Broccoli is delicious and something I always stock up on. More importantly, it is loaded with nutrients that are good for your overall health. Broccoli has been known to help fight against certain cancers and strokes. An added bonus: broccoli is low in calories, so eating more of it during the splurge-happy holidays isn’t likely to affect your waistline. The pecans in this recipe offer a bonus too: they contain disease-fighting nutrients and antioxidants. Plus, pecans hold multiple good-for-you fatty acids that are essential in an everyday balanced diet. So go ahead, let this roasted pecan broccoli side dish be the healthiest decision you’ll make all December.
All Posts In Healthy Holidays
The terms “healthy” and “vegetarian” may seem synonymous but that’s not always the case. All the selected recipes meet our healthy criteria for calories, fat and saturated fat. In addition, in order to meet the nutrient requirements of a vegetarian, a variety of recipes that include whole grains, lean proteins, nuts, seeds, fruits, and veggies were selected.
Although there are various types of vegetarians, we stuck to the basics. These recipes don’t include any meat, poultry, fish or seafood. Some do include dairy and eggs and would be appropriate for a lacto- or lacto-ovo-vegetarian.
- Tomato Bruschetta
- Chile Garlic Edamame
- Porcini and Nepitella
- Spinach and Goat Cheese Tartlets
- Stuffed Mushrooms
The holidays are upon us and the joy of the season is often paired with a good amount of stress. Managing everyday life can be stressful enough so the hussle of the holidays can send some people over the edge quite quickly. It’s a known fact that many people use food to medicate many emotions, including stress. Add to that the abundance of decadent foods around the holidays and the well understood desire not to gain weight this time of year and you have, yes, more stress.
So how can you break the cycle? How can you decrease the amount of stress in your life and become more mindful about your food choices during the holidays and throughout the year? The key is slowing down and asking yourself a few questions.
Gluten-free or not, the holidays are just not the same without a assortment of colorful cookies. So I’ve rounded up recipes from some of my favorite bloggers, who develop recipes I trust. I’ve included my new Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Buttery Cut-Out Cookies with Royal Icing recipe, a feat for me (and my family and friends) considering my royal icing anxiety. (Read my story and get detailed pictures of thick and thin royal icing textures on my blog.)
All of the cookies are gluten-free, and some are also dairy-free, soy-free, grain-free and refined sugar-free. I hope there’s a cookie in here for just about everyone in your life—especially you.
‘Tis the season for festive holiday drinks like eggnog and hot cocoa. But if you’re avoiding dairy, whether for dietary, ethical, or food allergy reasons, you don’t need to feel left out this holiday season. Each year a new crop of festive holiday “milk” beverages pops up on grocery store shelves with sweet selections like nog, chocolate mint and pumpkin spice. Keep in mind that while festive beverages are delicious, they’re not necessarily nutritious. All three beverages contain added sugar, making them refreshing to sip on for an occasional dessert, or a flavorful ingredient to use in baked goods. I rounded up three different drinks to try this holiday season:
Rice Dream Rice Nog: While typical eggnog has a rich, thick consistency, this Rice Nog was quite thin. Rice milk has the watery consistency of skim milk, so if you’re looking for a creamy nog substitute, this isn’t it. The flavor is sweet and slightly spiced, so I enjoyed it most to sweeten my morning mug of pumpkin spice tea in place of my usual almond milk. Half a cup delivers 80 calories, 1g of fat and 11g of sugar which is a drastic reduction compared to traditional nog’s 180 calories, 9g of fat and 21g of sugar.
Healthy Holiday Must-have #1: The UP wristband tracker is a sleek, easy to wear movement and sleep tracker that when paired with the app gives you legit feedback on your day-to-day lifestyle. ($99, https://jawbone.com/up)
Why it made the list:
- It’s stylish, affordable and makes tracking your food intake, movement and sleep easy.
- It syncs with your smart phone through an app that gives you real time feedback
Why it made the list:
- In the midst of holiday stress, it’s important to keep your center. There are so many benefits of yoga, some of which include an improved mood, decrease in body aches, improved sleep, more confidence; and body toning from head to toe.
- The Mat is the ultimate when it comes to yoga mats. Key features include cushion for your hands and feet; a polyurethane coating that will stay grippy even through a really sweaty Vinyasa, antimicrobial additive that prevents mold and mildew; and washes with soapy water (no tea tree oil).
‘Tis the season for gift-giving! Some of my go-to holidays gifts are homemade vanilla extract, dark chocolate bark, perfectly-portioned wine glasses (like these from Olive & Cocoa), and a CareRing ring cover (wonderful when doing all those dishes). I hit up some of my favorite fellow dietitians to find out what kind of healthy, smart and sensible gifts they like to give for the holidays.
In the Kitchen
These gadgets help facilitate all kinds of healthy cooking. Best of all, they’re budget-friendly, too.
Marlene Koch, RD, author of the New York Times bestseller Eat More of What You Love: Over 200 Brand-New Recipes Low in Sugar, Fat and Calories, suggests an immersion blender for the foodies you love. “I keep my immersion blender on-hand at all times. It’s great for blending everything from eggs to cottage cheese; I also use it for making cream-less creamy soups and creamy skinny smoothies and shakes that can be enjoyed guilt-free all year long.”
Julie Upton, MS, RD, CSSD says “SodaStream machine is one of my favorite gifts. I love helping people make their own sparking beverages so that they don’t drink as many sugary beverages and because there’s no empties, it’s environmentally-friendly too.”
Janel Orvut Funk, resident vegetarian expert at Healthy Eats told me, “one of my favorite kitchen tools is the non-stick baking mat, Silpat. It truly is non-stick, prevents burned cookie bottoms and reduces waste, since you don’t need to rely on aluminum foil or parchment paper.”
Healthy Eats expert Toby Amidor wants to get the kiddies cooking. “It’s fun to have kids help in the kitchen. Little hands are more comfy with smaller handles. Curious Chef provides cooking tools perfectly sized for your young ones.”
We’ve got two versions of this recipe so no matter what, it’s ready time for the holidays. One bakes in the oven to speed up the preservation process (see the video here), the other will do all the work itself sitting in a jar for a couple of weeks. Enjoy this Moroccan delicacy by rinsing well and adding to tagine and couscous recipes like this one from Tyler Florence.
Bleached Flour vs. Unbleached Flour
WINNER: It’s a draw. The less processed version isn’t always the better pick: Unbleached and bleached flour have identical calorie, fiber and protein counts. The FDA regulates the ingredients used to whiten flour, so they’re only added in safe amounts. But if you’re worried about eating something with the word “bleach” on the label anyway, go the unbleached route.
Raisins vs Dried Cranberries
WINNER: Raisins. Raisins and dried cranberries have similar amounts of sugar, but all of the sugar in raisins comes from what’s naturally present in grapes, while more than half of the calories in dried cranberries can come from sweeteners that manufacturers add to make them taste less tart.