It’s that time of  year again!  Family and friends gather together to celebrate and feast on some of their most favorite foods.  The following are just a few suggestions as to how to cut fat and calories while preparing your favorite holiday dishes.
*When basting the turkey, instead of butter or margarine, substitute cooking spray or low-sodium chicken broth or diet ginger ale.
*When making gravy, put pan drippings in refrigerator overnight, skim off fat and use remaining juice.  You can also substitute gravy with chicken broth, orange zest, bell peppers, leeks and seasonings.
*When preparing mashed potatoes, instead of mixing in butter/cream, mix roasted garlic, chives, skim milk and herbs or fat free evaporated skim milk.
*When making stuffing, instead of adding butter/margarine, use equal amounts of low sugar applesauce
*When preparing sweet potatoes instead of using butter and marshmallows, use apple or orange juice, low-fat pancake syrup, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.
*Instead of using regular cheese sauce on vegetables, use low-fat hollandaise sauce, egg substitutes, Smart Choice marg, lemon juice, dijon mustard and or ground red pepper
*Instead of creamy or oily based salad dressings, use balsamic vinegar and spice mix.
*Spread roasted garlic on bread and rolls rather than butter or margarine.
*Dips for vegetables and crackers can be made with low or fat free sour cream or light or fat free mayonnaise.
*Instead of cream cheese in Cheese cake, mix low-fat ricotta cheese and low-fat cottage cheese or yougurt.  If using fat-free cream cheese for baking, use blocked not tub cream cheese.
*When baking breads, muffins or cakes, instead of oil or shortening use applesauce or 50% buttermilk and 50% applesauce.
*Chocolate cookies and brownies can be made with pureed prunes for a portion of the oil. You can also use 3 Tbl of unsweetened cocoa instead of 1 oz baking chocolate.
*Rather than flour & butter when preparing pie crust, use graham crackers & either apple, grape, or orange juice to moisten.
*Sugar free pudding and skim milk can be used for pie filling
*To cut calories when preparing pumpkin pie, substitute Splenda for sugar, egg substitutes for eggs and use low fat/fat free canned milk or cream.
Beth Pirtle