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Favorite Holiday Brand-Name Recipes Made Over

From green bean casserole to pumpkin pie, the 'Recipe Doctor' tackles popular brand-name recipes.
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WebMD Expert Column

For many families, the holidays just wouldn’t be the holidays without Libby’s Pumpkin Pie, Campbell’s Green Bean Casserole or Eagle Brand’s Magic Bars or Fudge. Many holiday recipes developed by American food brands have been popular for decades, and have thus become part of our traditions.

But what if your family is trying to eat healthier? Can you still have your favorite brand-name holiday recipes and eat light, too?

As the "Recipe Doctor," I’ve been lightening favorite brand-name recipes for years, and they almost always work out wonderfully. When making over recipes, my goal is to lower the total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol and switch to smart fats when I can (monounsaturated fat and omega-3s). I also try to reduce sugar and sodium whenever possible, and to increase fiber and important nutrients at the same time.

Below, you'll find healthier versions of several brand-name holiday recipes many of us have come to love, including:

  • A lighter version of a decadent cookie recipe that has become almost synonymous with the holiday season: Eagle Brand’s Magic Cookie Bars recipe, but with 1/3 less fat and 10% fewer calories.
  • A lighter version of one of the most beloved holiday side dishes ever: Campbell’s Green Bean Casserole recipe (also known as Green Bean Bake). This one has less than half the fat and saturated fat and 1/3 fewer calories than the original.
  • A version of Crisco’s Pie Crust recipe with 38% less fat, 75% less saturated fat, and 1.5 grams more fiber per serving.
  • A lighter, higher-fiber version of a crustless pumpkin pie: Bisquick’s Easy Pumpkin Pie recipe, made over with 75% less fat and saturated fat, half the cholesterol, and 23% fewer calories.
  • A makeover of a breakfast casserole many people like to serve when company is visiting: Kraft’s Cheesy Brunch Casserole with triple the fiber and almost 50% less fat, saturated and cholesterol.
  • A made-over version of the Libby's Pumpkin Cranberry Bread recipe with triple the fiber, one-third fewer calories, and more than 50% less fat, saturated fat and cholesterol.

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