We have reached the holiday season and we’re letting the sides shine! Holiday gatherings are usually associated with festive, indulgent meals made from cherished family recipes. When it comes to side dishes, you do not have to sacrifice flavor-seasonal produce yields great nutrition and taste while adding to the festive look of the holiday table. Make the sides shine bright by using seasonal fare and simple substitutions.
Squash such as butternut and acorn, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins are fall favorites. Enhance their flavor and bring out their natural sweetness by roasting and finishing them with a light glaze of honey and tangy balsamic vinegar.
Mashed potatoes, another holiday standard, can be turned into a protein and probiotic powerhouse by using Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream. Heart healthy fiber and fats can be added to sweet potato casserole by creating a crumbly oat and nut based topping.
Make your sides sparkle by adding ruby red pomegranate. Called arils, the seeds of the pomegranate are packed with powerful antioxidants, potassium, and fiber. Decorate your dishes by adding them to everything from Brussels sprouts and green beans to cranberry sauce and salads.
Stuff your stuffing with whole grains to add a nutty, earthy flavor; consider using fiber-filled brown rice or protein packed quinoa. Toasted nuts such as walnuts or pecans add a hearty-health crunch, and seasonal fruits such as apples or pears add a hint of natural sweetness.
Bring the sides to the center of the table by roasting a whole cauliflower and dressing it with the colors of the season. Earthy herbs, sweet cranberries and pomegranate, and crunchy pine nuts add sweet and savory flavor.
Sometimes, it’s not all about the main entrée – this holiday season, let the tasty side dishes get the spotlight!