Thursday, November 29, 2012

Healthier Holiday Treats

I have always loved that Christmas time is a time for baking and making goodies, but with people watching what they eat and trying to eat less sugar it can be a challenge to come up with goodies that will be consumed by those watching their calories!

I don't think saying you should make "Reindeer" snacks by giving away cut carrots and calling that dessert, but that could make a good snack  for small children at school or a party instead of sugar-loaded treats. To make things a bit more interesting and festive, here are a list of some holiday inspired goodies that you can more easily justify into your diet!

Vegetable Tree - This vegetable tree makes a great presentation dish to take with you to a potluck or party that you are asked to bring a side. By bringing a dish with vegetables, you will be sure that there will be something there that you can eat.You can use a variety of different vegetables to create a similar tree.


Roasted Nuts – Roast pecans, almonds, or other assorted nuts in a pan with melted butter, cinnamon  and cocoa powder. This will be plenty of protein, but have some flavor that will help fulfill a sweet-tooth.


Peanut Butter Balls
Prepare these quick-fix Christmas treats ahead of time.
  • 1/2 cup honey (try local honey)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (try no sugar added)
  • 1/4 cup crispy rice cereal
  • 1 individual serving packet instant cocoa mix (try sugar free)
  1. Mix honey and peanut butter together.
  2. Add cocoa and mix well. Stir in the rice cereal and mix until coated.
  3. Form into 1 1/2 inch balls. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

Sugar-Free Hot Chocolate
This can be a nice gift when coupled together with a mug. If made using water, this beverage can be very low calorie and no-sugar! Just note the difference between sugar-free and "no sugar added".


Cinnamon and Other Spices
This isn't a specific treat, but an idea. As in cooking when herbs and spices are added to foods to give them more flavor without extra calories, Christmas time is a common time to use baking spices. Cinnamon ranks among the top, but you can also experiment with nutmeg, allspice, ground ginger, and cardamom or mulling spice packages. These can give an extra boost of flavor to a healthier alternative!

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