Holiday Recipes That Boost Nutrition and Flavor with Wheat Germ
Yes, we know the holidays are a time of excess. A time when many of us throw up our hands, defenseless against the holiday food gods, and swear that after we really enjoy all that great cooking, we’ll get back on our game in January.
It doesn’t have to be that way. While the calories may inch up through November and December, there’s no reason to surrender to fat- and calorie-laden gluttony. There are too many delicious alternatives!
While simple steps like not eating that turkey skin, avoiding going back for thirds (would we be pushing it to say seconds?) and limiting yourself to one choice of pie instead of a slice of apple, pumpkin and pecan will definitely make your return to normality in January less daunting, you can also take proactive steps by creating menus that are both delicious and nutritious. Let’s walk through a typical Thanksgiving menu and see where we can lighten things up while leaving in all the flavor.
Appetizers. Step 1: Limit the number of appetizers you serve. Too often people fill up before the main event, then force themselves into a near food coma at dinner lest they miss out on something delicious. Instead, offer a platter of crudités with this low-fat tzatziki dip.
Main event. Next to that big, beautiful bird (if you eat turkey), stuffing is probably the most anticipated dish on the holiday table — and often the most fattening, with some 1-cup servings weighing in at 400 calories or more. Healthier versions abound, like this delicious Prosciutto, Fig and Wheat Germ Stuffing at just 200 calories per serving. It uses no butter but instead incorporates heart-healthy olive oil and wheat germ, which increases nutrients and adds more depth to the flavor.
Potato dishes often serve as a repository for decadent gravy, but even alone, they can pack a calorie-filled punch. Your guests will rave over this Potato Gratin with Wheat Germ without realizing that not only are they enjoying a lower-calorie side dish, but also getting a boost in protein, fiber, vitamin E, zinc and other nutrients wheat germ provides.
Dinner rolls are usually used for slopping up gravy and providing another place to slather butter, but you won’t feel nearly as guilty eating these Whole Wheat Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls with Wheat Germ. They are beautiful, tasty and provide significantly more nutrition than their white-flour counterparts.
Dessert. Lighten up this favorite course by serving low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt with your apple pie and providing more vitamins and minerals in your pumpkin pie by adding wheat germ to the crust (this works with your other favorite pies too).
Leftovers. Don’t forget this much loved part of the holiday feast! Some of us like our holiday dishes even better the second day. Creative cooks who want to whip up something fun with leftovers can try this Turkey Pot Pie with Wheat Germ Crust, adding fiber to their day-after meals with wheat germ and plenty of veggies.
Have you found ways to lighten up your holiday feast? Share your secrets below!