As the holidays approach, I'm usually scolding you and listing foods to avoid in my blog posts, so this year I'm doing the opposite. These are foods you can enjoy tons of anytime, but they are especially in vogue around the holidays. You can enjoy your stuffing and green bean casserole, but don't forget about these delicious and nutritious items:
Pumpkin seeds are a great snack with healthy fats, lots of fiber and moderate protein to keep you full. They are also loaded with magnesium. You can take them out of the pumpkin you just carved, rinse them, and then bake. I buy Super Seedz. With so many people allergic to nuts, this is a great alternative to peanut and tree nut-free places. Add them to a salad for a healthy crunch.
I LOVE sweet potatoes. I eat them grilled, baked, fried, and mashed. Sweet potatoes are high in fiber and rich in minerals. They are naturally sweet, so skip the marshmallows and brown sugar. Add a little butter, cinnamon, pepper and salt and mash them up. I also like to cube them and then pan fry them with a little olive oil, paprika, pepper, and salt. You can also use canned sweet potato in desserts. I often add it to my banana bread instead of butter. I know, it sounds odd, but it taste amazing.
Unless it's deep fried, turkey is a healthy meal. Load up on the turkey instead of all the sides and you'll be in good shape. Turkey is high in protein and lower in calories and fat than red meat. It's also pretty tasty (if not overcooked). With your leftovers make tacos, add it to a salad, drop it in soup … and who doesn't love a good turkey sandwich?
Eating healthy is always hard, especially when you are out and about. The good thing, most dinner parties and restaurants all have salads. With the addition of a protein like grilled chicken, steak, or black beans you end up with a low calorie, nutritious meal. Try to avoid croutons, wontons, or tortilla strips. Since salad dressing is a calorie bomb, ask for it on the side and use as needed.
Apples and Pears
Fall and winter don't have the copious varieties of fruit that summer has, but apples and pears are great this time of year. Rich in fiber and taste, these two fruits are great raw or cooked. A family favorite is baked apples with cinnamon. I take 3 to 4 apples, peel them, put them in foil with a little olive oil and cinnamon and bake on 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. Eat them hot or cold for a yummy snack or side dish.
What are your healthy holiday snacks/meals? Send me them at firstname.lastname@example.org.