18 Healthy Holiday Ingredient Swaps

Green Bean Casserole Swaps

Replace the green bean casserole, popularized by a well-known soup company, with saut?ed green beans garnished with almonds. Add a few other vegetable sides to the buffet and people won't even notice the soupy classic is missing.

  • Sautee Brussels sprouts with garlic and finish with lemon zest, grated Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper.
  • A rustic roasted vegetable medley combines the best of the fall harvest. Combine chopped parsnips, beets, carrots, yams and rutabagas with a drizzle of olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper, and roast until golden brown.
  • Roast a head of garlic and use it to top veggies in place of butter.

Eggnog, Mulled Wine and Other Beverages Swaps

Exchange high-fat eggnog, sugary mulled wine and high-calorie cocktails for healthier options such as hot chocolate made with skim milk, wine spritzers and hot apple cider. Keep your system clean by sipping lemon water throughout the day and with meals. When drinking wine, red is healthier than white, as it contains antioxidants.

Dessert Swaps

Yes, you can have your holiday cake (or cookies or pie) and eat it, too. Heed these tips for guilt-free treats.

  • Use almond or coconut milk instead of condensed milk.
  • Sweeten with grade B maple sugar or raw honey. (This may not work with all recipes.)
  • Replace butter or shortening with organic coconut oil. Even mixing half butter with half coconut oil is beneficial.
  • Use whole-wheat flour or almond flour in pastry crust recipes. Or, go crustless.
  • Instead of prepared pie crust, use phyllo dough. For an average-size pie, thaw five sheets of phyllo dough. Coat each sheet with cooking spray and layer in a pie pan. Fill and bake.
  • Prepare a fruit galette. This "open face" tart is essentially a pie without the top crust.
  • Opt for a fruit crisp. Top apples, peaches, pears or any combination with a mixture of oatmeal, natural brown sugar and a small amount of butter or a butter/coconut fat mixture.
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About the Author

Maria Connor

Maria Connor has worked as a freelance writer, journalist and author in print and digital media for more than 10 years. Her publishing credits include daily and weekly newspapers, regional lifestyle magazines, national trade journals, academic texts and full- and novella-length fiction. When she's not writing, she runs, walks and concocts healthy dishes for her picky eaters at home.

Maria Connor has worked as a freelance writer, journalist and author in print and digital media for more than 10 years. Her publishing credits include daily and weekly newspapers, regional lifestyle magazines, national trade journals, academic texts and full- and novella-length fiction. When she's not writing, she runs, walks and concocts healthy dishes for her picky eaters at home.

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