How to Make a Healthier Stuffing This Holiday Season
By Brandi Swieter
Stuffing, or dressing as it’s sometimes called, is one of the traditional dishes found on many holiday menus. Whether a family is filling their turkey with it for Thanksgiving or using it as a side to go with ham on Christmas, the dish is a delicious option to have. However, it can be a bit fattening depending on the specific ingredients used. Make a healthier stuffing this holiday season by substituting ingredients and creating a homemade recipe.
Start From Scratch
One of the best things a cook can do is start from scratch. Stuffing from a box often calls for butter and contains a high amount of sodium, fat, and calories. A homemade version can cut a lot of that out and make it a healthier option for everyone to enjoy.
Use Fruit Instead of Meat
Many stuffing recipes call for sausage. With turkey or ham already available as a protein source, the meat in stuffing is not needed. A healthier solution is to use a fruit dressing recipe instead. An herb and apple stuffing, for example, is a much better alternative that still tastes great. Diced apples, onions, celery, and seasoning make the dish come together well.
Make It With Whole Grain Bread
Some recipes ask for white, Italian, or another high calorie bread. Cooks can substitute for any type of bread they like, making the dish their own. Whole grain bread is one of the healthiest solutions, ensuring the stuffing has fewer calories and fat. Grains are also good for the body, bringing benefits like fiber and Vitamin B.
Try a Homemade Broth
Some dressing options ask for stock or broth. Purchase one from the store and you'll be horrified at the amount of sodium just one can contains. To reduce the amount of sodium and saltiness to the dish, try a homemade broth recipe or green tea instead. A vegetable stock is going to be the healthiest option compared to chicken or beef, and may pair better with the apples and herbs.
Stuffing is a favorite dish among many, often used to fill the turkey and act as an additional side dish to the holiday meal. With so many recipes to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which to use. Try to make yours from scratch and avoid buying a boxed mix to make it as healthy as possible. The rest of the meal already contains fattening ingredients and sugary desserts. A healthy stuffing can help add some nutrition to the holiday feast.
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