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Preparing Healthy Food During Holiday Season

Countdown for Christmas is on and with it the planning of party menu. Not only are there some wonderful healthy variations on the Traditional Christmas dinner, but there are some fabulous Party Food recipes that are just right for this busy time of year.

Just because a recipe calls for a specific ingredient doesn’t mean you must use that ingredient. Your favorite recipes can be modified to make them more nutritious or lower in fat by reducing or substituting ingredients that are more acceptable. This fact sheet will show you a few ways to decrease the amount of fat, calories, sugar and salt in your recipes.

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Skewers: It allows you to exercise instant fat and  portion control . Your meal-on-a-stick can contain a few juicy bites of meat or fish while its bulk is made up of colorful vegetables-capsicum, cherry, tomatoes, onion, quarters, corn.

Roasting Rack: Its fat-cutting favour works on the simple principle that, as meat or poultry roasts upon an elevated rack, the fat drips into a pan below, leaving the roast with less fat than if it were allowed to sit around in its own grease.

Non-Stick Cookware: A non-stick pan allows you to cook food using just a thin film oil. For instance, instead of coating a chicken breast with batter and frying it (which can double the fat), sauté it in a non-stick fry pan and you can virtually eliminate the fat.

A Cheese Grater: It will help you to measure out judicious amount of cheese, the most popular varieties of which can contain as much-or-more-fat as well-marbled red meat. The grater should also incorporate a slicer that will make ultra-thin cheese slices with less fuss than a knife.

Cooking Light

Wherever possible, avoid using butter, lard and other sources of saturated fat . Replace them with small amounts of unsaturated fats (e.g. vegetables, oils such as corn oil, groundnut oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil or olive oil).


Give that old Vinaigrette a new, slim look by altering proportions. Instead of the traditional three-to-one ration of oil to vinegar, try a one-to-one ration or even lower say, one part oil to two parts vinegar. You will get around 30 calories per tablespoon instead of the 90 you get in the standard version.

For a creamy, thick texture in dressings and dips, substitute sour cream and mayonnaise with pureed non-fat cottage cheese or low-fat cream, low-fat yogurt, skim milk or buttermilk as a base. Flavour with herbs and spices.

Sauces & Dips

Instead of mayonnaise-heavy tartar sauce for fish, try pureed cooked red peppers.

Beans can also give a dip a creamy texture without the fat. One hors oeuvres creation to try: Kidney beans pureed with garlic, red chilly powder, powdered cumin seed, lime juice, olive oil and salsa; stir in chopped onion and coriander leaves.

Make a guilt-free dip for crudités by beating in a few tablespoons of chopped spring onions into a cup of yogurt cheese.

Fill Up The Fiber

Buy baked goods made with whole grains such as rye breads, crack-wheat bread or oatmeal muffins.

Serve fruits set in jelly, in place of fruit juices.

Sprinkle bran on soups, on sandwiches, on sliced fruit…. on just about anything your imagination and inclination suggest.

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