Do you want to have your cake and eat it, too? I sure do! By managing the fat, sugar, sodium, and/or calories in your recipes, you really can enjoy your holiday favorites and still keep health in mind.

Trying new recipes can be fun, but I also enjoy taking my family’s favorites and lightening them up a bit through recipe modification. There are two basic ways to modify a recipe: change a cooking technique or change an ingredient (reduce, eliminate or substitute). It sounds simple enough, but what you may not know is that most ingredients not only provide flavor, they also provide some function in the recipe (i.e. fat can provide a crispy texture or sugar can provide browning). Therefore, when you make changes you might get different results than you expected.

If you like to experiment in the kitchen – go for it! But if that’s not your idea of fun, simply look for recipes that have already been modified by the experts. You can usually find recipes on websites of different sweetener brands or a website of a culinary-minded registered dietitian. One of my favorites is Nutrition Starring YOU by Lauren Harris-Pincus. Here’s one of her recent holiday snack recipes using a low calorie sweetener: Peanut Butter Raspberry Snack Squares.

Peanut Butter Raspberry Snack Squares by Lauren Harris-Pincus MS, RDN

Peanut Butter Raspberry Snack Squares by Lauren Harris-Pincus MS, RDN

I recently started collecting some “lightened up” recipes on Pinterest and you could do the same.

If you are up for the challenge and ready to roll up your sleeves in the kitchen, you can get my strategies for success, including a handy substitution chart by reading my full article on

For more information about me, check out my Guilt-Free RD philosophy!

Check out other posts on my “Food for Thought” blog.

Listen to my podcast conversations with food and nutrition experts.

Note of Disclosure: I’m pleased to be a consultant to The International Food Information Council, providing blogs and other social media content that shares their resources for health professionals and the public. I believe whole-heartedly in their mission of effectively communicating science-based information on health, nutrition and food safety for the public good.
Thank you for visiting my site! I hope you have a Guilt-Free day!

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