With the Spokane holidays fast approaching, you may be wondering just how you can enjoy the Thanksgiving banquet but not suffer a bigger waist line later? Surprisingly, many of our favorite holiday foods really aren’t all that pad for us … in proper moderation! Check out the following Spokane Super Foods.
Talk about a healthy food in need of a name change. This fluffy side is often regarded as one of the most fattening holiday dishes, but with only a few minor adjustments it can actually be a healthy standout. Pack it with nuts, dried fruits, carrots, and celery, and you’ll benefit from fiber and a range of vitamins, recommends Krieger. Also, and this is crucial: Use low sodium chicken broth instead of butter to keep the dish moist and low in fat.
If it’s not Thanksgiving without a slice of pumpkin pie, we’ve got good news for you. This veggie is packed with heart-healthy fiber and vitamin A. Plus, says Krieger, because pumpkin is very moist, you don’t have to add lots of unhealthy ingredients to make it taste flavorful yet still be low-fat (sub in skim and egg substitutes to make any recipe healthier). A guaranteed way to avoid accidentally gorging on a high-fat dessert? Bring your own pie, so you know what’s in it.
Prefer pecans to pumpkin? Instead of plunging into a heap of high-fat pie, try sprinkling this star nut over salads, add it to your stuffing, or snack on a few as a precursor to the meal. Pecans are a great source of vitamin E and magnesium, which supports muscle strength. Plus, they’re packed with protein, fiber, and the same “good” fats as olive oil.
Collards are ultra-healthy — except when sabotaged by greasy fat sources like pork, a popular additive in many holiday recipes. By preparing these leafy greens in a steamer, you’ll leave out the unnecessary calories and gain a ton of vitamins and antioxidants. If you just can’t give up flavoring your greens, use turkey bacon or saute the veggie in olive oil, suggests Krieger.
Nutmeg and Cinnamon
More and more research is being conducted on the health benefits of spices, says Krieger. Nutmeg, with its nutty, earthy flavor, and cinnamon, which shines with its sweetness, can do a whole lot more than garnish eggnog. Mixing these spices into fruit or vegetable sides can help you lower your cholesterol and maintain insulin levels in the blood.
While wine and cocktails can add needless calories to an already over-the-top meal, wine delivers heart-healthy properties in exchange for its calorie count (about 100 calories per 5-ounce serving). All wine is naturally heart-healthy, but red wines will provide the most antioxidant bang for your calorie buck. And take note: the dryer the wine, the higher the concentration of those disease-fighting properties.
To keep your calorie count to a minimum, ask your host for a spritzer — half wine, half calorie-free seltzer water.