Although we try to eat healthier these days, we tend to indulge in more treats throughout the holiday season.
Here are a few traditional snacks as well as some health-conscious alternatives to keep you and your waistline filled with Christmas cheer.
If you’re searching for a snack that provides protein, fiber, omega 3 and a burst of flavor, then this is the dish for you. Simply place 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a skillet and heat over medium-high. Next, add 2 cups Edamame in pods and stir for approximately 2-3 minutes. The last step in to lower the heat to medium and add sea salt, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, and just a few dashes of cayenne pepper depending on how spicy you like it. Stir this all for another 2 minutes and serve immediately.
Fresh Vegetables with Hummus Dip
This is a wonderful choice for a quick snack. To save time, wash and slice your vegetables when you bring them home from the grocery store. Then, place them in zip-lock bags and store them in the refrigerator. For the dip, you can either make your own or grab a pre-made hummus dip at the store. Either way you have a healthy snack just waiting for you.
Cream Cheese Dip with Salsa or Cocktail Sauce
Do you have friends coming over and need a super quick appetizer to serve? Have a block of cream cheese, jar of salsa or cocktail sauce, and some wheat crackers on hand and you’ll be set. Simply place the block of cheese on a serving platter, top with some salsa or the cocktail sauce, and place crackers around the outside. It’s a fast hors d’oeuvre that’s both festive and delicious.
Times have changed since the first original Chex Mix recipe was first introduced. Now they have a large variety of mixes to suit your palette. Their website has the recipes categorized under 15 minutes, salty mixes, and sweet mixes. Visit Chex.com and find the one that will be a delicious addition to your holiday snack list.
One of the most common snacks people make during the holiday season is fudge. Although there are numerous delicious recipes, sometimes we don’t have the time to allocate to the old fashioned recipes. Try this five minute microwave version from Eagle Brand:
Line an 8- or 9-inch square pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Combine 3 cups chocolate chips with 1 14 oz. can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk and a dash of salt in 1-quart glass measure. Cook on high for 3 minutes or until chips are melted, stirring after 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract and ½ – 1 cup of nuts if desired. Chill in refrigerator for two hours or until firm.”
While decorated sugar cookies and gingerbread men may be the most popular holiday cookies, thanks to modern technology, we have unlimited resources for finding new cookie recipes. One fun idea is to set up a cookie exchange with your family and friends. Each of you bakes two types of cookies and then you get together and share them all. This way you have a wide variety of treats without spending several days in the kitchen baking a dozen different cookie recipes.
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
This is a decedent snack that provides you with a serving of fruit combined with power antioxidants from the dark chocolate. First wash all of your strawberries and make sure to allow them to dry thoroughly so the fruit doesn’t become mushy. Take one bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips and melt them in the microwave. Stir the chips every 30 seconds so it doesn’t burn. When melted, dip each strawberry into the chocolate and then place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Put them in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes and they will be the perfect go to treat.
The Christmas season includes lots of get-togethers and the luxury of sharing time with those who are most important in our lives. A few great snacks and lots of laughter is the perfect combination for holiday cheer.
Go your way — eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has already accepted your works. —Ecclesiastes 9:7