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Video:Tips for Making a Healthier Thanksgiving Meal

with Krystyna Rittichier

Thanksgiving foods can pack in the fat and calories. In this how-to video from About.com learn some creative ways to cut fats and sugars from the meal without sacrificing taste.See Transcript

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Transcript:Tips for Making a Healthier Thanksgiving Meal

Hi! I'm Krystyna Rittichier with About.com, and today I'll show you some tips for making a healthier Thanksgiving dinner.

Cutting the Fat Out of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving dinner is special for many reasons, including a festive atmosphere, delicious fragrances, and most importantly, having loved ones to share it with. Cutting fats and sugars from the meal does not have to mean a less beautiful, enjoyable meal.  

Make Low-Fat Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are one dish which can be easily lightened up in fat and calories. Substitute skim milk for whole or two percent milk. Try using low-fat sour cream in the place of butter. This will keep the potatoes creamy and fluffy without the added fat of butter or margarine.

One way to ensure the potatoes are delicious without the added fat is add extra flavor. Try adding roasted garlic and rosemary or oregano to the potatoes. You can even top them with a thin sprinkle of low-fat shredded cheese to add extra flavor and to make them look extra special.  

Take the Fat Out of the Stuffing

Stuffing is often one of the fattiest dishes of a Thanksgiving meal next to the dressing. It is possible to make a moist and flavorful stuffing without all the fat. Make your own bread cubes with a low-fat bread. Dry the slices in the oven, then cut them into bite sized cubes. Cut the broth ingredients in the recipe down slightly, to make room for a fat free egg substitute to be used at the end of the process.

For the broth use fat-free broth, vegetables, seasonings, and a couple tablespoons of low fat butter, just for taste. It is helpful to choose a particularly flavorful recipe with a lot of fresh ingredients to make up for the absence of fat. After the broth is mixed with the stuffing, use a fat-free egg substitute to replace the omitted broth, then throw the stuffing in the oven to cook. 

Serve Only Turkey Breast Meat

Instead of serving a whole turkey, try serving only the turkey breast meat. This is the lowest fat part of the turkey. Be sure to choose a recipe which keeps the meat as moist as possible. For those who prefer dark meat, serve the turkey with a low fat, low calorie gravy.

To make a low fat gravy, save the drippings from the turkey. Allow the drippings to thoroughly cool, so that you can remove the fat from the drippings. Now use these drippings with a flour and skim milk mixture, cooking them until they have thickened into gravy. Season with salt and pepper. 

Offer More Veggie Sides at Dinner

Try offering more vegetable sides than usual at the dinner. Find low fat vegetable casseroles like low fat broccoli and cheese. Offer salads and veggie sticks with homemade low fat dips and dressings. Offer fresh fruit salads in fruit juices served with low fat yogurt to dip them in. 

Many guests will have an immediate reaction of fear to healthy food at a Thanksgiving dinner. Alleviate their concerns by using flavorful recipes which fill the air with a great smell. Use brightly colored serving dishes and decoration techniques to amp up the festivity. Also, be sure to serve a wide selection of options so that everyone finds something they love. 

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