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The weight we gain from eating too much between Thanksgiving and New Year’s seems to get harder and harder to take off, despite our best resolutions.
Saralee Jamieson, University of Missouri Extension human development specialist, offers some tips for eating lighter and healthier over the holidays:
-Substitute nonfat milk or evaporated skim milk in recipes that call for cream or whole milk. Most people can’t tell the difference. Other cream substitutes include nonfat sour cream, nonfat yogurt or nonfat ricotta cheese.
-For mashed potatoes, start with a naturally buttery, yellow-fleshed variety like Yukon Gold. Steam the potatoes, and then mash them with skim milk, garlic cloves, nonfat sour cream and chives.
-The new MyPlate guidelines recommend filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables, so play up the vegetables and salads on your holiday menu and play down the meats and sweets. Instead of sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows, serve them plain in their skins or mash them with grated orange peel and some cinnamon.
-Cook vegetables with mushrooms, chestnuts, garlic, fennel and other herbs. Toast a dish of sliced parsnips, turnips, carrots and potatoes in the oven with olive oil and branches of thyme.
-Baste your turkey with defatted chicken stock or chicken stock combined with apple juice. Rub the bird with a little canola or olive oil.
-Instead of making gravy with hot pan drippings, scrape out the pan, put the drippings in the freezer for a quick chill, and then discard the fat that rises to the top. Reheat the liquid and thicken it with fine-milled flour shaken through a fine sieve.
-Use stock instead of fat to moisten stuffing. Add herbs, onions, celery and other healthy ingredients.
-For dessert, serve pumpkin pudding instead of pumpkin pie. Cook it in individual baking dishes.
-Snack on seasonal fruits. Fill bowls with apples, clementines, tangerines, persimmons and figs rather than salty nuts and hors d’oeuvres.
-Serve cranberry sorbet or pears in wine sauce as a dessert option.
-When it’s time to eat, just keep portions reasonable and avoid turkey skin. If you can’t resist trying all three desserts, keep the portions small.
Most of all, enjoy spending time with your family and friends and creating new family traditions and memories.