We’re celebrating frozen confections all week long on Healthy Eats. First up: granita! Reminiscent of an Italian ice, granita has less sugar and a harder texture than sorbets. You can easily make your own and flavor it up with coffee, mint, juice and wine along with fruit. The best part? No ice cream maker needed.
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I just adore the month of February. I feel like we’re almost over the winter hump and can start looking forward to spring. Valentine’s Day is smack in the middle of the month and love is in bloom — plus, it’s National Heart Health Month! As a dietitian, I encourage eating healthfully for your heart, but at the same time, I have a sweet tooth. I just love all the heart-shaped sweet treats that line supermarket shelves this month.
This Valentine’s Day, I want to strike a balance between sweets and heart-healthy foods, so I’ll be making loved ones my Pumpkin Banana Bread Pudding. It’s made with fiber-filled whole-wheat bread, pumpkin and bananas, which are all heart healthy. Better still, this vegan recipe is free of saturated fat and cholesterol, which means it’s a treat for your ticker, too!
When I was a little girl, my dad’s specialty was chocolate pudding. Believe me, if my dad can make homemade pudding, so can you. Who needs the boxed stuff?
My mom and I team up in the kitchen every December to tackle the holiday baking, but this year I’m on my own. Crispy rice cereal squares were the first cookies I ever learned to prepare, and these treats are definitely on my list this year. I love the festive dash of food coloring. You can choose red, green or whatever color says “holidays” to you. Better still, this version is lower in fat than the typical butter-soaked recipe. Because this is an egg-free mixture, there’s no harm in sampling as you go along.
No cookie tray would be complete without an oatmeal option. These crunchy cookies combine vitamin E-rich nuts and high-fiber oatmeal with a touch of ginger — all for only 70 calories and 4.5 grams of fat (2 grams of saturated fat). We like the Food Network Kitchens’ presentation idea; just wrap them in some festive ribbon and you’ve got a take-home treat for party guests.
(P.S.: Don’t forget to give friends with allergies a heads up on the pecans.)
When everyone thinks holiday cookies, they automatically assume Christmas, but Hanukkah can have its own special sweets, too. This year, I’m hosting friends and family for three evenings of candle lighting and desserts. Our spread will include these Star of David-shaped sugar cookies, which my family and I pep up with festive blue sprinkles; you can create any holiday theme by using your favorite cookie cutters and icing colors. These are chewy, not crunchy — perfect for the younger kids in the family.
These gluten-free drop cookies are a soft holiday sweet that you can make now — or give as gifts — and be confident they’ll taste great. Sweet, spicy and fragrant right out of the oven, they still taste as fresh two weeks later. Store them in a tin for best keeping and beautiful presentation. –Linda Simon, Kitchen Therapy
Peanut butter and chocolate — the perfect flavor combination. These biscotti are bit more time- and energy-intensive to make than a basic cookie, but at a five-dozen yield, they are certainly worth the effort. Package them up into decorative tins to give away as gifts or set them out on a platter at a party. Each piece is 105 calories and just under 6 grams of fat, so going back for seconds won’t blow your dessert calorie budget.
Now that Thanksgiving is over, let the holiday baking season begin! This week, we’re offering up a cookie a day to give you ideas for holiday parties, cookie swaps or simple, healthier choices to satisfy your sweet tooth.
My mother-in-law discovered this recipe last year in a magazine, and these cookies became an instant family favorite. The combination of orange and chocolate makes for a light but decadent cookie. At 90 calories each, you can have one (or two) and not feel guilty about dessert.