Thanksgiving dinner - a favorite meal of the year: delicious turkey with all the trimmings plus steaming pumpkin pie, all topped off with a glass of champagne. However statistics show that the average American will consume over 4,000 calories on Thanksgiving Day alone – that’s not to mention the rest of the festive period! I’ve found some clever ways to cut calories from the meal without compromising on the enjoyment or taste – read on for the fantastic guide that only takes a little effort but for huge rewards. Here are 7 Incredibly Effective Ways to Cut 800 Calories from Scrumptious Thanksgiving Dinner.
1. The Turkey (save 183 Calories)
A traditional roast turkey has a relatively low amount of calories when compared to other birds such as duck and goose. It’s full of Vitamin B and various minerals that are proven to boost your mood. However, the majority of the fat that a roast turkey contains comes from the skin, which is usually basted in oil and butter. You can cut 70 calories from each mouthful, if you ignore the skin, resulting in almost 200 calories gone just from the meat in the entire meal!
2. The Stuffing/dressing (save 90 Calories)
It’s become commonplace to cook the stuffing that accompanies your meat in the bird itself and there’s a growing trend to push dressing under the skin that covers the breast. This means that the stuffing soaks up all of the fat that runs out of your meat, resulting in unnecessarily-calorific stuffing. Sausage meat stuffing contains a lot more fat than other alternatives, such as chestnuts, so choose your stuffing wisely.
3. The Roasted Potatoes (save 79 Calories)
I’ll admit it; goose fat roasted potatoes are very yummy. But one cup of goose fat contains almost 2,000 calories! You can achieve potatoes equally as tasty by using flavored olive oil with herbs instead of animal fats. As well as cutting calories, it also means any vegetarians in the family can also now have the same potatoes as the rest of the family!
4. The Pigs in Blankets (save 158 Calories)
Pigs in blankets are one of my favorite additions to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. By using low-fat chipolata sausages and Parma ham rather than bacon will make a much healthier alternative. If you cook the sausages on a wire rack above a baking tray, the fat will drop off resulting in an even healthier addition.
5. The Gravy (save 133 Calories)
A very easy way to cut calories in your Thanksgiving dinner is to reduce the amount of fat that you add to your gravy. The meat juices are very tasty, but also contain a huge amount of fat. If you add an ice cube to your meat juices, the fat will collect around them – just spoon off the fat and add the juices to make tasty but less-fatty gravy. Perfect!
6. The Cranberry Sauce (save 23 Calories)
I’ve never made my own cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving, but a good way to cut calories in your sauce is to use the cheaper brands. Although premium brands will be more attractive and look nicer in the jar, they are packed with calories that cheaper brands are not. It’s unlikely that you will notice much of a difference in the flavor either!
7. Crustless Pumpkin Pie (save 200 Calories)
Pumpkin Pie – to some - the best dessert ever created. Unfortunately, the scrumptious pie contains a whopping 320 calories per slice, with an additional 50 calories for a blob of whipped cream. If you use the recipe for a crustless pumpkin pie (see: food.com) you can cut out around 200 calories from the dessert.
I hope that you have enjoyed reading my methods to cut the calories during your Thanksgiving dinner. I love a great big family meal but the calories that we all consume really worries me – do we really want to take in so much fat in one day? I’m sure there are other ways to make it even healthier but even just using some of these Incredibly Effective Ways to Cut 800 Calories from Scrumptious Thanksgiving Dinner will give you more in the calorie bank for more treats – another glass of bubbly maybe?
Please add any comments about how you are fighting the calories or even some of the special foods you have during the holidays.
Thank you, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!