Best Tips to Lighten Holiday Desserts?

bakingAvoiding holiday weight gain seems to be on everyone's mind these days. According to one CafeMom, the average American gains eight pounds during the holiday season! Therefore, I'm posting five ways to lighten holiday desserts from Better Homes and Gardens, plus a few of my own. Keep these in mind while you're baking pies and decorating cookies and cakes.

What are your tips for reducing fat and calories in holiday desserts?



Better Homes and Gardens has five healthy tips to remember while making holiday desserts:

  • Substitute 1/4 of all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour to increase fiber and healthy grains in your desserts.
  • Leave the peel on fruit in tarts, pies, galettes, etc. to increase fiber and other nutrients.
  • Instead of frosting—which is high in sugar and calories—use fruit, or yogurt to decorate cookies and cakes.
  • Add extra citrus zest, spices (like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, etc.), and extracts (vanilla, almond, etc.) to up the flavor of your desserts, particularly when you reduce fat and calories with these other tips.
  • Choose low-fat or fat-free ice cream and light or fat-free frozen whipped toppings (instead of the regular versions) to accompany your holiday desserts.

Some additional tips that I have learned over the years to cut down the fat and calories in holiday desserts are:

  • I replace butter or shortening in a recipe with applesauce.
  • When baking, I sometimes use canned pumpkin instead of egg and oil.
  • I blend tofu, low-fat ricotta, or cottage cheese to use instead of cream cheese.


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