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Healthy Alternatives to Holiday Cooking

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With the festive season approaching, the silent question we all ask ourselves begins to whisper in our ears… How are you going to enjoy all those festive feasts and not lose the summer body you've been working on?

For many of us, the end of the year is jam-packed with parties, family get-togethers, and food, oh the wonderful, glorious feasts we share! The only problems with these delightful dishes are the hidden calories, carbs, saturated fats, sugars, and a whole LOAD of Sodium. Don't get us wrong, we L.O.V.E these meals and different dishes as well but maybe a few healthier alternatives can be arranged this year.

We've had a look around at what the health-conscious do to get the food we all love but with a more desirable calorie count. Here are our eight favourite healthy food swaps for this festive season!

1. No More Sour Cream:

We all enjoy a generous dollop of sour cream on our baked potatoes but what about low-fat Greek yoghurt. Not only will you get more millilitres per rand but this healthier alternative is just as yummy!

2. Zucchini Noodles:

Pasta may not be the first food that comes to mind in festive cooking, but you'll be surprised at how many dishes call for it. Zucchini noodles aren't just for banters but provide a highly nutritious alternative to the carb filled tummy filler.

3. Mashed Cauliflower:

Many will tell you that family meals in December won't be complete without mashed potatoes, and maybe that's true, but that doesn't mean there can't be a healthier alternative as well. Mashed cauliflower has a similar taste and texture to mashed potatoes, with the added benefit of being healthier all-round.

4. Sautéed Spinach:

Creamed spinach is a South African staple and we all love it, and although it's considered to be a vegetable by many of us, the cream can be very taxing on the waistline. There are a few alternatives to this dish including sautéed spinach with small cubes of feta and spinach based salads.

5. Hummus and Yoghurt Dips:

We love to snack on biltong, nuts, and chips and dips before any family meal or braai in South Africa, but have you thought about all the calories found in those cream cheese dips? It can be scary when you add up the numbers. Some healthier alternatives include hummus and yoghurt based dips. YUM!

6. Dark Chocolate:

December is a month when chocolate is a dietary staple and there's no way we're going to say don't eat chocolate! However, consider swapping out the white and milk chocolate for dark chocolate and carob for a healthier sweet treat.

7. Lentil Stuffing:

Stuffing is a staple on December 24th, 25th, and 26th and while it's incredibly tasty in or out of a roast, there are healthier options to carb-filled bread stuffing recipes. Swap out the bread crumbs for lentils, buckwheat, oats, or any other whole grain you enjoy.

8. Make Your Own Sauces:

Cranberry, apple and mint sauces will be flying off the shelves this December without a second thought on the sugar content. These sauces are perfect complements for the roasted meats we enjoy throughout the season but can easily be replaced with home-made relishes rather than the store-bought sauces.

Swapping out a few high-calorie foods can help to make your family meals a lot healthier and still keep everyone happy.

Now let's get moving and create a fresh new space for you to enjoy.
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