Trying to keep your holiday feasts on the lighter side this year? Use herbs and spices to season your Thanksgiving dinner and you won't have to suffer!
Why use spices and herbs?
Medical research has shown that eating too much saturated fat and cholesterol puts you at a higher risk for heart disease. In addition, being overweight increases your risk for other conditions and diseases, such as diabetes.
By using fat-free spices and herbs to season your food, you can enhance the flavor and thus enjoy a low-fat diet. There's no need to feel deprived when you are eating a delicious treat such as low-fat plain yogurt mixed with cinnamon, ginger and sliced fresh apples instead of a rich, fatty dessert!
Help with herbs
Using spices and seasonings in your meal and snack preparations is a great way to add flavor without adding fat and calories. For example, if you season your Thanksgiving baked potato with a dash of plain yogurt and sprinkle on some chopped chives, you'll be able to enjoy a delicious potato dish, and you won't even miss the saturated fat and extra calories that comes with a standard topping such as butter or sour cream.
The good news: you don't have to spend a fortune buying fresh herbs every few days. Stock up on some basic ground spices, and save the fresh herbs for special occasions (such as Thanksgiving!).
Here's what to consider having on your spices and seasonings shelf at home:
A walk on the spicy side
If you like life to be as spicy as possible, try these flavorful seasonings:
Enjoy your just desserts
This Thanksgiving, consider serving an alternate low-calorie dessert for any guests and family members who want a light conclusion to the traditional meal. I asked my staff for suggestions, and here's what they concocted, just for you:
Spicy Fruit & Yogurt
1. Prepare 1 cup of fresh, sliced strawberries, peaches, apples or pears.
2. Combine the fresh fruit with two cups of plain, non-fat yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of ginger, several packets of Splenda or Equal, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
3. Refrigerate for about an hour or more, so that the flavors have time to be absorbed into the fruit. For a holiday touch, sprinkle with slivered almonds and/or additional fresh fruit.