Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Celebrating Tradition

Ah, the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s a wonderful time to celebrate family, friends, and all the things we are thankful for, including our nation’s bounty. At a time when we’re tightening our belts a little more because of economic woes, ours is still one of the richest nations in the world and our waistlines show it!

Perhaps this is a good time to lessen what we spend and what we eat. Nothing makes us trim our portions so much as realizing we need to get more servings out of a dish. But if you can’t get your head around that idea, then this is a good time, a couple of weeks ahead of the day, to think about lightening some of the traditional recipes to lower your calorie intake.

When slicing the turkey, remember white meat is lower in calories than dark. If you’re family counts on the tried and true green bean casserole, try replacing the mushroom soup called for with the 98% fat free version. If your mashed potatoes recipe calls for sour cream, try the lite version instead of full fat. I’m a big believer in using real butter over margarine because I think in the long run, it’s better for us, but there are a number of very good tasting lite versions, including Land O Lakes own. If you’re baking, make sure the lite butter is OK for that. There are some dishes and creations like pie crust, that you would not want to use a substitute. And when it comes to rolls, Pillsbury’s low fat crescent dinner rolls are excellent. Try using a little less sugar in things like the sweet potato casserole or say Aunt Martha’s ambrosia salad. You’ll be surprised at the negligible difference in sweetness.

Of course, you could go with full fat, full sugar, full calories on everything and simply eat less of it. But at a time when we’re celebrating (and sampling) all that America has to offer, that can be pretty tough to do. Take it from me, lightening up dishes where you can, will be healthier, and I bet your family won’t know the difference!

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