Sure, you can head to your next holiday gathering with a nice bottle of wine or a tin of holiday cookies for your hostess. But what about something homemade that’s festive, delicious and healthy too? Here are seven recipes for goodies that will have you at the top of your hostess’s guest list for next season. Just add ribbon and you’re ready to ring in the holidays.
Tag: holiday gifts
It’s hard to beat the decadence of chocolate truffles, but they’re not always as sinful as they might seem. These homemade ones have about 50 calories, 3 grams of saturated fat and 5 grams of sugar apiece. Best of all, the chocolate treats are far easier to create than you might think, making them an ideal last-minute gift.
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.
Looking to treat the sweet tooth on your gift list to something a bit unique this holiday season? Homemade flavored honeys are a perfect fit.
- Start with a mild but tasty honey like wildflower. I think using a local variety makes the gift all the more special.
- Add your own special twist:
- You can add mild herbs like lavender and chamomile, or stronger flavors like rosemary or mint directly to the jar and let them steep. For a more intense flavor, warm the herbs and the honey just slightly in a saucepan then re-jar once cooled.
- The same process works for spices and zest. Warm some honey with lemon or orange zest to add some brightness or spices like dried hot peppers or cardamom for a more savory twist.
- Label the jars and adorn with a festive bow.
What would you add to your honey to make it unique?
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Stockings are a big deal in my family so coming up with fun, creative, and USEFUL gifts are a must. Here are 5 goodies for the food lover in your life. Best of all, they won’t break the bank!
1.) Penzey’s Spices
Give the gift of flavor with everything from four-color peppercorns to Vietnamese cinnamon
No more fumbling to flatten rolled up pieces of parchment! These make covering your baking sheets a breeze.
Spiking vodka with seasonal flavors makes a festive and creative gift. A 1.5 fluid ounce “shot” of vodka contains about 100 calories and most infusions add no additional calories. Those made with sugar will add 15 calories per teaspoon.
Do you have someone one your holiday gift list who loves to cook with fresh herbs? Give the gift of flavor this year – and the magic of a guaranteed green thumb – with the AeroGarden. I received this three years ago as a gift and cannot believe how effortlessly I’m able to grow fresh herbs, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, or even flowers year-round. My AeroGarden sprouts fresh herbs so rapidly, I oftentimes find myself giving sprigs of thyme and dill to neighbors and family members. This, coming from someone who can’t keep a houseplant alive for more than a week (no exaggeration)!
I love having fresh basil, dill, thyme, and sage, growing right in my apartment ready to be plucked and added to recipes for a kick of flavor and a punch of the antioxidants that are packed in fresh herbs.