Serving a holiday meal that pleases everyone can be a bit tricky. But, there are ways to tweak traditional side dishes to make them good tasting nutritional dishes for all.
Step away from the canned fruits and vegetables. Discover how using fresh ingredients and taking a “less is more approach” when it comes to ingredients and time can tickle everyone’s holiday fancy (including the pickiest of kids).
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Load Up the Holiday Feasting Table With These 3 Delicious (& Healthy!) Sides:
1) Whoever decided CRANBERRIES were to be a classified as a classic holiday side dish was a genius.
Cranberries can be a crowd pleaser as a compliment to meat or as a way to add dimension to any holiday meal- breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. Cranberries are rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants. These berries can boost your immune system at a time you really need it. If you have kids at the table, you know defense against colds and the flu is essential this time of year.
Avoid canned cranberries or pre-packaged products. Buy whole berries and cook them yourself. That way you get to control the amount of sugar you add. Stock up on cranberries while they are plentiful in the produce section. They freeze well. Any prepared leftovers can be mixed into kid pleasing yogurt snacks, smoothies, muffins and more.
Basic Cooked Cranberries:
- Bring one cup water and ½ cup sugar to a boil over medium heat
- Add 12 ounces whole cranberries
- Cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. You should hear them pop.
- Let cool to thicken.
2) Make MAPLE ROASTED SWEET POTATOES.
Leave the marshmallows and brown sugar off the table. Step out of the canned vegetable aisle. The best kept secret about sweet potatoes is that they don’t need all the extra corn syrup and copious amounts of refined sugar to be good. It is also extremely quick and easy to peel and prepare the tubers from scratch. Sweet potatoes are full of Vitamin A, C, B’s, manganese, potassium, fiber, beta carotene and other nutrients. Leftovers can be used to add moisture and sweetness to baked goods. Try this recipe from Eating Well that uses maple syrup to add sweetness and texture. Maple syrup has antioxidants and phytochemicals and won’t disrupt blood sugar levels like refined sugars.
3) Serve stealthy MASHED CAULIFLOWER instead of mashed potatoes.
These faux mashed potatoes might not completely fool your kids. But, chances are they won’t complain about being snookered while scarfing down forkfuls of this side dish. Cauliflower has ample amounts of Vitamin C and respectable amounts of B Vitamins, K, folate and more. In addition, if you have kids around you know time is a precious commodity. This recipe by IFood Real takes 10 minutes to make. It’s simple to shop for since it involves minimal ingredients; cauliflower, garlic and butter.
That’s it! Spend less time cooking and arguing about uneaten side dishes and more time putting together that Lego Death Star set Santa brought your kiddo.