Tuesday, December 4

Have a Healthy Christmas!

The holidays are just around the corner and healthy ideas are needed to keep everyone on track throughout the season.  Here are some of my favourite recipes and snack ideas, found mainly on pinterest.

Here's a recipe for Spiced Caramel Dip to have with Winter Fruit. It's a low-fat Greek-style yogurt lightens the calorie load but maintains the decadent creaminess.


  • 2 3"–4" cinnamon sticks
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 7 ounces plain low-fat Greek-style yogurt
  • Apples, pears, and persimmons, sliced (for dipping)

Toast cinnamon sticks, cardamom, star anise, and peppercorns in a medium saucepan over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add ground cinnamon and next 4 ingredients; scrape in seeds from vanilla bean and add bean. Lower heat to medium-low and stir until sugars are dissolved, butter is melted, and mixture is smooth. Whisking constantly, gradually pour in cream. Bring sauce to a boil over medium-low heat and cook until mixture is creamy and slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Strain caramel through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, discard spices, and let caramel cool. Mix yogurt into caramel sauce and serve with sliced fruit for dipping. 

Here's a cute Christmas tree made with fruit for Christmas morning!  Healthy to snack on while opening stockings or gifts as well!

Here's something similar but made with vegetables and a few pretzel sticks.  This is a great thing to bring to a Christmas party for an appetizer!

If you are feeling a bit more ambitious you could make this Appetizer Wreath! Very festive and healthy! 

2 tubes (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon dill weed
⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
1 – 1½ cups chopped fresh broccoli florets
1 cup finely chopped celery
½ cup finely chopped sweet red pepper
Celery leaves

Remove crescent dough from packaging (do not unroll). Cut each tube into eight slices. Arrange in an 11-in circle on an ungreased 14-in pan. Bake at 375 for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing to a serving platter; cool completely.  In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, dill and garlic powder until smooth. Spread over wreath; top with broccoli, celery and red pepper. Form a bow garnish with celery leaves.

Here's a fun and easy appetizer idea to make with the kids!  These cheese reindeers are made from Laughing Cow cheese wedge, pretzels, olive and red pepper.  

These Parmesan Zucchini sticks are delicious and only 52 calories for the whole recipe!!! 

Zucchini, 1 cup, sliced
Parmesan Cheese, grated, 1 tbsp
Butter Spray
Non-stick cooking spray

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, then coat with some non-stick cooking spray. Place the zucchini slices out on the pan, then spritz with them with the butter spray. Sprinkle on the parmesan cheese and then pop it in the oven. Broil for a few minutes - until the cheese starts to brown. Enjoy it while it's warm!

Okay so these Mashed potato Xmas trees probably aren't that healthy but it will cut down on your serving size if you just have one! Such a cute idea!

Try this beautiful and healthy North Pole Strawberry Smoothie Recipe below:

1 package (10 ounces) frozen strawberries in syrup, partially thawed and undrained
1/4 cup water
2 cups vanilla frozen yogurt
2 tablespoons vanilla reduced-fat yogurt
1 strawberry-flavored or peppermint candy cane, about 6 inches long, finely crushed
Green decorating gel

1. Place strawberries and water in blender. Cover and blend on medium-high speed until slushy. Blend on medium speed until smooth. Transfer to 2-cup measure.
2. Wash and dry blender. Place frozen yogurt and reduced-fat yogurt in blender. Cover and blend on medium speed until smooth.
3. Place crushed candy cane on small plate. Pipe decorating gel around rim of two 12-ounce glasses. Dip rims into crushed candy.
4. Carefully pour yogurt mixture and strawberries at the same time into glasses, creating a half-and-half design. Serve with large drinking straws if desired.

Never heard of Peppermint Popcorn before! It looks pretty, and would be nice and light, without too many calories!

2 bags microwave popcorn, popped (18-20 cups)1 6oz box candy canes, crushed1 package Almond Bark1 tsp peppermint extract or a few drops of peppermint oil

Place popcorn in a very large bowl - the biggest one you have. Pour crushed candy canes on top of the popcorn. (I crush my candy canes in the food processor - it is quick and it pulverizes the candy canes!) Melt almond bark according to instructions on the package. Add the peppermint extract or oil to the almond bark and pour over popcorn. Stir until all the popcorn is coated. Pour popcorn on wax paper and allow to harden. Once the popcorn has hardened, break into pieces and enjoy!

Just because you are watching your weight doesn't mean you should miss out on all the traditional sweet stuff.  These Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies use egg whites and a minimum of butter, which keeps saturated fat and cholesterol low, while the whole-wheat flour adds a boost of fibre.  See recipe below:

1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 egg white
1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juicePreparation

1. For cookies, whisk together first 4 ingredients (through baking soda) in a medium bowl.
2. Beat butter and sugars together in a separate medium bowl until light and fluffy. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, and add the egg white and vanilla and almond extracts; beat until just combined.
3. Add flour mixture, and stir until incorporated. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 4 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 325F°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
5. Dust a work surface with flour. Turn out chilled dough directly onto work surface. Roll dough out to a 1/4-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut shapes in dough, and gently transfer them to baking sheets. (You can reroll the scraps, just be sure to chill in between.)
6. Bake cookies for 12 minutes or until set but not browned. Remove cookies from oven, and cool for 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
7. For the icing, whisk together all the icing ingredients in a large bowl until completely smooth. Mixture should have consistency of a glaze. (If it's too thin, add a bit more sugar. If it's too thick, add a few more drops of lemon juice.)
8. Transfer icing to a pastry bag (or a zip-top plastic bag with a small hole in one of the bottom corners). First, outline the cookie or desired design, then fill it in. Let icing harden before serving. Cookies can be kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

1 comment:

Nutritionist Manchester said...

You have been busy creating these fabulous recipes! Thank you for sharing them, I don't know where to start!