Holiday Recipe Tips & Tricks (Including Cookie Dough!)


This holiday season, make some easy tweaks to your favorite holiday recipes to reduce the calories but keep the taste! Our Registered Dietitian health coaches have compiled tips, tricks, and a delicious "cookie dough" recipe to make your holiday happier and healthier than ever. 

Ingredient Swaps

  • Fruit Puree: Replace an equal amount of fruit puree (such as applesauce) for oil in cake, brownie, bread or muffin mixes. The fruit puree adds flavor, moisture and tenderness to baked goods when omitting oil and/or butter.
  • Egg Whites and Egg Substitutes: Replace some eggs with egg whites. One egg is equal to two egg whites or one fourth cup of an egg substitute.
  • Cocoa Powder: Use two tablespoons cocoa powder plus one tablespoon regular or low fat margarine in place of every ounce of unsweetened baking chocolate.
  • Greek Yogurt: Swap low-fat Greek yogurt in numerous recipes that call for sour cream, mayonnaise, and heavy cream to save calories and add protein to any recipe.

Lean Cooking Tips

  • Use cooking spray in place of oil to coat cooking ware.
  • Remove the fat from chicken, beef and other high-fat animal products.
  • Remove the skin from chicken or turkey.
  • Substitute whole milk or cream with skim, 1%, or almond milk.
  • Replace one third of the sugar in any baking recipe with cinnamon, nutmeg or vanilla to reduce calories while maintaining overall flavor.
  • If you’re making a chicken dish, use white meat instead of dark meat and chicken breasts instead of thighs.

And For Dessert.. Chickpea Cookie Dough Dip!

Ingredients - Makes Six Servings

  • 1 cup chickpeas, skins removed, patted dry
  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1/3 cup mini dark chocolate chips


  • Combine chickpeas, peanut butter, vanilla extract, and agave in a blender or food processor. Blend until it's a fine puree.
  • Remove cookie dough mixture from blender, and place in a large bowl. Add mini dark chocolate chips, and mix well with a wooden spoon.
  • Serve with apple slices or low-sodium pretzels at any holiday event.


Click here for a printable version of the tips and recipe! 

Kat Smith