Healthy Holiday Cooking Substitute: Coconut Milk for Heavy Cream
Classic holiday soups like pumpkin stews and crab bisque often call for non-diet-friendly heavy cream. By substituting coconut milk cup for cup, you’ll get the same creamy taste and texture for about half the calories—and no, the coconut taste won’t dominate the soup, we promise!
Healthy Holiday Cooking Substitute: Cacao Nibs for Chocolate Chips
These antioxidant-rich bits are unprocessed parts of cocoa beans used to make chocolate. Sub them in one to one where recipes call for chocolate chips to cut out additives such as sugar and dairy—you won’t notice any sweetness missing.
Healthy Holiday Cooking Substitute: Meringue for Frosting
Do you *really *want to dump that entire box of confectioners’ sugar into your mixer? DIY a fat-free meringue instead by combining two egg whites and four tablespoons of sugar in a high-speed blender and—voilà—icing with less guilt.
Healthy Holiday Cooking Substitute: Sliced Tomatoes for Jarred Marina Sauce
Chances are that jar of store-bought tomato sauce has lots of added sugar lurking inside. If you’re cooking a big lasagna feast for the holiday table, consider tossing in freshly sliced tomatoes for a fresher, healthier, and more eye-catching meal that’s packed with antioxidants.
Healthy Holiday Cooking Substitute: Unsweetened Applesauce for Oil
Reduce the amount of oil on the holiday table with applesauce. The fat-free puree can be used cup for cup in breads, muffins, and even boxed mixes for brownies and cakes.
Healthy Holiday Cooking Substitute: Vanilla Extract for White Sugar
Famous for your crisps, cobblers, and pies? You can* *skip white sugar altogether in your recipes by using vanilla extract, which is tasty and adds more flavor than sugar with fewer calories. Rule of thumb: Use two tablespoons of vanilla extract for every cup of sugar. This works in poached fruit recipes too.
Healthy Holiday Cooking Substitute: Nut Flours for White Flour
If you’re feeling daring, try a true recipe switch instead of an ingredient swap by using recipes that call for nut flours such as almond or chestnut instead of white flour. Nut flours are higher in fiber and protein than white flour, they’re gluten-free, and they even contain heart-healthy omega-3s. A caveat: Nut flours don’t rise like regular flour and can’t be swapped cup for cup, so it’s important to find a recipe that calls for the specific flour you’re using.
Healthy Holiday Cooking Substitute: Nutritional Yeast for Cheese
Don’t let the name put you off: Nutritional yeast flakes have a nutty, cheese like flavor that can be used on everything from mashed potatoes to roasted vegetables. And they can be combined with warm water and sea salt to make a vegan nacho cheese. At only 45 calories for a quarter cup, they’re worth a try—you can even mix with cheese to cut the calories if you can’t sacrifice all the real stuff.