Lighten up classic holiday recipes

By Brittney Brown
Nov. 28, 2017 at 4:27 p.m.

Brittney Brown

Brittney Brown    Contributed Photo for The Victoria Advocate

With the holidays in full swing and all of us enjoying family time as well as our favorite holiday foods, it can be challenging to stay on track when it comes to weight goals. The holiday season lasts from October through February - that's four full months of decadent foods and holiday parties. The average person gains between 5-10 pounds during the holidays. One way to help stay on track while enjoying your favorites is by making desserts with fewer calories!

The most popular pies during the holidays in Texas are usually pecan pie, apple pie and pumpkin pie. As most know, pies are loaded with added sugar and can be very high in calories and saturated fat. Pecan pie usually has a whopping 500 calories in one slice. Pumpkin is only slightly better but still contains 300 calories per slice, apple pie has 300 calories per slice as well.

To make pies a little healthier we can start with the crust, try using whole-wheat pastry flour or groundnuts instead of white flour or gram cracker crusts. If you opt for the nut crust the natural unsaturated fats in the nuts will decrease the need for a lot of butter. For pie fillings, making them from scratch or "homemade" can help you control what is in them. For example, for apple pie opt for sautéing the apples yourself with Truvia or a cooking/bakers grade low-calorie sweetener. You can do this with pumpkin pie as well, use pumpkin puree and then add a low-calorie sweetener instead of sugar or a mixture of both. Here is a good recipe I found online that follows many of the principles I discussed above, happy holidays!

Brittney Brown is a registered dietitian nutritionist and a licensed dietitian with Detar Healthcare System.


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