With the busy holiday season, it’s often tempting to reach for pre-made dressings and sauces to save time. However, Dominique encourages you to consider making your own. Dressings are often quick and easy to make, and store well in the refrigerator for a week or so, which means they can be made well in advance of a gathering. Get creative and experiment with adding oil, vinegar or citrus juice, mustard and a little salt and pepper to a jar. Shake to combine and adjust the ingredients to taste. You can also toss in chopped shallot, garlic or chives for more flavor. One of our favorites is a combination of grapeseed oil, apple cider vinegar, whole grain mustard, chopped shallot, salt and pepper. Pour over a salad of spinach, apples, walnuts, blue cheese and pomegranate seeds.
Have a favorite dish that your holiday would just not be complete without? We get it! Consider some of these substitutions to add nutrition without sacrificing on taste:
– If you like to fry, try using grapeseed oil. It has a high smoke point, making it good for frying or sautéing, has a very mild flavor and is a good source of polyunsaturated fats.
– Are potatoes a holiday staple in your house? If you use cream to add flavor, consider substituting coconut milk for a subtle sweetness while maintaining a creamy texture.
– For baking, try almond, oat or coconut flour instead of all-purpose flour. These flours are more nutrient-rich, less inflammatory and can add protein to a dish without substantially altering the taste. Just be sure to verify no one has food allergies!
– Avoid artificial sweeteners. Try substituting with agave nectar, honey or molasses.
– Add more herbs and spices to dishes instead of extra salt or sugar. Fresh or dried, whole or ground, a little goes a long way and with added nutrients, antioxidants and vitamins to boot!
If cocktails are part of your holiday get-togethers, try making your own mixers (surprisingly easy, they store well, and can be made well in advance of your party!) or adding sparkling water instead of sugary soda pop. Alcohol itself is somewhat high in calories so limit your intake. And of course, drink responsibly!
Finally, do you like to finish a holiday meal with coffee? We certainly do! Be sure to wait at least 30 minutes after your meal before enjoying that cup of coffee, however. According to Dominique, this will allow your body to absorb more nutrients from your food. If you’re worried about the caffeine keeping you up, try decaf!
Don’t forget we are here to help with any questions or more specific recommendations. We hope this helps you eat better and reduce inflammation this holiday season!