Top Tips for Cooking Light (Even during the Holidays)

Contributor post by Amy of BeadsAndThreadsbyAmy

The Holidays are all about indulgence, opulence, and spending time with the ones you love.  Our Team has come together to offer you suggestions for shaving off a few calories so that indulgence doesn’t go all to our hips!

1) Tisha from quiltytherapy says

 In an effort to get more fiber and heart healthy fats into our diet we almost always have avocado on Taco Tuesdays. We sub out the sour cream and cheese and use avocado to provide that creamy texture. We don’t miss the salt and excess fat.  Make sure to have napkins handy on Taco Tuesday, it can get really messy.
Napkins for Taco Night!

Napkins for Taco Night!

2) Angie from SucculentBathAndBody says

 Each year we have a large garden, and that alone inspires healthier eating with fresh veggies grown in our own soil, not over-farmed land depleted of minerals. It starts in the spring with homegrown lettuce for salads, and continues into late summer with tomatoes and peppers. I love to combine a 15 oz. can of chickpeas with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and a little onion for a quick salad that is low in calories and high in protein, vitamins and minerals. Simply dress the salad with 4 tablespoons olive oil, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, 4 teaspoons white wine vinegar and salt & pepper to taste. And, if you like to garden (or just know that fall yard and garden clean-up are coming up soon), you’ll need Succulent Bath & Body’s “Johna’s Garden” gardener’s soap, made with organic essential oils, activated charcoal for extra cleaning power, and magnesium-rich Epsom salts for scrubbing.
Great idea for gardeners!

Great idea for gardeners!

3) Sandra crochet from Ankleknits says

 I was born in Europe. And when I was a child we had our own fruit and vegetable garden, so my mom always used fresh produce from garden all year long. And now I have 3 children and I am growing my own vegetables and strawberries so my kids would know how they grow and tastes. We often drink peppermint tea from our little garden and I always use coasters under the tea cups.
Coasters under healthy tea is a great idea for those cold winter evenings!

Coasters under healthy tea is a great idea for those cold winter evenings!

4) Elizabeth Wellburn from ElizabethLovesGlass says
A “build it yourself” salad is always fun and healthy at family gatherings. A big bowl of greens, then smaller dishes of sliced tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, etc. so guests can choose what they want. We tend to keep the dressings simple – often just a pair of shaker bottles for oil and balsamic vinegar. Goes with almost any meal!These crystal serving utensils could be a great part of such a mini salad bar.
Salad Bars are a great idea for holiday gatherings!

Salad Bars are a great idea for holiday gatherings!

5) Angie Fitzpatrick from CraftyMom75 says

 WE love pureeing and “hiding” veggies in our meals so our little guys will eat their veggies. For example, pumpkin puree blends magically into spaghetti sauce and no one knows it! Plus, always have a great helper to keep you on your toes!
Nothing says cooking like potholders!

Nothing says cooking like potholders!

6) Kelly from ColourscapeStudios says

Growing my own herbs and veg has become one of the smartest things I decided to do. I have pots full of goodness, ranging from basil to strawberries, red onions to thyme! Our two year old thinks it’s awesome that we can go into the backyard and pick our food, and it’s really made her more interested in eating more, so it’s a win/win!
Great gift for the chef with everything!

Great gift for the chef with everything!

7) Megha Silvano from byTheArtBug says

Instead of buying ready-made Jams from the store why not make your own!

This way you can control and know the ingredients that go in. Here is a simple 3 ingredient home-made Strawberry Jam Recipe.
Ingredients:
1 Cup chopped Strawberries.
3/4 Cup Sugar.(or you can add more if needed)
1 Tsp Lemon Juice.
*both sugar and lemon juice act as natural preservatives.

Method:
Mix everything together and cook in a non stick pan till the mixture thickens and leaves the edges of the pan.
Cool and Store in an airtight glass container and refrigerate.
It would be good for 2-3 months. (Unless you like eating spoonfuls like me)

Warm jam and biscuits on Christmas morning sounds just lovely!

Warm jam and biscuits on Christmas morning sounds just lovely!

8) Amy Spock from BeadsandThreadsbyAmy says

I love substituting oil or butter in cookie recipes with applesauce. My husband loves my applesauce raisin oatmeal cookies made this way. It takes some playing around with the amount, but it is well worth the effort! Any time I bake, I love my apron! Saves me laundry and stains on my clothes, and wearing it always reminds me of my grandmother.

Aprons are great holiday gifts for the health-conscious chef.

Aprons are great holiday gifts for the health-conscious chef.

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