The holidays just wouldn’t be the same without our favorites on the table. But what if these classic tastes contain so many calories that they add up to unwanted pounds? Here are three popular holiday treats with all the taste but less of the calories and fat. Bet you can’t tell the difference!

Fresh green bean casserole

1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon dry ranch salad dressing mix
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 large onions, halved and sliced (2 cups)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup soft whole wheat or white bread crumbs (1 1/3 slices bread)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large saucepan, cook green beans in lightly salted boiling water for 10 minutes; drain and place in a 2-quart rectangular baking dish; set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan heat butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, dry dressing mix, salt, and pepper until combined. Whisk in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly; remove from heat.
3. In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic; cook and stir for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender and starting to brown. Remove 1/2 cup of the onion mixture; set aside.
4. Add mushrooms to skillet and cook about 5 minutes or until tender. Stir into sauce mixture. Pour over beans in dish; toss with tongs to coat.
5. In a small bowl, stir together reserved onion mixture and bread crumbs. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture over bean mixture in casserole. Bake, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through.

This 4-star rated recipe is courtesy of diabetic living.


cup-1891445_640Guilt-free Eggnog
3 large eggs
3 large egg whites
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
4 cups low-fat milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 12 ounce can evaporated skim milk
Ground nutmeg

1. In a medium saucepan whisk together eggs, whites, sugar and salt. Gradually stir in low-fat milk. Cook over low heat, stirring, until mixture thickens and coats back of spoon, about 25 minutes (should register 170 degrees to 175 degrees on instant-read thermometer); do not let boil. Pour into bowl. Stir in vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg. Refrigerate about 3 hours or until cold.
2. Pour evaporated milk into ice-cube tray. Freeze 2 hours or until almost frozen and then empty into a large metal bowl. Beat at medium speed until soft peaks form. Gently fold into chilled egg mixture.
3. To serve, pour into chilled glasses and garnish with additional nutmeg, if desired.

This 4.5 star recipe is courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

For guilt free mac and cheese try using low-fat milk instead of half and half or whole milk. You can also use less better and opt for cornstarch instead of flour. Cut back on the cheese, too. Like to eat mac and cheese, but don’t like to make it? Trader Joe’s has a pretty tasty guilt free version.


Many of our holiday calories come from glasses of holiday cheer. Raise a toast to this guilt free cocktail from Cooking Light.


Amaretto Lime Shiner
1 ounce (80-proof) moonshine
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce amaretto liqueur
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

Combine moonshine, lime juice, amaretto, and sugar in an ice-filled shaker; shake to combine. Strain cocktail into a chilled glass.

Ultimately, moderation is key for enjoying holiday treats without too much damage to your weight and fitness goals. Use an app to track all your food and drinks.  After all, calories are like money, you have to put yourself on a budget. It is easy to lose track or underestimate if you don’t track.  Remain physically active and save calories wherever you can. Savor the season without tipping the scale.