The holidays are a time for family, friends, and of course, delicious food! But if you’re on track for your goals this season, all those holiday treats can be a real diet-buster. Never fear, though! With a few simple tips, you can enjoy all your favorite Christmas baked goods without feeling guilty after it’s over and falling off course to achieving your goals. Here are four easy tips for healthier holiday baking:
GREEK YOGURT IS KEY
Use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream. Greek yogurt is a great sour cream substitute because it’s just as thick and creamy, but it’s much lower in fat and calories. You can use Greek yogurt in any recipe that calls for sour cream, from dips to desserts. Just be sure to buy plain Greek yogurt; the flavored varieties are often loaded with sugar.
GET RID OF THE BUTTER
Cut back on the butter. Butter is a key ingredient in many holiday favorites, but it’s also high in saturated fat. To cut back on the butter without sacrificing flavor or texture, try using a 50/50 mix of butter and olive oil. You’ll never even taste the difference!
In this instance, even just aiming to use less is a win. Remember, we’re trying to decrease the amount of calories consumed here, so using less is also a way to make a healthier version of the treat!
FIND SUGAR ALTERNATIVES
Use fruit to sweeten your baked goods. Ditch the refined sugar this holiday season and sweeten your treats with fresh fruit instead. Pureed bananas make an excellent sugar replacement in cakes and quick breads, while applesauce can be used to cut the sugar in cookies and muffins. Not only will you save calories, but your baked goods will also be packed with nutrients!
MINI VERSIONS ARE IN-SEASON
Make mini versions of your favorites. One way to control portion sizes (and calorie counts) is to bake mini versions of your favorite holiday treats. Use a mini muffin tin to make bite-sized cookies or cupcakes, or use small ramekins to bake individual portions of pies and cobblers. By making smaller servings, you can indulge without going overboard!
And, they also look cuter, too!
With these four simple tips, you can enjoy all your favorite Christmas baked goods without packing on the pounds. By cutting back on butter and sugar and using healthy substitutes like Greek yogurt and fruit, you can have your cake (or cookie) and eat it too! So go ahead and indulge this holiday season—and feel successful when it’s over and done with!
And if you need some guidance on how to approach the holiday season, you can always book a FREE Nutrition Consult here.