I find myself baking more often during the holiday season. Do you have any tips for lightening things up (and not licking the bowl)?
If you find yourself in the kitchen more around the holidays, where temptations abound, it can be a source of stress, especially to your waistline. The good news is that you can easily turn family-favorite desserts healthier without sacrificing taste by thinking outside of the box. Here’s how, plus ideas for steering clear of inhaling one two many cookies.
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Pour on the puree. Unsweetened applesauce is a versatile substitute for recipe staples such as oil, butter and eggs. (For whole eggs, you can also try using just the whites.) Not only will it lower the fat, calories and cholesterol content, but it adds a dose of potassium to your diet. Not a fan? Banana puree works, too. Time for a little flour power.
Experiment with whole-wheat, white whole-wheat or almond flour, which is high in protein and fiber, in lieu of all-purpose white flour. These are dairy do’s. Use calciumrich low-fat or fatfree Greek or vanilla yogurt instead of sour cream. Be smart about your sweetener. Replace or reduce refined white sugar with alternatives such as honey or molasses, which offer the sweetness you need in half the amount. Don’t be afraid of add-ins. Antioxidant-rich cranberries or dark chocolate will up the nutritional value of your dessert. Spritz, spritz.
Don’t forget to use a calorie-free nonstick cooking spray to grease your pan. Bake in the morning. You’re less likely to indulge in the a.m. Start your day with a filling breakfast such as wholegrain oatmeal topped with berries or an egg-white veggie omelet, and then brush your teeth. Resist licking the spoon by dipping a chopstick into the batter instead to satisfy your craving. Get moving. When your treats are in the oven or cooling, get out of the kitchen and go for a walk to check out the holiday decorations.
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