A Healthier Holiday Season: Part 2 with AVH Dietitians

December 25, 2017
With the holidays upon us, we turned to our very own Aspen Valley Hospital Dietitians—Kristy, Sandy and Laurie—to answer some common questions about eating healthier during the holidays. Plus, we have included some tasty recipes to try! This is Part 2 of 5, so stay tuned for more helpful information and delicious dishes.

Our Wonderful Dietitians:

   Sandra Holmes                                      Kristy Bates                                             Laureen Osier

I keep hearing people going dairy-free to improve their gut issues. I usually make a lot of casseroles during the holiday - what would be the best substitute for cheese and milk?

Lactose intolerance is a condition where people are unable to digest the lactose (sugar) in milk. People of African, Asian, Hispanic or Native American dissent are more likely to lack the enzyme, lactase, responsible for digestion.

If you would like to substitute milk in a recipe, you can use soy, rice, almond or a variety of plant milks (cup for cup). Coconut milk can also be substitute, but it is high in total fat, calories and saturated fat, so consider lite varieties and use in moderation. Cheese, on the other hand can often be tolerated by those who lack the enzyme, as it does not contain much lactose. There are however, other health reason to substitute cheese or eliminate it. Most cheeses tend to be high in saturated fat and sodium, which can increase your risk for heart disease and type 2 Diabetes.

Tofu can be frozen and defrosted to provide a consistency like ricotta cheese in things like lasagna. Silken tofu can be blended with lemon juice to make a creamy consistency like plain yogurt. Raw almonds can be blended with water or broth to make a creamy liquid to add to soups/casseroles to provide a sauce.

Recipe Ideas!

"Parmesan Cheese":
1/4 cup raw chasews
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons hemp seed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1. Mix all ingredients in a coffee bean grinder
2. Keep in a small respurposed spice jar and sprinkle on popcorn, soups and Italian foods!

Banana "Nice" Cream:
1 banana per person (the riper the banana, the sweeter the "nice" cream!)
A splash or two of almond or soy milk (or any plant based milk)

1. Remove the peels from the bananas and slice them up
2. Put the banana slices into a plastic bag and place it in your freezer
3. Once the bananas are frozena ll teh way through, take them out ot thaw slightly
4. Put the frozen bananas and milk substitute into a strong blender (or even a food processor should work)
5. Sprinkle the top of the Banana "Nice" Cream with nutmeg, cinnamon or berries (or all three!)

Your imagination is the limit with this healthy ice cream recipe. You can try the same thing with different fruits like berries or mangoes. If you like strawberry-banana smoothies, try mixing frozen strawberries and frozen bananas to make an ice cream. Or, if you like peanut butter, try mixing some peanut butter into the banana "nice" cream.
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