How to Turn Classic Holiday Recipes into Food You Won’t Regret

In a world facing uncertainty, we crave our holiday traditions now more than ever. We want to embrace the familiar.

What’s more comforting than a table filled with family, friends, laughter, and food made using holiday recipes and ideas passed down from generation to generation?

Even if you want to eat healthy, you don’t have to give up these culinary legacies.

RELATED: How to Eat Healthy and Reduce Toxins in Your Food (No matter What You Like to Eat)

Some Easy Ways to Make Your Family Holiday Recipes Healthier

1. Redesign the sad beige side

Potatoes are a nutritious comfort food, but most people traditionally use white potatoes because there aren’t many other options at the grocery store and that’s what they’re used to eating. However, a healthier option is to consider using sweet or purple potatoes instead of white potatoes when preparing potato dishes.

If you want traditional potato flavor, leaving the skin on adds protein and healthy fiber!

If you want to try this recipe with something else, sweet potatoes are delicious and high in fiber and beta-carotene. Kansas State University has been researching the potential health benefits of purple sweet potatoes and their anti-cancer properties. Purple sweet potatoes often contain unusually high amounts of anthocyanins, a powerful cancer-fighting pigment.

Depending on the chemical structure of the food, anthocyanins can be red, blue, or purple. (These blue, red, and purple pigments, anthocyanins, can also be found in many colorful fruits, such as blueberries, black raspberries, and red grapes.) Anthocyanins are known to have anti-angiogenic properties. (Angiogenetic means the growth of new blood vessels. Anti-angiogenic means it stops tumors from growing blood vessels.)

Antioxidants are food pigments. These deep purple, blue and red foods also contain phenols. Phenols are naturally occurring organic compounds found in certain foods that have anti-aging and antioxidant properties. Additionally, a study by the American Chemical Society found that eating purple potatoes can lower blood pressure.

For a healthier filling, try replacing refined white bread with organic sprouted rice, wild rice, or sprouted organic bread filling (use breads like Ezekiel or Alvarado Bakery). Then, bake the stuffing in a separate dish rather than cooking it inside the turkey (turkey can soak up a lot of the saturated fat in the meat). Also, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Doing these two things allows vegetarians or vegans to enjoy the dish.

When making cornbread stuffing, buy non-GMO organic cornmeal (which does not contain BT toxins found in some pesticides). If you’re brave enough, try blue cornmeal, which has about 30% more protein than white or yellow corn and contains more zinc and iron.

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