6 Easy Ways to Lower Calories on Your Holiday Dessert Table

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1. Lighten ingredients in your desserts.

  • Use Splenda brand sweetener in place of all or part of the sugar.
  • Splenda is a non-nutritive sweetener that measures just like sugar.
  • Splenda works great in pie fillings, puddings, cranberries, etc.
  • Splenda is not recommended for crisp cookies or cakes where sugar is needed for structure.
  • Save 652 calories per cup compared to sugar.
  • Follow tips on the box or at www.splenda.com.
  • Use egg whites or nonfat egg substitute in place of whole eggs.
  • Use 1/4 cup of egg whites or nonfat egg substitute for every whole egg.
  • Save 41 calories and 5 grams of fat each egg.
  • Use Grape-Nuts cereal in place of half the nuts -- save 320 calories and 71 g of fat a cup.
  • Reduce amount of chocolate chips and nuts by 25%.
  • Use fat-free whipped cream in place of regular whipped cream -- save 30 calories and 4.5 g of fat for each 2-tablespoon serving.
  • Substitute skim milk for whole milk -- save 64 calories and 8 g of fat a cup.
  • Use evaporated skim milk in place of evaporated milk -- save 140 calories and 18.5 g of fat per cup.
  • Use trans-free stick margarine in place of butter -- save 89 calories, 12 g fat and 93 g of saturated fat per cup.

2. Cut everything into smaller pieces.

  • Cutting pies into 10 pieces versus 8 saves 20% of the calories; cutting into 12 versus 8 saves 33% of the calories.
  • Cakes and brownies should be cut into bite-sized pieces.

3. Make cookies smarter.

  • Make cookies smaller.
  • Make just one or two varieties.
  • Consider making dough and freezing - bake just what you need, a little at a time, during the holiday season.
  • Cutting fat doesn’t really save calories because it is replaced with sugar and flour.

4. Make fewer high-calorie items, such as cakes and pies.

  • You will be less inclined to eat too many desserts if your choice is limited to a few special treats.
  • If you really like to bake, consider making inedible crafts as part of your holiday creations, instead of so many baked goods.

5. Feature hot beverages with dessert.

  • Hot beverages can be a low-calorie highlight.
  • Try hot herbal teas.
  • Make your own flavored coffees. Try adding ground cinnamon, pure vanilla or almond extract to the coffee grounds before brewing.
  • Use lower-calorie condiments such as fat-free half and half, fat-free whipped cream, orange zest, cinnamon sticks and non-nutritive sweeteners.

6. Offer your guests a variety of fresh fruits with dessert.

  • Serve grapes, oranges, pears and a variety of colors from fruits in season.
  • Place whole items in a bowl and put sliced fruits on holiday platters.
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