These winter holidays, with all the delicious food that goes along with them, can be a healthy eater’s nightmare. Have you walked the dietary high road and shunned the high-sugar and high-calorie delicacies, or have you gone ahead and indulged in the flavors of the season? Either way, chances are you’d love to have the best of both worlds – healthy eating and enjoying the tasty treats. Is it possible to enjoy your best-loved holiday treats in a healthier way?
Put aside the picked-over fudge and the leftover cheesy pasta bake, and give our renovated holiday food favorites a try.
- Excellent eggnog exists. While the traditional stuff does have its virtues like impressive protein and calcium content, it does pack in a whopping 343 calories, 19 grams of fat, and, brace yourself, 150mg of cholesterol (which is a full half of your daily allotment) per cup. The version we found here (http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/drink/healthy-eggnog-recipe/) is less traditional, but is actually good for you. You’ll still get the creamy spiciness of eggnog that you love but without the attack on your arteries. Plus, it’s so healthy and energizing you could whip one up for breakfast. Minus the bourbon, perhaps.
- You can do donuts. While you might not be able to find a healthy chocolate frosted donut at the local donut shop, you can make your own with this recipe: http://thefitfork.com/baked-and-better-chocolate-protein-donut-recipe-for-national-donut-day/ . These little gems are a mere 106 calories each, and have an impressive 7.5 grams of protein. (Should we even compare those stats to the 370 calories to be found in a traditional chocolate glazed donut? Nah.)
- Befriend fudge again. Is fudge as ubiquitous in your holiday household as colored lights and ornaments? Usually chock-full of sugar and unhealthy fats, it’s an addictive and dangerous holiday staple. Try this version that we found instead that is naturally sweetened and full of healthy fats. Add some PB if you want it a little softer: http://wholefully.com/2016/01/21/dark-chocolate-coconut-oil-fudge/
- Up your appetizer game. If you’re headed to a New Year’s party, you’re almost certain to be confronted with endless trays and plates of goodies that aren’t exactly on your healthy eating plan. Load up on goods from the veggie tray, and then top ‘em with this: http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a48659/greek-yogurt-onion-dip-recipe/ This is an easy, healthy, and protein-rich version of the much-loved traditional onion dip. Plus, it’s basic enough that you can spice it up or experiment with different spice additions.
One more appetizer idea: get out the mini skewers and load ‘em up with antipasto goods (Kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, salami, and mozzarella) or make them Caprese-style with mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, basil leaves, and a drizzle of a balsamic reduction.These low-carb, veggie and protein-rich apps are so tasty that you won’t even look twice the tray of chips and queso.Well, maybe.
With a little planning and some inventive cooking you can easily create healthier versions of your best-loved holiday treats. These ideas are simple and quick enough for the cooking-challenged, and delicious enough that you, your friends, and your family will love them.