FitFitBanner Images

Audio Archive Audio Archive

Please Swap the Sweet Potato Soufflé

November 11th, 2011 - By Lari Robling

Share on Tumblr

How do you enjoy the Thanksgiving celebration but avoid falling into a nutritional nightmare? All it takes is a little planning and a few ingredient swaps. Famed cookbook author Nathalie Dupree and other food professionals share their secrets.


RECIPE: Raita (Indian Yogurt Dish)

Thanksgiving is the meal that takes 10 hours to prepare and 10 minutes to eat! If preparing this meal makes you nervous, imagine your job is to cook for the governor of Georgia. That’s the Thanksgiving Holly Chute is planning. To keep the First Family healthy, she swaps out high fat and calorie ingredients without sacrificing taste.

Says Chute, “A typical southern dish for thanksgiving would be sweet potato soufflé with white sugar, brown sugar, eggs, nuts, butter milk and a lot of calories. I’m substituting agave nectar for the sugar and using less, egg whites for whole and that’s going to save at least half the calories.” The proof is in the pudding, or soufflé in this case, what is the flavor trade-off in the ingredient swaps? Chute responds, “It’s a lot lighter because I whip the egg whites and it’s a little less sweet but you really taste the sweet potatoes and the spices.”

Registered Dietician and product developer Barbara Samson has another approach, “We usually have the traditional Thanksgiving fare, but because my husband is from India we always include a few extra specials like raita.” So, adding dishes from other cultures is an easy way to lighten up the menu. And, as Samson points out, with all those heavy traditional side dishes raita is a perfect complement. “It’s a cold yogurt side dish that you can put any number of grated vegetables like carrots cucumbers tomatoes. And the special flavor is mint.”

Cookbook author Nathalie Dupree says pick your splurge dishes and make one serving for each guest. “If you only have one bowl of mashed potatoes,” she says, “and you only have one dozen biscuits they’ve got plenty of room for the other things and I make a lot of vegetables.” To keep those vegetables healthy, Dupree seasons them in a light broth, “I make turkey broth ahead of time from turkey wings and backs that I’ve browned and then I use that broth to flavor everything. I want to make those green beans just taste delicious and I might add a little fat when I reheat them.”

That works! Enjoy the traditions but in moderation and make sure the leftovers the next day are the healthy ones.

Got questions about lightening up your holiday meal? We’ve got a hotline set up! Call us at 215-351-1254 or email

Nathalie Dupree Uncarved
Nathalie Dupree Uncarved
More healthy Thanksgiving tips from Nathalie in this uncut version of her conversation with Lari Robling.

Photo by Flicker user Wally Hartshorn / CC BY-NC 2.0

Comments are closed.

Photo by Flicker user Chiot's Run / CC BY-NC 2.0

Move Over, Kale Chips! Kale Buds Are Here

By Lari Robling - April 18th, 2012

High Tunnel farming caught my eye because its extended growing season adds to the amount of local produce we get. While farm manager Aviva Asher was tidying up the winter crop to make way for spring, I discovered another benefit of local growing: use what you’ve got.

December 2014
« Jun    

Got a question for Fit? Want to submit your own "fit and fresh" recipe? Have a good story idea for us?

Contact us at

Get Healthy Philly is part of the Communities Putting Prevention to Work Initiative, a federal effort to: prevent and delay chronic disease, reduce risk factors, promote wellness in children and adults, and provide positive sustainable health change in our communities.

Food Fit Philly is part of Get Healthy Philly, a program that works to reduce and prevent obesity and related chronic diseases (like heart disease and diabetes) by increasing access to healthy foods that people can afford.

Your body needs help when it's time to quit. SmokeFree Philly is a program of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health that offers support and tools to help smokers quit. The goal of SmokeFree Philly is to: help people to quit smoking, stop people from starting to use tobacco, and reduce heart disease, cancer and other illnesses caused by smoking.

Philly Food Bucks!
Philly Food Bucks are coupons that help ACCESS/food stamp customers save money on fruits and vegetables. Philly Food Bucks can be redeemed for $2 worth of fruits and vegetables for every $5 spent in ACCESS/food stamps at a participating farmers' market. Learn more about Philly Food Bucks at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health's recently expanded web site Food Fit Now also accepted at the West Oak Lane Weaver's Way Food Coop.