Welcoming warmth, family, and great food, Thanksgiving is a holiday that calls for a healthy intervention. Many dishes that are passed from table to table consist of extremely oily and fatty items. Simple substitutes in ingredients will make the overall festivities healthier yet still enjoyable.
First, the turkey. It is the single most important dish that makes a perfect Thanksgiving meal, and surprisingly has little fat. Removing the skin is one way to further reduce the amount of fat you consume that evening. Keep in mind that dark meat has more calories than white meat.
Gravy, the turkey’s counterpart, is one of the unhealthy components of a Thanksgiving meal. Use a fat separator or simply a straining tool to strain the fat from the pan juices of the turkey. To add thickness to your gravy, substitute flour for butter.
Stuffing may not be the best way to keep a healthy diet because its ingredients are packed in fat. Chicken sausage should be substituted for pork sausage, if your recipe calls for sausage. Fat-free chicken broth should be used, and include more vegetables like mushrooms instead of more meaty ingredients. The turkey should provide enough meat to feed the whole family.
Many families believe that having vegetables on the table is a compromise to having so much other unhealthy foods, but if they’re soaked in butter and oil, they’re just as unhealthy as let’s say, the biscuits. Prepare a salad, lightly drizzled with dressing and loaded with tomatoes, corn, and beans. Corn should be steamed and lightly marinated with butter.
Dessert doesn’t keep us from eating too much for dinner, sadly. However, dessert does play a crucial role in ending the meal with a satisfied stomach, not a heavy one. Pies are the most common dessert choices, and more commonly, pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie is a great choice for keeping healthy if you use egg whites, fat-free evaporating milk, and a light crust.
People do choose to starve themselves in order to “save” their appetite for dinner, but in some ways, it can be more hazardous than we think. Sure you’ll eat more, but overeating is one step towards an unhealthy diet. Eat small snacks, possibly a light lunch, before the big night.
There are many recipes out there whether in cookbooks, television, or even the internet that show us how to prepare a healthy menu for a Thanksgiving meal. Secret techniques that don’t affect the flavor but the components are true life saving tips to creating an enjoyable night with no worries about gaining weight or feeling bloated.
Go to http://lowfatcooking.about.com/b/2004/11/24/a-happy-healthy-thanksgiving.htm for recipes and tips on keeping a healthy check on what you gobble up on Thursday night.
This article was written by Margaret Thi. It was published in the Temple City Voice on November 14, 2007.