Healthy Holiday Eating Tips & Recipes

Healthy Holiday Eating Guidelines

Traditional holiday baked goods are often high in calories, sugar, saturated fat, and cholesterol. The good news is that with a few modifications and substitutions your favorite family recipe can be made healthier without compromising flavor.

In many recipes, the amount of fat or oil can be reduced by ¼ or more without affecting the final product. In some recipes, ½ of the oil can be substituted with another liquid or semi-solid that has emulsifying properties, such as low fat buttermilk or natural applesauce.

Sugar can also be reduced by ¼ to 1/3  without harming the final product. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla can be slightly increased to give the impression of sweetness, without the additional calories. Fresh or frozen fruit without added sugar should be used whenever possible. If canned fruit must be used, select fruit in water or in its own juice rather than in heavy syrup.

Recipe Substitutions

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Cranberry Nut Bread

Serves: 18                    Preparation time: 20 minutes

1 cup whole wheat flour                                 1 cup orange juice

1 cup all purpose flour                                     2 tablespoons canola oil

¼ cup sugar                                                        1 egg or 2 egg whites

1 tablespoon baking powder                          1 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries

2 teaspoon grated orange rind                      ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and orange rind in a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to blend well.

3) Pour into a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan that has been sprayed with vegetable pan spray.

4) Bake in a 350 degree oven for ~ 45-50 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.

5) Cool thoroughly on a wire rack. Slice into 18, ½ inch size servings.


Serving Size: ½ inch slice
1 serving  =  120 calories, 18 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fat


Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars

Serves: 24                       Preparation time: 15 minutes

oatmeal pumpkin

1/3 cup sugar

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

½ cup canola oil

1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 egg or 2 egg whites

¼  teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup canned or cooked pumpkin

½ cup orange juice

1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour

½ cup chopped walnuts

¾ cup old fashioned oats

½ cup dark or golden raisins

3 teaspoons baking powder

¼ cup coconut (unsweetened)

½ teaspoon baking soda


1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Cream together the sugar, oil, egg, and pumpkin until light and fluffy.

3) Stir in flour, oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and orange juice.

4) Add the walnuts and raisins. Stir to blend.

5) Pour into a 13 x 9 inch pan that has been sprayed with vegetable pan spray.

6) Sprinkle on the coconut. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.

7) Cool pan completely on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Cut into 24 bars.

 Serving size: 1 bar
1 serving  =  114 calories, 13 grams carbohydrate, 7 grams fat 



For more information regarding this topic or to schedule and appointment for nutrition counseling or diabetes education, please call Diabetes Specialty Services at Signature Healthcare 508-941-7454.

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