Who can resist cute little gingerbread men or sugar-dusted holiday cookies? And Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a little eggnog. So here are some low or reduced fat versions of some holiday favorites, from main course to dessert.
Glazed with a seasonal cranberry apple sauce, this lean pork roast makes an ideal holiday centerpiece. Serve with roasted vegetables and low fat mashed potatoes or with steamed green beans and wild rice.
Turkey is the traditional centerpiece in England, where I grew up. The breast meat is naturally low in fat, and the darker meat can be enjoyed, too. With just a small amount of oil, lemon and plenty of fresh herbs, you can roast a turkey that is fragrant and succulent.
Brussels Sprouts are a wonderful Christmas vegetable. Too often, however, they are over-boiled and end up gray and mushy. They should be green and crisp, marking a wonderful contrast to the softer and sweeter chestnuts.
Garlic mashed potatoes can be creamy and flavorful without all that butter and cream. Try this version for your holiday table. If you like, you can roast the garlic
and mash it directly into the potatoes for a mellower, creamier effect.
This citrus-based winter fruit salad combines two different kinds of orange and two kinds of grapefruit together with star fruit and jewel-like pomegranate seeds. If you don't want to wrestle with a pomegranate, the seeds are available at Trader Joe's.
If you want to enjoy one of the great sweet treats of the season without feeling guilty, try this low fat eggnog recipe. Since only one egg yolk is used here, the eggnog might look a little pale. You could always add a few drops of yellow coloring to the mixture for the full effect. Finally, if you don't want to add alcohol, try a little rum extract instead.
Cut the fat not the flavor. These gingerbread men use half the butter normally used in most gingerbread cookie recipes. Applesauce helps the cookies retain their moisture and gives them a soft texture.
With almost half the butter of most sugar cookies, you can treat yourself to one of these low fat Christmas cookies without feeling too guilty. Top with sprinkles before baking or add a glaze afterwards using confectioner's sugar, lemon juice and some food coloring.
Peppermint cheesecake makes a wonderful holiday dessert. Replacing full fat cream cheese with a combination of reduced-fat and fat-free cream cheeses helps to cut calories and fat. Serve this reduced fat dessert at your Christmas table this year.
Not everyone likes pie during the holidays, so why not make Baked Pears with Cranberries and Walnuts? If you don't have pomegranate juice, use cranberry juice, red wine or apple cider instead. Enjoy with a scoop of low fat frozen yogurt or whipped topping sprinkled with a little cinnamon or nutmeg.