November 4, 2009

Season’s Eatings!

By Beth Freehill, R.D., L.D.
HyVee Registered Dietician
Clinton, IA
(563) 243-6162

During the holidays, we are faced with many tasty holiday temptations. The good news is you do not have to sacrifice taste or holiday traditions. The key is to be reasonable and practice moderation with those favorite holiday foods and make small changes in your food preparation.

Try these simple substitutions to make your holiday baking healthier:

Instead of Use:
1 cup oil = 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tbsp margarine = 3 tbsp ground flax
1 egg = 1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water
1/2 cup pecans = 1/4 cup toasted pecans
1 cup sour cream = 1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup whole milk = 1 cup skim milk
1 cup mayonnaise = 1 cup blenderized low-fat cottage cheese
1 cup wine = 3/4 cup water, 3 tbsp lemon juice & 1 tbsp sugar

This year add chia seeds to your holiday dishes and baked goods. This tiny seed is big when it comes to nutritional value. Chia seeds are a source of soluble fiber and when combined with liquids form a gel. The gel may help the body regulate how carbohydrates are digested and stabilize blood sugars. The soluble fiber also may have a role in controlling appetite and cholesterol. Chia seeds provide omega-3 fatty acids; in fact, they contain some of the highest amounts of plant-based omega-3 fats. Chia seeds have little flavor, making it easy to add them to your favorite foods without changing the taste. Because chia seeds are rich in antioxidants, there is no need to refrigerate to keep the oils present from going rancid. Simply sprinkle one tablespoon on salads, yogurt, cereal, applesauce, smoothies or to your favorite holiday foods.

Pumpkin Chia Seed Muffins
Source: modified from
Serves 12.

All you need:
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup chopped black walnuts
or toasted pumpkin seeds, optional
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup Grand Selections pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In large bowl combine chia seeds, flours, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and baking soda.
3. In medium bowl combine pumpkin, egg substitute, oil, syrup and vanilla. Stir pumpkin mixture into chia-seed mixture until combined; stir in nuts.
4. Spoon batter into paper-lined or greased muffin tins.
5. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean. Remove and place on wire rack to cool.

Nutrition information per serving (does not include walnuts): 190 calories, 6 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 230 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 17 g sugar, 4 g protein

Percent Daily Values: 110% vitamin A, 6% calcium, 8% iron

Check out Hy-Vees website at for more delicious holiday recipes. Happy holidays from Hy-Vee!

This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.