Q: Many of my holiday recipes call for butter. What’s a good substitute?

A: I like to use the tub margarines with added plant sterols such as Benecol or Promise Take Control. I also like the “light” versions that give you all the flavor with half the calories. These margarines are a nice substitute for butter not only because they have only a fraction of the artery-clogging saturated fat, and are trans fat free, but also because they give you a dose of plant sterols—the natural plant derivative that is safe and effective for lowering your “bad” LDL cholesterol. Here is a mashed potato recipe for a delicious and truly heart-healthy holiday side dish taken from my book, Cholesterol DOWN:

Mashed Potatoes with Chick Peas (Garbanzo Beans)

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: approximately 1 cup)

  • 2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) chick peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup light soy milk
  • ½ cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup Promise Take Control Light Margarine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • Commercial gravy, optional

Place potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and return potatoes to pan. Add in chick peas and mash using a potato masher. Add in soy milk, chicken broth, margarine and seasonings, and stir. Cook an additional 2 minutes until heated, stirring constantly. Serve warm. Top with commercial gravy if desired.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (approximately 1 cup):
Calories: 255, Fat: 5 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 751 mg,
Carbohydrates: 46 g, Dietary Fiber: 5 g, Sugars: 3 g, Protein: 7 g

Recipe from: Cholesterol DOWN: 10 Simple Steps to Lower Your Cholesterol in 4 Weeks—Without Prescription Drugs by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN.
Published by Three Rivers Press, December 2006

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