4 Healthy Holiday Hacks – A Post from Julie Roberts
Eating healthy is not usually on our to-do list during the holiday season, but one too many slices of that favorite pie and we can wake up on New Year’s Day not feeling, or looking, our best. With planning and helpful nutritional information, there are easy ways to eat healthy while still enjoying the traditional favorites. Below I’ve rounded up four of my favorites:
1. Appetizer: Caprese Skewers
Easy and guaranteed to be a favorite, this recipe includes heart healthy olive oil and fresh basil, but without the bread.
2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
1 pound fresh mozzarella
1 bunch fresh basil
Salt & pepper to taste
Thread ingredients onto skewers. Sprinkle each skewer with sea salt and black pepper; drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.
2. Side Dish: Ranch-mashed Taters
Taking an old time favorite, and jazzing it up with flavor of ranch, but without actually adding any dressing.
13 cups cubed red potato (about 4 pounds)
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
3 tablespoons butter, softened (or use a healthier substitute)
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
Place potato in a Dutch oven; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until tender; drain. Place potato in a large bowl. Add sour cream and remaining ingredients; mash with a potato masher to desired consistency.
3. Dessert: Cran-Oatmeal Protein Cookies
This recipe uses flaxseed instead of eggs and applesauce instead of butter, making it the perfect option for your post-dinner sweet tooth.
1 cup of all-natural applesauce and 1/2 stick of margarine
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup natural sugar substitute
2 tbsp of flaxseed (in place of the eggs)
1 tsp of vanilla
1 cups of all-natural whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup of your favorite protein powder (I use the vanilla wheyprotein from Beachbody)
1 tsp of baking soda
2 tsp of cinnamon
3 cups of oats
1 cup of craisins
Bake at 350 degrees for 11-12 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. For chewy cookies I do
8-10 minutes, and cool on cooling rack.
4. Cocktail: Cocoa Nog
Combining two holiday favorites into one, this recipe uses unsweetened cocoa powder to keep calories low (only 86 calories per serving)
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups eggnog, divided
1 pint rum
1 pint brandy
Garnish: grated bittersweet chocolate
Whisk together cocoa powder and 1/3 cup eggnog until smooth. In a pitcher, whisk cocoa mixture into remaining eggnog. Add rum and brandy. Pour 4 ounces into small glasses; top with grated bittersweet chocolate.
Enjoy, and Happy Holidays!
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