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Stress-Free Holiday Planning

Impress While Stressing Less During the Holidays

With the holidays coming up, it’s no surprise that more people are going to be spending time in the kitchen.

Some people get so excited over Thanksgiving and Christmas that they begin preparing their meals a week or more in advance, getting ready for the big day when friends and family comes over to celebrate the holidays together. The ones in the kitchen, however, can often find themselves in a bit of a bind with all that food to chop, bake, boil, and stir.  Thankfully, there are a few ways those in the kitchen can make their efforts there easier.

1.     Prepare things in advance. There are a few things that people can do up to two weeks before Thanksgiving to make the day easier. Buying all of the ingredients ahead of time is one thing, but making pie crust, or pie fillings from scratch two weeks ahead can save a lot of time. It’s much easier to bake the pies the night before so they can be set aside and out of the way when the cooking heyday begins. If making noodles from scratch, these can be made up to a week ahead of time as well.(And can save money instead of buying them!) About a week ahead is a good time to stick the frozen turkey in the refrigerator, so it has time to thaw completely before the big day. It’s another good idea to chop and store vegetables like celery and onions a day or two before and store these in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

 2.     Substitution. Many foods made on holidays are delicious but very high in fat and calories. Many families won’t even notice if the sour cream in the potatoes is switched to low-fat, or if the gravy is made with skim milk, or if the cream of mushroom in the casserole is low sodium. There are all kinds of semi-healthy substitutes, such as low-fat, skim, reduced sodium, and fat free that can be made for the big meal that will go generally unnoticed by friends and family, but save them health-wise in the long run.

 3.     Have easy and healthy drink options. A good example of this is store bought apple juice which has been lightly boiled with a stick of cinnamon, to bring a nice fall/seasonal taste. It’s a lot healthier than soda, and it tastes just as good. This can be served immediately warm, or made the day before and placed in the refrigerator to cool.

 There are many different ways to make it easier on the people in the kitchen and for those around them as well. Three such ways have been listed here that are all quick and easy. They save lots of time and effort as well as calories, but don’t really cut down on flavor. Preparing in advance, substituting unhealthy eating options like full-fat and high-sodium, and having healthier options to drink during the meal are all excellent ways to save time and effort, as well as saving the waistlines of those both in the kitchen, and outside of it.