A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic Health System

9 tips for heart-healthy holiday cooking

plate of pumpkin pie

With all the cookies and pies, puddings, turkey and roast beef, only one question remains —how much will you eat this season?

Having so many offerings doesn’t mean they all have to hurt your heart.

Here are a few heart-healthy cooking and baking tips:

  1. Cut down on saturated fat in creamy dressings by mixing in some nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt.
  2. Use nonstick cookware so you can cook with minimal oil or vegetable oil spray.
  3. For a wonderful flavor enhancer, sprinkle food with vinegar or citrus juice. Add either one at the last minute so the flavor is at its strongest.
  4. Use two egg whites instead of one whole egg. Eliminating the yolk is a healthy choice.
  5. Substitute chopped vegetables for some of the bread in your stuffing recipe.
  6. Roast vegetables, use skinless meats and when roasting meats, do so on a rack so fat can drip off the meat.
  7.  Use evaporated skim milk instead of cream or half-and-half for your cream sauces and baked goodies; it will reduce calories and tastes great.
  8. Instead of roasting a whole stuffed turkey, roast a turkey breast. It’s the healthiest part of the bird. It’s delicious and it cuts down on leftovers.
  9. When roasting your turkey, cut out the butter (or cut it in half) and baste with the drippings; try using fresh herbs for seasoning.

Light Pumpkin Pie (serves 8)


  • 16 ginger snap cookies
  • 16-ounce can pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup low-cholesterol egg substitute
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 12-ounce can evaporated skim milk
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/3 cup Splenda® sweetener


Preheat oven to 350 F. Grind ginger snaps in food processor. Lightly spray a glass pie pan with cooking spray. Pat cookie crumbs evenly into the bottom of the pan. Mix remaining ingredients together and pour into the crust. Bake until knife comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature; refrigerate. Cut into 8 pieces.

Optional: Serve with fat-free whipped topping.

Nutrition information

Each serving contains about 165 calories; 6 g protein; 170 mg sodium; 32 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber.

[button-orange url=”https://shine365.marshfieldclinic.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Pumpkin-Pie-Recipe-Download.pdf” target=”_blank” position=”left”]DOWNLOAD AND PRINT RECIPE[/button-orange]
  1. Nov 22, 2016
    • Nov 22, 2016

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