Healthier Holiday Treats
It’s that time of year when the world falls in love – with sweets. It’s also the time of year we’re most likely to gain weight. But you don’t have to completely nix sweets this Christmas or Hanukah season.
With a little thought, you can create scrumptious holiday treats that aren’t so thickening to your waistline.
Cooks and bakers – amateur or otherwise – have an advantage over those who aren’t handy in the kitchen: We can create our own Christmas and Hanuka treats, thereby skirting many fattening ingredients.
As you look at your favorite holiday treat recipes, consider if there are healthier ingredients that can be used.
For example, reducing the fat by half and substituting the rest of the fat with a low fat alternative (like unsweetened applesauce) is a good way to lower calories and make the treat healthier.
Using a little wheat flour mixed in with white is also a healthier choice, as is reducing the amount of sugar by 25 percent.
Magazines, cookbooks, and websites are full of diet recipes for cookies and other treats. Try looking for recipes that are labeled low sugar, low calorie, or low fat. Many – although not all – taste as good as the less healthy originals.
You can also look for recipes with more than butter, flour, and sugar. For example, date bars, cookies made with dark chocolate, muffins with nuts in them, or whole wheat versions of cookies.
Portion control is key during the holiday season. When it comes to sweets, try making mini cookies and muffins, and slice bars, cakes, and pies thinly.
If having sweets laying around will tempt you to over-eat, keep only a small number of treats in your house and give the rest away to friends, neighbors, and family.
Or, try freezing treats so you have to take the time to thaw them before eating.