Save your dessert calories this Thanksgiving season!

There is no doubt that the first thing that comes to mind during the holiday season is the opportunity to share with loved ones. Yet, the holidays are also notorious for our indulgence with scrumptious dishes. Still,are plenty of ways to indulge and save some calories in the process. Here are some ideas that may help you be less calorie conscious even when consuming those delicious Thanksgiving desserts.

Rule 1- Combine and save! Before slicing that pecan pie into a huge triangle, cut that same slice in half. Fix your dessert dish with at least 6 tbsp. of low-calorie whipped cream and add fruit to your plate. Sprinkle the fruit with a natural sugar alternative such as Stevia, or Truvia. You will be surprised how the different flavors combine to fully satisfy your sugar craving without leaving you buzzed out.

Rule 2- Make protein your dessert! Try something new this year: substitute bread and starchy desserts with creamy, milky and savory ones. A very popular savory dessert is cheesecake. Yes, cheesecake! A protein cheesecake recipe calls for:
• 12oz Fat Free Philadelphia Cream Cheese
• 1 container of plain Greek yogurt
• 2 Whole Eggs
• 1-2 tbs (or more) of alternative natural sweetener
• ¼ Cup Milk or coconut milk
• 1.5 Scoops of whey protein, or almond flour
• 1tsp Vanilla Extract
• Dash Salt
You can add fruit and whipped toppings and make it a dessert to remember.

Rule 3- Make mini-desserts! Rather than baking huge pies and cakes, why not make miniatures that everyone can share and enjoy? You can sample two mini desserts for the same calories as one big one, and still get the most out of it without overspending your calorie budget. Jell-O shots with fruit inside make great mini desserts. Just make your gelatin as you normally do, add fruit, and chill. Serve in individual mini containers or chill them individually prior to serving in mini muffin wrappers. Add whipped cream before serving, and enjoy!

Rule 4- MINT! MINT! MINT! – Make a liquid dessert that also helps to tame a crazy tummy! Warm, mint lemonades flavored with alternative natural sweeteners make a delicious alternative, especially with a dash of milk or whipped cream melting inside. At neatly zero calories, this refreshing and calming drink will make your tummy much happier than eating a whole pumpkin pie.
Do not forget: Minty sherberts also make great palate cleansers. Using nothing but shaved ice, mint flavoring and alternative sweeteners, this dessert is sure to be a hit to remember.

You can have it all and eat it too! Just be wise about portions and ingredients, and have yourself a happy holiday season!

*Feature Image Credit: Pillsbury