5 Healthy Makeovers for Holiday Sides

The holidays are a time for friends, family and delicious, but often calorie- and fat-laden foods.

From a cream-less mash to a less-sugary cranberry relish, use these healthy swap tips for your side dishes this holiday season.

Steam, Don't Soak

Many holiday green bean side dishes are soaked in butter and oils. Instead, make steamed green beans with almond slices, cinnamon and nutmeg. Green beans will keep you full longer. Adding almond slices will give the dish an extra crunch, and provide your body with protein and heart-healthy fats. And mixing in a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg not only boosts flavor, but these spices have also been proven to increase your metabolism, curb sugar cravings, and leave you more satisfied after your meal.

More: The Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Mix Up Your Mash

Instead of heavy cream-based mashed potatoes make garlic-cauliflower mashed potatoes. Simply steam the cauliflower, then drain and put it in a food processor until it's mashed to your liking. Add some garlic, which is great for cardiovascular health, and a dollop of Greek yogurt for a richer and creamier taste. Cauliflower is a good source of potassium, calcium and plant protein. It also contains immunity boosting antioxidants such as manganese and vitamin C.

More: 8 Foods That Are Surprisingly Healthy

Ditch Bread-Based Stuffing

Instead of classic stuffing, bake a healthy acorn squash, butternut squash, sweet potato and parsnip stuffing. Squash and sweet potatoes contain high amounts of vitamins A and C, which boost the immune system and enhance the skin.

More: 18 Healthy Holiday Ingredient Swaps

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About the Author

Carina Sohaili

Carina Sohaili is the founder of Vibrant Healthy Life and a board-certified celebrity nutrition and health counselor. Carina also serves as a featured health expert, on-camera health host, writer and nutrition consultant, and is a regular "Mindful Munch" columnist on Guiliana Rancic's website, Fab Fit Fun.

Carina Sohaili is the founder of Vibrant Healthy Life and a board-certified celebrity nutrition and health counselor. Carina also serves as a featured health expert, on-camera health host, writer and nutrition consultant, and is a regular "Mindful Munch" columnist on Guiliana Rancic's website, Fab Fit Fun.

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