Healthy Holiday Snacking

popcorn

Morning, Friends! It’s Brooke here. ‘Tis the season for decadent holiday delights. This time of year is packed full of parties, gift exchanges, and general festive cheer that usually involve treats of the most delicious kind. But let’s be honest—it’s not just the sugar haze that warms our hearts when we give and receive these treats. We show our love and care for people in our lives by the cooking we do and the food we serve them. But we can also serve tasty morsels that bring a healthy heart, trim body, and joyful energy to those we care about.

A Simple Checklist

When you or your family need a boost between meals, think about this simple checklist as you assemble your snack. It’s not rocket science, so have fun with it!

  • Lean protein (whey or vegan protein powder, hummus, (healthy) bean dip, hard-boiled egg, low-fat Greek or plain yogurt, or edamame)—protein will help fill you up and satisfy your hunger
  • Healthy fat (nuts, seeds, avocado, or nut butter)—healthy fats also satisfy your hunger and keep your brain sharp and skin supple
  • Complex or non-starchy carb (whole grains, green veggies, or fruit)—these carbohydrates will boost your mood and give you clean-burning energy

Nutritious Nibbles

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Green smoothie or juice + nuts or seeds: Prepare 12-16 oz. of your favorite green drink and then grab 10-15 unsalted almonds, 10-15 walnuts halves, or 24 pistachios. You will feel amazing after this snack—so clean!

Apple and cheese plate: Thinly slice ½ organic apple, ½ organic pear, and 1 oz. hard cheese like Cheddar or Swiss. You can even add some slivered almonds or chopped dried cranberries to dress up this dish.

Grown-up popcorn: Prepare 3 c. air-popped popcorn, and then while popcorn is still hot, sprinkle with your favorite spices:

  • Grated parmesan and cayenne pepper
  • Garlic powder and smoked paprika
  • Dill weed and sea salt
  • Cinnamon and stevia

Sesame carrots and hummus or bean dip: Roll some raw baby carrots in toasted sesame seeds and add a pinch of sea salt. For a pretty contrast, you can even roll the carrots in dill weed or lemon pepper (my fave!). Serve with your favorite hummus or bean dip. If you need a bit more substance to this snack, add some whole-grain or gluten free crackers.

Berries and spiced yogurt: Prepare 1 c. of your favorite winter berries or mix blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries for a gorgeous power snack. Take 1 c. low-fat Greek or plain yogurt and mix in 1 tsp. cinnamon, ½ tsp. nutmeg, ¼ tsp. ground cloves, and if desired, stevia (to taste). You can dip your berries into the yogurt dip or throw everything together in one bowl if you want to get really wild 😉

Five Spice Pistachios

Five-Spice Pistachios

For a really elegant and easy snack, try this killer pistachio recipe. It takes 5 minutes to prepare and about 45 minutes for the pistachios to dry after coming out of the oven. Can cooking be any simpler? My mouth is already watering!

Five-Spice Pistachios

  • 6 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 6 Tbsp. Chinese five-spice powder
  • 4 tsp. sea salt
  • 6 c. unsalted pistachios

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 250°F.

Whisk orange juice, five-spice powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add pistachios; toss to coat. Divide between 2 large rimmed baking sheets; spread in an even layer.

Bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until dry, about 45 minutes. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe shared from Eating Well: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/five_spice_pistachios.html

Ok, my friends. I hope you enjoy these ideas for ringing in the merry while keeping your belly nice and trim. If you have a favorite healthy snack recipe, please share: Brooke@healthyhousewives.com. I’m always looking for fabulous ideas to share!!

Blessings and joy,

Brooke

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