Kitchen Hacks: Lighten Up Your Holiday Meal!
This week's kitchen hack is all about making your holiday menu a little healthier.
Holidays are fast approaching, and that means two things: FOOD and Family.
Here are my top three ways to make my holiday meal a little lighter, without sacrificing flavor.
Roast your veggies, not your family members:
Goodbye to over boiled Brussels sprouts. To make veggies that the whole family will love, I roast them whenever possible. Roasting with a touch of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt brings out and caramelizes their naturally occurring sugars, making roasted vegetables irresistible. Be sure to watch cooking times for different veggies, as some will cook up faster than others. Caramelizing brings out the natural sweetness in foods, which can add a huge amount of flavor and depth to your dish with having to add any added sweeteners – a win-win for your health and taste buds!
Get Zesty With It
Zest up your dishes with citrus zest (aka the colorful and flavorful peel) – the rinds of your favorite citrus fruits are filled with flavorful oils. Whenever a recipe calls for citrus juice, I always add in the zest from their peel – why? Because it is PACKED with zingy flavor. Try a touch of lemon zest in your stuffing, throw in orange zest in your sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce as well! The peel of citrus fruits contains powerful polyphenols.
Herb It Up
My go-to way to add flavor is to use fresh herbs in your holiday cooking. Whether you are topping your turkey with fresh parsley, adding a sprig of rosemary to your dish, or make a herb-filled salad, fresh herbs pack a ton of flavor without relying on salt or heavier, more traditional ingredients. Add herbs at the end of your cooking so that they retain their fresh color and flavor. Fresh herbs not only pack in a punch of flavor, but they are beneficial to your health as well. Many contain powerful flavonoids, polyphenols (think antioxidants), vitamins and minerals! Herbs like mint, oregano, rosemary and thyme can also health release saliva, which is a key part of the digestive process.
Looking for some banging healthy holiday recipes? Check out my favorites: