It’s hard not to get into the holiday spirit especially when you start seeing all the Christmas related decorations start popping up throughout the town and among your neighborhood. This one special month when everything seems a bit more brighter, and little more delightful than any other time of the year.
However, just because it is the holidays, that doesn’t mean you should go hog wild on every treat and colorful appetizer that may come across your sight. Sure it’s a time to take pleasure in, but there’s healthy way to enjoy the moment. You should especially consider maintaining some type of self control if you have made a recent commitment to lose weight and get into better shape.
Here are some delightful holiday related snacks that you can prepare with minimal effort, and they are surprisingly all less that 200 calories each! As long as you are able to restrain yourself from eating 3-8 servings a day, then these snacks are the ideal treat to keep around the house and enjoy once in awhile but no more than twice a day. This way you will be watching what you take in, but at the same time feel connected to the holiday season.
Healthy Holiday Snacks Can Help Keep You From Gaining Excessive Weight During the Month of December
Here are some of the favorites I came across on Health.com which I’ve listed in the order from least amount of calories per serving to the most. If you would like to get 20+ more examples such as Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies, Linzer Thumbprints, and Buttermilk Pralines, along with detailed recipes and nutritional breakdown like you will find below, here’s access to the article in its entirety.
5 (1/4 oz.) packets unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup strained fresh orange juice, lemon juice or raspberry puree $
1/2 cup superfine sugar, plus more for serving, if desired
Line an 8-by-5-inch loaf pan with foil. Oil foil and set aside.
Pour 1 cup water into a bowl; stir in gelatin and let soften for 5 minutes.
Heat juice and 1/2 cup sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add softened gelatin and stir until melted. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Let stand at room temperature or refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Unmold jelly slab onto a work surface and cut into 1-inch pieces with a large, sharp knife or mini cookie cutters. If desired, roll jellies in more sugar just before serving.
1 (16.5-ounce) package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 (8-ounce) package 1/3-less fat block-style cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
Zest of 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
32 fresh raspberries
Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a mini-muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Divide sugar cookie dough into 32 pieces. Coat hands in flour, and roll pieces into balls. Press each ball into tin, forming dough up and around into the shape of a tart. Bake for 11–12 minutes or until golden. Let cool 10 minutes in pan. Remove tarts, and cool completely on a wire rack. Using an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, sugar, orange zest, and vanilla. Spoon cream cheese mixture into each tart. Top each with a fresh raspberry. Chill until ready to serve.
1 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup oven-toasted rice cereal
1 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 pounds good-quality white chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Spread the sliced almonds and the unsweetened coconut in an even layer on the baking sheet. Toast 5-8 minutes or until coconut just begins to brown. Remove baking sheet from the oven, and let cool. In a large bowl, combine almonds, coconut, rice cereal, and dried cranberries. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the mixture, and set aside. Place chopped white chocolate and 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in a large heatproof bowl, and set over a medium saucepan of simmering water. Stir with a spatula until the chocolate is completely melted. Remove the chocolate from heat, and fold in the almond mixture. Spread mixture evenly on parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle on the reserved 1/4 cup topping. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until the chocolate has completely set. Break the bark into small pieces, and serve.
Basic Cookie Dough
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons 2% reduced-fat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons warmed whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Prepare Basic Cookie Dough. Press it evenly into the bottom of a pan with a spatula, pressing down at the edges so dough doesn’t form a rim after baking. Freeze dough for 15 minutes. Prick holes all over to keep it flat during baking. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Make ganache by placing bittersweet chocolate and milk in a small heatproof bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute, stirring every 10 seconds until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth; stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Scrape the ganache onto the baked cookie square and spread it almost to the edge. Sprinkle pecans evenly over the top and set aside.
To make caramel, combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring mixture gently, just until the sugar dissolves. Stop stirring completely and allow it to boil until it turns a golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in warmed whipping cream (it will bubble up). Stir gently until the mixture is smooth. (If lumpy, return it to low heat while stirring.) Cool 1 minute and stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Let caramel cool for 2 minutes before drizzling over the pecan layer with a spoon. Refrigerate pan for at least 1 hour to set the ganache and caramel before cutting into bars. Store 3 days at room temperature, 1 week in the refrigerator.