We love Fall and holiday food, but we don't love how the extra-indulgent fatty and sugary foods make our bodies feel. To get the best of both worlds, we asked Alexandra Miller, RDN and LDN Corporate Dietician at Medifast, to help us figure out the best healthy, lightened up swaps for classic staples of the holiday and Fall diet. From sweet potato casserole to pumpkin pie and PSLs, Alexandra offers a healthier alternative.
The staple: mashed potatoes. The swap: mashed cauliflower or turnips. Cauliflower mashed "potatoes" are low-carb and full of vitamins.
The staple: pumpkin or apple pie. The swap: spiced kabocha squash and pecan parfait; half of a small, roasted acorn squash filled with low-fat plain or vanilla Greek yogurt and a generous sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice; or cored, baked apples with cinnamon and just a touch of honey. (We're big fans of a warm, baked apple).
The staple: chips or crackers on the party table. The swap: roasted pumpkin seeds with just a touch of olive oil, salt, and pepper, or cinnamon apple chips (bake thin slices of apple sprinkled with cinnamon at 230 degrees for 1 hour or until crispy). Apple chips make a sweet and spicy seasonal snack!
The staple: sweet potato casserole (with brown sugar, butter, and marshmallows). The swap: roasted butternut squash chunks tossed with fresh cranberries and a light drizzle of olive oil. Try one of our healthy butternut squash recipes for a dose of tasty Fall flavor.
The staple: pasta. The swap: spaghetti squash. There are so many things you can do with spaghetti squash, and it makes an incredibly light and delicious alternative to pasta.
The staple: green bean casserole. The swap: steamed green beans seasoned with a touch of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add thinly sliced almonds or caramelized onions to spruce it up. Try this lightened up green bean casserole recipe for a lower-calorie take on a favorite.
The staple: pumpkin spice latte. The swap: a cup of pumpkin spice coffee with unsweetened almond milk. Make your own pumpkin spice creamer with this vegan, paleo pumpkin spice recipe.