Holiday Foods Can Be Healthy
Posted: December 21, 2012
Tis the season to have many more items on the “to do” list then we possibly can ever accomplish. We may find ourselves rushing to shop for and visit family and friends.
Unfortunately, when we are in a rush, we inevitably making poor food choices.
Many holidays get together or those quick stops to pick up are missing one or more ingredients for that healthy food item. Be choosey this holiday season; choose foods that include some nutrients for the calories.
Let’s first begin with holiday drinks. Encourage kids and teenagers to choose drinks like this spicy cocoa mix instead of soda or fruit drinks. It’s easy to make ahead and store on the counter in plain sight. See the recipes at the end of this article for more ideas.
Next, take a look at the snacks in the refrigerator and cupboards. Keep healthier version of dips instead of high fat no protein dips; look for high protein low fat dips. Below, the black and white bean dip can be made with rinsed canned beans which are very economical, easy and have less sodium. Keep the dip in the refrigerator for impromptu get together and hungry adolescents. Serve with sliced cucumbers or whole grain pita, sliced into wedges.
Last but not least, dessert. First, choose recipes or choices that have some fruit in them. Fruit naturally lowers the calories and increases our sense of fullness. If you plan to make dessert or cookies, be generous, save some for your tasting and give the rest away in small quantities. Try our easy to make crock-pot baked apples. Serve warm with vanilla frozen yogurt. This recipe will give a holiday cinnamon smell to your kitchen!
Be choosey this holiday season with what you feed your body and with what you make to feed others. Make a few small changes to boost the value of those calories!
Spicy Cocoa Mix
21/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
2 cups cocoa
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
Process in a food processor until well blended. Heat 6 ounces of skim milk, stir in 1 ½ tablespoons cocoa mix.
Makes 5 cups.
Black and White Bean Dip
1 1/2 cups black beans, cooked or canned, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups Great Northern beans, cooked or canned, rinsed and drained
1 large tomato, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
Combine all ingredients; mix well. Refrigerate before serving. Source: Idaho Bean Commission
Baked Stuffed Apples in the Crockpot
6 medium tart red apples
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup golden seedless raisins
1 Tbsp grated orange peel
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/4 cup soft butter
2 cups very hot water
3 Tbsp orange juice concentrate
Wash, core and stem the apples, but don't peel them. Spray crock pot with nonfat cooking spray. Stand apples upright and stuff them each with 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 tsp
raisins and the 1/8 tsp each of cinnamon and orange peel. Pour the hot water into the cooker. Sprinkle the orange juice concentrate over the apples. Cover the cooker and cook on low for 3 to 5 hours, or until the apples are tender.