By Lisa De Beer, Registered Dietitian, Your Independent Grocer Muskoka
The countdown to the holiday season has begun! Many of us look forward to the holidays, as they are often filled with fun times spent with family and friends and lots of great tasting food. Due to our world being constantly bombarded with “diet culture” messaging, it can sometimes be challenging to truly embrace an “ALL FOODS CAN FIT” mindset so that you can enjoy your holiday feasts guilt free. It is my hope this season that you and your families savour every morsel of food that you enjoy without guilt.
I sometimes have clients ask me if there are ways that they can make some of their favourite holiday recipes more nutrient dense. So, as your local Muskoka Registered Dietitian, I thought I would share some of my top recipe/ingredient swaps.
Charcuterie boards with cheese, crackers, fruits, etc. can be a great addition to any holiday party because they are customizable and the options are endless. Including whole grain crackers, swapping out some of the deli meat with nuts and seeds and adding a wide variety of fruits and vegetables will add extra fibre, vitamins and minerals and heart healthy fats to your appy! These options will pair well with your favorite meats and cheeses and the added colour from the fruits and vegetables will make for a visually appealing board!
Homemade cakes and cookies
Most people will want to enjoy their holiday baking without modifications and stick with their trusted, tried, and true recipes. If you are looking for some recipe swap ideas, you can consider the ideas below:
- Replace ½ of the fat in your recipe with the same amount of unsweetened applesauce, pureed pure pumpkin or mashed banana
- Replace each whole egg with 2 egg whites or a flax egg made by soaking 1 Tbsp of ground flaxseed and 2 ½ Tbsp of water for five minutes or until water is absorbed and mixture is thickened
- Reduce the sugar called for in a recipe by 1/3 without the need to replace it
- Replace up to ½ of the white flour in a recipe with whole wheat flour to increase the fibre content
Alcoholic drinks and mocktails
Swapping freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice for flavoured syrups can help to reduce the sugar content of your cocktails. In addition, the juices with also add extra vitamins and fibre to your drinks if you add the pulp
Swapping in sparkling water instead of pop in your mixed drinks can also help to reduce your sugar intake. The sky is the limit when it comes to flavour options for sparkling water these days!
Some people enjoy the tart taste of kombucha, a fermented drink, as an addition to their favorite drink. In addition to a flavour boost, kombucha may also offer benefits for your gut health.
Wishing you and your family a very happy holidays filled with peace, joy, and love! As you enter 2023, if you are looking for help to begin a new health journey, better manage a chronic disease, learn more about reading labels or navigate the sea of available options in the grocery aisles, I am here to help. To learn more about my nutrition services and how I might be able to help you, start by booking a free 15-minute discovery call with me at dietitianservices.ca today!
Sweet Potato Poutine with Mushroom Lentil Gravy
- 4 sweet potatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp each of salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp PC® Unsalted Country Churned Butter
- 1 pkg PC® Whole Cremini Mushrooms
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 cups PC® Organics Vegetable Broth
- 1/2 cup PC® Blue Menu® Green Lentils cooked
- 1 tbsp PC® Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup cheddar cheese curds
- Arrange 1 oven rack in bottom third of oven. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
- Peel sweet potatoes; halve lengthwise. Cut each half lengthwise into 4 wedges. Transfer to large bowl; add oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Spread in single layer on parchment paper-lined large, rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake in bottom third of oven, turning sweet potatoes once, until golden and slightly crispy, 35 to 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt 1 tbsp butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring often, until softened and golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Add remaining 1 tbsp butter; cook, stirring, until melted. Add flour; cook, stirring, 1 minute.
- Stir in broth, lentils, and soy sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer; cook, stirring occasionally, until thick enough to coat back of spoon, about 10 minutes. (If necessary, gradually stir in more broth or water to reach desired consistency.) Stir in parsley. Keep warm.
- Divide sweet potatoes among small serving dishes. Top with cheese curds and mushroom mixture, dividing evenly.