Exciting Alternatives to Heavy Holiday Recipes

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If your holiday menu looks exactly the same year after year, it may be time to spice things up a little bit. Swap even a couple of these lighter dishes for their calorie heavy counterparts and you'll have a healthier holiday—without sacrificing any flavor or fun.

Instead of green bean casserole, try... Green Beans with Hazlenuts and Gorganzola
Even with the creamy cheese and rich nuts, this dish is much healthier than its casserole counterpart. Plus, the beans are only briefly steamed instead of boiled, allowing them to retain most of their nutrition.

Instead of candied yams, try... Glazed Sweet Potatoes
You'll still get that sweet and buttery flavor you love, but you'll lose a ton of extra fat and sugar from the recipe.

From the Organic Authority Files

Instead of garlic mashed potatoes, try... Ranch Mashed Potatoes
This recipes uses low-fat buttermilk and reduced fat sour cream to achieve the creamy mashed potato consistency guests love, while doubling up on the herbs and spices to give these taters a kick.

Instead of eggnog, try... a Candy Cane Fizz-Tini
The peppermint flavor and bubbles make this a festive drink without the crazy heavy cream and calories of a traditional eggnog. In fact, just about any holiday drink—including hot cocoa—would be a better choice than eggnog, with or without the alcohol.

Instead of a sugary glazed ham, try... a Smoked Ham
Smoked hams have less fat. Ask for a shank cut that will also be less fatty—and easier to carve. And then make your own glaze, which will have a lot less sugar.

Instead of frosted sugar cookies, try... these Flourless Chocolate Walnut Cookies
Rich and dreamy, but so much less fatty than most traditional cookies. Nobody at the cookie exchange will guess these fudgy gems are light. 

image by Xavier Donat

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