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Last Minute Ingredient Substitutions for a Healthy Thanksgiving!

November 23, 2011

Are you among those people who leave Thanksgiving cooking for the last minute?  Well, fear not.  There’s still time to make your favorite traditional dishes healthy! 

Thanksgiving is the number one holiday where people tend to overeat.  By following the healthy substitution tips below, you can significantly cut down on calories, fat, sugar, sodium, and cholesterol.  Odds are your family won’t be able to taste the difference!

These substitutions can easily be found in your grocery store and may even be already stocked in your kitchen. 


Original Ingredient


Healthy Substitutions

Nutritional Benefits

1 whole egg


2 egg whites Reduce cholesterol

Double protein


Whole or 2% milk


1% or skim milk Reduce calories and fat
Sour cream Greek yogurt, low fat cottage cheese


Reduce calories and fat
Cheese (cheddar, swiss, ect.)


Reduced or fat free cheese Reduce calories and fat
Whole milk mozzarella cheese


Part-skim or fat free mozzarella cheese Reduce calories and fat


Margarine made with canola or olive oil


Reduce calories and fat
Bread crumbs Rolled oats, crushed high fiber cereal


Reduce sodium

Increase fiber

Dark meat poultry Skinless white meat poultry


Reduce calories and fat


Croutons Unsalted nuts (almonds, walnuts)


Reduce sodium and trans fat

Increase “healthier fats”

Salt Herb blends


Reduce sodium
Canned beans Dried beans


Reduce sodium


Be sure to try my moist low fat stuffing recipe this Thanksgiving! Not only is it healthy but it’s easy to make and tastes delicious! 


Very Moist Low fat Stuffing

 Serves: 8 (1/2 cup serving)


2 cups diced onions

2 cups diced celery

2 cups fat free chicken stock

½ tablespoon poultry seasoning

8 cups cubed bread (must have a firm texture)

 Hint: Use a loaf of “Stuffing Bread” found in most major supermarkets this time of  year.


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Place the onions, celery, chicken stock, and poultry seasoning in a saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and liquid is reduced by half.

3. Place the cubes of bread in a large bowl and pour the still warm onion mixture over bread.  Toss to mix. 

4. Place mixture in a baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven.


 What food substitutions did you make this Thanksgiving?



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