Nutrition Articles

Calories Are Coming to Town

You Better Watch Out!

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Is your holiday eating already in full swing? Have you sampled the foil-wrapped chocolate at the bank, dunked the office Christmas cookies in your morning coffee, or taken your famous dessert to the neighborhood gathering?

Among the most cherished of holiday traditions is sharing special foods—especially desserts and sweets. While many of these favorites are heavy on sugar and fat, you don’t have to feel guilty about splurging. You can still enjoy those special dessert recipes by following these tips.

Healthy Holiday Substitutions:
  • Use canned applesauce or plums in cake and pie recipes as a healthier alternative to butter, margarine, or oil.
  • When muffin and quick bread recipes call for fat (such as oil), try reducing it by one-third to one-half. You won’t even miss it.
  • In ice cream desserts, use ice milk or low-fat frozen yogurt.
  • Save the fat by using cocoa powder instead of chocolate. Substitute three tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder for each ounce of unsweetened chocolate in baked goods such as cakes or cookies. For chocolate fillings, you may need to add one or two teaspoons of oil in addition to the cocoa.
  • Replace heavy cream in puddings, cheesecakes, and cream pies with evaporated skim milk.
  • Use nonfat yogurt as a substitute for sour cream. Two egg whites can be substituted for each whole egg in many baked recipes.
  • Since much of the fat in cake comes from the frosting, try topping cakes with fresh fruit, fruit sauce, or a sprinkle of confectioner’s sugar.
  • Use Splenda brand sweetener in place of all or part of the sugar in baked goodies. It works great in pie fillings and puddings too. Follow the baking tips on the box and visit www.splenda.com for ideas.
  • Decrease the amount of nuts used in a recipe by half, substituting it with Grape-Nuts cereal to keep the crunch and texture.
  • Reduce the amount of chocolate chips or nuts in a recipe by one-fourth. No one will even notice!
  • Use fat-free whipped cream in place of regular whipped cream.
  • Substitute skim milk for regular milk.
Cut Even More Calories by Cutting Down On Size:
  • Cut pies into 10 slices (instead of the standard 6-8 slices).
  • Cut cakes and brownies into bite size pieces.
  • Bake bite-size cookies and muffins.
To savor the flavor of every bite, slow down and enjoy your dessert with a cup of herbal tea, flavored coffee, or low-fat, sugar-free cocoa. Enhance the flavor by using fat-free half and half, fat-free whipped cream, colored sugars, and sugar-free sweeteners. Yummy! Now that’s a taste of heaven!
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About The Author

Becky Hand Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. A certified health coach through the Cooper Institute with a master's degree in health education, she makes nutrition principles practical, easy-to-apply and fun. See all of Becky's articles.

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