Believe it or not it is possible to enjoy a Holiday meal that is healthy as well as delicious!

The following Holiday table super foods prepared properly will allow you to enjoy all of the pleasures of this traditional holiday meal without compromising flavor or nutrition:

Turkey

Skinless turkey breast is one of, if not the leanest meat protein sources on the planet. If that isn‘t enough turkey also offers a wide variety of nutrients, particularly niacin, selenium, vitamins B6 and B12, and zinc. These nutrients are heart-healthy and are also valuable in helping to lower the risk for cancer.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin is rich in Vitamins A, C, and E and the minerals potassium and magnesium. Pumpkin is also a good source of dietary fiber. Pumpkin itself is very low in calories however, it becomes a high-calorie food when it‘s made with eggs, sugar, evaporated milk and baked in a highfat pie crust. For a healthy dessert this year try the following low fat pumpkin pie recipe from cooks.com

Low Fat Crust less Pumpkin Pie

  • 16 oz. canned pumpkin 1/2 c. Egg Beaters
  • 12 oz. can evaporated skim milk
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger 1/4 tsp. ground cloves 4 sq. graham crackers, crushed

In a medium bowl, mix pumpkin, Egg Beaters, sugar and spices. Add evaporated milk and mix well. Pour into 9 inch pie pan sprayed with nonstick coating. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour. Sprinkle graham crackers over cooled pie. Serves 8.

Per slice: 125 calories, .7 gm fat; carbohydrate 25.4 gm.

Green Beans 

Green beans are probably one of the healthiest holiday foods out there. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and K and manganese. Green beans also contain a good amount of vitamin A, dietary fiber, iron, potassium, and folate.

Green bean casserole, a traditional Thanksgiving dish, is very high in calories and laden with fat. Steamed greens beans are delicious by themselves; however, if you must do the casserole thing give this lower-fat version a try.

Low Fat Green Bean Casserole

Ingredients:

  • One can (10-3/4 ounces) reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 1/4 cup fat-free milk
  • 1-1/4 pounds green beans, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces, cooked until crisp-tender
  • 1/2 cup canned French-fried onions

Directions:

Mix soup, sour cream, and milk in 2-quart casserole; stir in beans. Bake, uncovered, at 350-degrees until mixture is bubbly, about 45 minutes. Sprinkle onions on top during last five minutes of baking time. Recipe makes 6 servings.

Nutrients per serving:

  • Calories: 81
  • Total fat: 2.9g
  • Cholesterol: 1.3mg Sodium: 172mg
  • Carbohydrate: 11 .6g
  • Protein: 3g

Cranberries 

Cranberries have long been valued for their ability to help prevent and treat urinary tract infections. Recent studies now suggest that this Native American berry has farther reaching health benefits. Studies have shown cranberries may also promote gastrointestinal and oral health, prevent the formation of kidney stones, lower LDL and raise HDL (good) cholesterol, aid in recovery from stroke, and even help prevent cancer.

Cranberries are packed with Vitamin C and also provide a fair amount of dietary and the trace mineral manganese. Cranberries also contain a valuable type of antioxidant called proanthocyanidins.

written by dave radin, bs, cscs