Low-Calorie Holiday Recipes
How to make high-taste, low-cal holiday fare.
A typical holiday meal can mean a disaster for your diet, with an average
calorie count of more than 2,500 for every festive spread you indulge in. Given
that 3,500 calories equals one extra pound of weight, a few over-the-top meals,
in theory, could turn into a few extra lines on the scale. Is all the
merrymaking really worth a serious case of snug-fitting clothes and the
This year, a holiday meal makeover is definitely in order, meaning it’s time
to deck the kitchen with healthier ingredients and lower-cal treats. With
visions of skim milk, egg substitutes, pomegranate seeds, and a sprinkle of
cinnamon dancing in your head, the trick is to pack in the flavor and pull out
the fat -- so you can enjoy all of the tasty treats the season has to offer,
without the guilt and gratuitous calories.
WebMD offers these yuletide alternatives to some traditional appetizers,
drinks, and dessert. (We’ll leave the main dish to you -- since you already
know to eat just the white meat on the bird and go easy on the stuffing and
gravy, right?) So, this holiday, focus more on giving thanks and wrapping
presents and less on the needle on the scale.
Low-Calorie Holiday Drinks
Eggnog is a minefield of calories -- from the heavy cream to the sugar to
its main ingredient, eggs. Weighing in at around 340 calories per cup, with 19
grams of fat, this is one holiday drink that’s better left at the bar -- unless
you make some serious changes. First, skip the heavy cream and use skim milk
and fat-free half-and-half instead. Egg substitutes are just as good as the
real deal, and a single packet of artificial sweetener can add all the flavor
of a teaspoon of calorie-heavy sugar. And, since you’ve carved off the calories
in all the right places -- down to about 60 calories per serving -- feel free
to add 1/4 cup of brandy or rum for a little kick, or spice it up naturally
with a shaving of fresh nutmeg.
Makes 4 servings
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1/2 cup fat-free half-and-half
1/2 cup pasteurized egg substitute
1 tsp vanilla
1 packet artificial sweetener
1/4 cup brandy or rum (optional)
Nutmeg (for garnish)
Combine all ingredients in a shaker or blender, or whisk to blend. Serve
cold or over ice and garnish with nutmeg.
Per serving (without brandy): 64 calories, 7 g protein, 8 g carbohydrate,
0.5 g fat, 0.3 g saturated fat, 3 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, 144 mg sodium.
Calories from fat: 7%.
This colorful holiday cocktail is the perfect way to make merry without
packing on the pounds. Start with just a splash of wine in lieu of a whole
glass and add a dash of healthy pomegranate or cranberry juice, both of which
are nutrient-heavy and calorie-light. Finally, throw in a touch of soda or
sparkling water for a little pop.
Makes 1 serving
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup pomegranate or
1/4 cup club soda or
Garnish with lime wedge
Per serving: 50 calories, 0.3 g protein, 12 g carbohydrate, 0 g fat, 0 g
saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, 13 mg sodium. Calories from fat: