But fear not, my fellow heart-healthy eaters ... I have options!!
Last year we made a simple holiday treat that were the hit of our neighborhood ... in fact, some of the local kids have already asked me if I had any yet! Ah, no ... but soon. Obviously I’m going to have to make more than I did last year!
- pretzel rods
- chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, whatever you like
- variety of sprinkles
- Melt the chocolate chips in a double-boiler.
- Using a spoon, coat about 1/3 of the pretzel rod with chocolate - allow the excess chocolate to drip a few seconds
- Roll the chocolate portion in sprinkles of your choice ... we particularly like to use the peppermint sprinkles.
- Place on parchment paper to set.
- When completely cooled, place in a rectangular cookie tin, laying a piece of waxed or parchment paper between the layers.
Now, how about your beloved gingerbread men? Some recipes can provide a whopping “oh-oh” to those of us watching our fat and cholesterol. I found a recipe that cuts the fat, not the flavor. These gingerbread men use half the butter normally used in most gingerbread cookie recipes. Applesauce helps the cookies retain their moisture and gives them a soft texture while making them more heart-healthy.
Cook Time: 10 minutes / Total Time: 10 minutes
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 egg (or egg replacer)
- ⅓ cup dark molasses
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. allspice
- ¼ tsp. ground cloves
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar and applesauce until smooth.
- Add egg and molasses and mix well.
- In another large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and spices.
- Add to sugar and molasses mixture, stirring well.
- Divide dough in two; cover with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll out dough to 1/4 or 1/8-inch thickness.
- Cut gingerbread men with a cookie cutter.
- Add candies or raisins to decorate.
- Place 1-2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake 10-12 minutes.
- Add frosting or more decorations when cool.
Per serving: Calories 94, Calories from Fat 16, Fat 1.8g (sat 1g), Cholesterol 11mg, Sodium 48mg, Carbohydrate 18g, Fiber 0.4g, Protein 1.5g
Want an even better one, nutritionally speaking? Try this site.
Need more options?
Want vegan sugar cookies?
How about Cranberry Almond Biscotti?
Whole wheat Spice Guys aka Gingerbread Men?
Now let’s really step outside our holiday box ... up to trying something new? Try Chocolate-Chile Mole Meringues
Most holiday cookies are loaded with butter, sugar, and white flour ... there’s really no escaping the temptation, but you can make smarter choices by going vegetarian to avoid typical holiday fats plus by limiting the number of cookies you eat/make AND making sure you have plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, healthy combination of nuts and dried fruit, and get your daily exercise AND PLENTY OF WATER!!
During most holiday get-togethers food is the center of attention. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the just one more attitude or gee, I’ve never tried these before, or I’ll start my healthy eating plan after the holidays dialog with yourself ... so ... take a step back and remember you are important enough to start right now ... holiday or not. If you are hosting a holiday party, try to make the focus of your event something BESIDES food ... like caroling ... ornament decorating party ... bonfires (if you’re lucky enough to live where snow is only a memory of your past) ... games ... or go for a drive and see all the decorations and lights ... bottom line? Make good choices ... you’re worth it.