Spring makes its presence known on our Easter table as we come together with family and friends.
We enjoy fresh foods, family favorite recipes and a burst of color to celebrate the season of rebirth.
We love to put fresh flowers and blooming bulbs in the center of our table as one more way to express our joy of the coming beauty after a grey winter.
Unfortunately, some of our food choices and kids’ treats really aren’t healthy and won’t help to rejuvenate our bodies.
With just a few tweaks, though, we can put a little health into our spring celebration.
Let’s Hop To Health!
Most of us love our traditional meals during the holidays and aren’t looking to make big changes.
That is why these Recipe Renovations® for your health are perfect so that you can keep the favorites while incorporating some healthy benefits for everyone around the table!
- Lower sodium ham – there are several brands on the market which use less salt in their curing process to reduce sodium by as much as 45% (or more). Many have no MSG, which is another way sodium is added to foods.
- Avocado deviled eggs – deviled eggs is a traditional side dish for Easter which uses mayonnaise as the binder. How about trying adding a good fat in the form of avocado to the deviled eggs or egg salad this year? Here is a recipe from California Avocados you might like!
- Sweet potato casserole – we all love this combination with ham but often try to sweeten already-sweet potatoes with marshmallows, pineapple, and brown sugar until it is more like dessert than dinner. Try using a little honey as a sweetener or stevia instead of the brown sugar. Reduce or eliminate the butter using a tangy bit of orange zest. Replace the marshmallows with a crunch of chopped pecans or oatmeal crisp topping. You could make it easier for the cook and serve roasted sweet potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes without all the high calorie ingredients.
- Grilled pineapple instead of ham glaze – consider adding a side dish of grilled pineapple to complement the ham instead of other high calorie side dishes and the sticky sweet ham glaze. Pineapple juice will keep the ham moist during cooking and add a little sweetness without all the added sugar from a traditional glaze.
- Skip the bread basket – you are probably making plenty of side dishes for the big meal so that having a dinner roll or crescent roll won’t be missed by anyone. Guests may feel pressured to eat all you made and will be tempted to overindulge. Hot rolls are just one more thing for a busy cook to do!
- Carrot cake – have you made carrot cake lately? Using extra shredded carrots, shredded pineapple and nuts in a spice cake recipe with a simple powdered sugar dusting in place of heavy cream cheese frosting will be a healthy hit!
- Lighten up dessert – if you have traditional dessert recipes that your family simply can’t live without, try using sugar substitutes to reduce the amount of added sugar, use low fat dairy to make cream desserts, or simply cut the portions of each serving to reduce the amount of extra calories and fat your family eats.
- Easter baskets – being more mindful about what treats are in the kids’ Easter baskets and in the plastic eggs hidden around the house or yard will help our kids enjoy a healthier holiday and learn that treats don’t have to all be in the form of chocolate. You can add small toys, coins, stickers, party favors, yogurt covered raisin boxes, and other non-sweet treats to their baskets, which will still bring a smile to their faces without giving them a cavity! A few jelly beans and a peep or two won’t hurt your child, but too many sweets can lead to poor dental health.
You work hard all year to be healthy and manage your weight.
Making a few small changes with these Recipe Renovations can help keep you on track as you enjoy your family time this holiday instead of regretting your indulgences the day after.
If you would like even more healthy Recipe Renovations, including recipes to add nutrition to every meal, check out my cookbook Recipe Renovation® For The Health of It: Makeover Your Family Favorite Foods.