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Top 10 Food Substitutions for the Holidays by Jessica Boscarini

by Jessica Boscarini, posted to Food & Drink

Here are 10 simple food substitutions that you can make this Holiday season, to help you feel better about the food you are eating and the way you are treating your body. After all, why wait until January 1st to start your annual “get healthy” kick?


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Tarts vs. Pies:

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The Holidays are all about sweet indulgences, so I don’t want to take those away from you. However, eating a tart will usually save you a vast amount of calories, sugar, and often belly-ache. Moreover, if you skip the crust altogether, you will be doing yourself even more of a favor.

Eden Godsoe: I love little fruit tarts!

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Home-made Spiced Nuts:

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Who doesn’t love Spiced Nuts over the Holidays? But why eat them with all the extra sugar and oil, when you can just as easily throw some raw nuts on a cookie sheet, coat them with a little bit of Grade B maple syrup, a pinch of salt, and toss them in the oven on 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes?

Eden Godsoe: I will be doing this on the 25th

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Sweet potatoes:

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Known as a Holiday treat already (because of the loads of sugar and butter that is usually added to them), sweet potatoes have a surprising amount of good for you qualities. Substitute them for white potatoes (baked, in casseroles, etc.) and enjoy the added vitamins. Please, forego the butter and sugar though.

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Raw cocoa:

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Unlike “chocolate” which is full of added sugars and fats, raw cocoa is truly good for you. It is full of antioxidants and has a very deep, rich flavor. A little goes a long way.

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Coconut oil (Organic, un-refined):

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Use this in place of butter. It has the same consistency as butter does (hard when cold, liquid when warm), and can be substituted ounce for ounce in recipes. And while it is still a saturated fat, your body processes it differently than butter, and it can actually help speed up your metabolism. I will warn you that it does have a slight taste t...

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Brown rice:

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Just like white-flour, white-rice is refined to get it down to that white color, stripping away most of the nutrients. Brown rice has a better texture anyway, so eat up.

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Whole-wheat flour:

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Substitute for white-flour in recipes, or ask for whole-wheat pastas, breads, etc. when ordering out. White flour is white because they bleach it – and you know that can’t be good for you!

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Stevia:

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This is the greatest substitute for sugar. A little goes a very long way. It is calorie free and is 100% natural (unlike all the other sugar substitutes out there). Just make sure you adjust the wet-ingredients in a recipe if you are replacing it with sugar because the ratio will be off.

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Yogurt (Organic):

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Use yogurt instead of cream in recipes. It will thicken them up without adding all the fat and calories. Greek yogurt works great, as it is a bit thicker than regular yogurt, but either can work.

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Almond milk (Rice or Soymilk can work too):

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Almond milk has a creamy texture and a very neutral taste (just make sure you buy the Unsweetened). It has less calories than fat-free milk and is much easier on your digestive system. Plus, it had additional nutrients that you just won’t find in cow’s milk.

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