Every family has its favorite holiday recipes. And, let’s be honest, some of them aren’t all that good for you (we’re looking at you, sweet potato pie with marshmallows). But you can capture the essence of your favorite flavors without the processed vegetable oil and sugar, says Amy Gannon, MEd, RD, LD, of Cleveland Clinic Wellness:
- Send in the spices. Look for recipes that make the most of the spices and flavors we associate with the fall and winter seasons: Cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, sage and rosemary add seasonal flavor without added sugar, salt or saturated fats.
- Start smart. Begin with a nutritious base, such as sweet potatoes, pumpkin, apples or green beans, and work from there. It’s much easier to make healthy and tasty meals when your main ingredient nourishes.
- Practice your prep. Knowing how to prepare and cook fresh, whole foods is an important first step in keeping the rest of the dish healthy, since you can let the natural flavors shine through on their own.
Before you finalize your menu, do some online research, says Gannon: There’s a good chance you’ll find nourishing versions of family favorites. Most recipes come complete with user reviews to give you a good idea of its popularity as a crowd pleaser.