Pass the Turkey, Hold the Fat!

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orange County through the Nutrition Education program knows how tempting food can be during the holiday season. To help you cut the fat and calories from your recipes and not the flavor we suggest the following:
  • Instead of basting the turkey with butter or drippings, rub the bird with canola or olive oil; then baste with defatted chicken stock and avoid the turkey skin.
  • Instead of making gravy with hot pan drippings, scrape out the pan, chill the fat in the freezer, and discard the fat that rises to the top. When you reheat the defatted juice, sift in cake flour, whisking it to make a smooth gravy.
  • When a recipe calls for cream or whole milk, substitute nonfat milk or evaporated skim milk. You won't know the difference in pumpkin pie or mashed potatoes. Nonfat sour cream and nonfat ricotta are good cream substitutes, too.
  • Serve sweet potatoes plain, in their skins. If you mash them, use orange slices, grated orange zest, and cinnamon instead of marshmallow topping.
  • Try pumpkin pudding instead of pie. Cook the pumpkin filling in individual baking dishes or in small pumpkin shells.
  • Instead of adding fat to the stuffing, moisten it with stock. Add herbs, onions, celery, and other savory ingredients.
  • Bottom line: Keep your portions reasonable. Add more vegetables, salads and whole grains to center stage in your menu. Add fresh fruits to the dessert table.
If you have any questions about nutrition or food safety, please call Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orange County at 845-344-1234.