

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Dec 30, 2021

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Sticking to a healthy eating routine throughout the holiday season is easier said than done - but it’s not impossible.

If you think ahead, you can use healthy ingredient substitutions to enjoy your favourite holiday recipes without getting off track.

Below, the team at Herbalife shares some ideas to help you create lasting holiday memories without constantly worrying about your healthy eating goals.

Substitute sugar in desserts with fruit.

For anyone on a health journey, sugar is one of the biggest culprits that can prevent you from reaching your goals.

Yet, biting into something sweet at the end of the meal is something most of us look forward to.

So, instead of depriving yourself, find a good compromise with fruit. Berries, pineapple, litchis, grapes, watermelon, and pawpaw are great sweet fruits to satisfy your cravings without piling on the kilos.

Opt for a fruit bowl with optional ice cream on the side or pile a sugar-free cake high with fruit and skip the icing.

Pick sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes.

In general, sweet potatoes are healthier than your regular potato.

They are packed with vitamin A and C and have a lower carb index than white potatoes.

The best part about sweet potatoes, much like regular potatoes, is their versatility. Boil them, roast them in the oven, chop them up and chuck them in the air fryer – there are so many ways you can enjoy them while sticking to your health goals.

Just be mindful of your toppings.

Ditch the cheese, sour cream, and butter, and serve them with a yoghurt dressing or dipping sauce instead. A little bit of garlic, salt, and pepper never hurt either.

Infused waters are always a win.

Nothing is keeping you from swopping out boozy drinks for water. For starters, it will help you and your guests stay hydrated.

Consider adding ginger, cucumber, blueberries, raspberries, and gooseberries, or any of your favourite seasonal fruit. Adding these is a great way to spruce up the taste.

You can also add aloe concentrates or instant herbal teas and enjoy it as a delicious drink.

For a delicious pairing, you can also opt for carbonated water.

Grill instead of fry.

If you don’t have access to an air fryer, your best option is to grill your food. Get a braai going, or use another dry heat source to cook those tasty morsels.

Of course, fried foods are delicious and tend to be crispier, but grilling your food won’t absorb as much fat, making it a much healthier alternative.

And as the food grills, all the fat from the meat or veggies drips off the food, leaving you with a leaner substitute.

Just because you’re on a health journey doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself and your guests of enjoying the holiday season.

By making small adjustments to how you usually prepare food and drinks, you can still slay your goals, stay healthy, and keep your guests satisfied too.

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