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Healthy and Delicious Holiday Treats

Updated on September 25, 2014

Holiday Snacks The Whole Family Will Enjoy

During the holiday season, snacking and calories have a way of getting out of control. Instead of the usual loaded with sugar holiday snacks, why not try something a bit different and a bit healthier. Your family will love the novelty,variety, deliciously amazing flavors and taste. Enjoy!

photo source:http://www.southernliving.com/food/holidays-occasions/holiday-brunch

Make a fruit pie with only a top crust. You'll save half of the fat calories!

Grandma's Tasty Fruit Compote

This tasty dish can be served warm as a condiment with meat and fowl, cold in cereal, or as a topping to ice cream.

What you will need:

½ cup pitted prunes

½ cup pears

½ cup peaches

½ cup pineapple

1 ½ cups applesauce

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ginger

½ teaspoon nutmeg.

Juice of ½ lemon

Chopped rind of ½ lemon

For the above fruit, fresh fruit is preferred but canned fruit in a light syrup can also be used.

Stir fruit together in proportions similar to the ones listed above. Other fruits may be substituted if desired. If the fruits are in large pieces, chop them to bite sized-pieces. Add the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, lemon juice and lemon rind.

Cover and place in a 250 degree oven for an hour or longer. It is convenient to quadruple this recipe to use full cans of fruit. The compote freezes well.


Apricot Coconut Bars

This delicious treat comes from a fabulous new cookbook we recently found and just love - The Gluten - Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam. This recipe and the others in her book are nutritious and as tasty as their traditional counterparts.

This dessert is purely fruit sweetened with no added sugar, making it low glycemic, and thats something I can really get behind. In addition, it's high in protein and fiber and dairy free.

What you will need:

1 cup Dried apricots

1 cup unsweetened coconut (Unsweetened is key and it can be difficult to find in standard grocery stores. It is available at Whole Foods Market or you can order it here)

2 cups blanched almond flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 large egg

1 tablespoon real vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with grapeseed oil (or we have used extra virgin coconut oil with great success and excellent flavor) and dust with almond flour.

In a food processor, blend the apricots and coconut until the mixture is crumbly. Pulse in the almond flour, then add the salt, baking soda, egg and vanilla extract. Blend until well commbined. Press the batter into the prepared baking dish.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until firm. let cool for one hour in the baking dish. Cut into squares and serve.

For these squares, be sure that your dried apricots are soft and moist. it will make a big difference. After coolilng store covered to preserve the chewy texture and apricot flavor.

Get The Ingredients You Need For Delicious Holiday Foods Here

Fabulous Fig Cake

A Thanksgiving or Christmas Favorite

What you will need:

1 pound + of figs

½ cup sliced almonds

1-2 teasp cinnamon

½ - 1 teasp ground cloves

2 tablespoons honey

1 or so tablespoon Tuaca (Grand Marnier would also be good)

Grind figs in food processor; add spices and honey.

Change blade and gently add some of the almonds, add Tuaca.

Finish blending by hand in a kneading manner, and knead in the remaining almonds. Shape as desired, wrap and refrigerate with a weight on top to compress the cake.

photo source:http://thebarefootkitchenwitch.typepad.com/the_barefoot_kitchen

Be Wary Of Sugar Free Desserts. Artificial sweeteners are harmful to your health and should be avoided at all costs.

Hearty Homemade Granola

Two FABULOUS recipes

Instead of snacking on high empty calorie cookies and chocolates, try a hearty and tasty granola. Store bought granola can be very expensive and loaded with sugar. With these recipes, you can keep the cost down, add as much or as little sugar as desired, and have fun making new and different varieties!

Basic Granola

What you will need

4 cups rolled oats

2 Tablespoon canola oil

About ½ teaspoon salt (according to your taste)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 Tablespoons honey or maple syrup …

1/6 cup brown sugar

3 Tablespoons of raisins

Mix together and set aside the oats, canola oil, salt, cinnamon and vanilla.

Heat together the honey, maple syrup, and brown sugar together until dissolved.

Pour sugar mixture over cereal and stir well. Bake in thin layer on lightly greased cookie sheets until cereal reaches desired level or crispness, for approximately 20 - 30 minutes at 250 degrees.When slightly cool mix in the raisins.

Granola with Date Crystals

What you will need:

10 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

½ cup honey

½ cup canola oil

2 cups date crystals (dried, chopped dates)

2 cups chopped nuts

4 cups instant dry skimmed milk.

Mix together the oats, honey and canola oil and bake in shallow pans for 20 - 30 minutes at 200 - 250 degrees. When finished baking, add the date crystals, chopped nuts and instant skimmed milk.

Serve with milk and fresh fruits.

Cereals make a thoughtful gift: Tie a ribbon around a quart jar or a large plastic bag filled with cereal.

Tip: Compare prices of ingredients at different stores. Often, bulk and natural food stores will have better prices than the name brand oatmeals found in grocery store chains. You should be able to make these cereals for half the price of pre-packaged granolas.

photo source:

http://www.chappaquacrunchgranola.com/Other/granola_mound.jpg

Reduce the sugar in fruit pie recipes when using sweet fruits by 1/3 - 1/2 and it will still work just fine.

Tasty Toasted Almonds

A yummy snack and a great ingredient in many fine holiday treats.

Toasting nuts not only intensifies their flavor but makes them less likely to sink in cake and bread batters. Here are a few ways to achieve toasted nut perfection:

Saucepan method:

Place almonds in a heavy, ungreased skillet and stir often over medium heat until golden brown.

Oven method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread nuts in one layer on ungreased shallow baking pan. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden.

Microwave method:

Place 1/2 cup slivered almonds and 1 tablespoon margarine or butter in a 9-inch microwave-proof pie plate. Microwave on high, stirring every minute until brown, 4 to 5 minutes.

For delicious almond crescents try this recipe:

What you will need:

2 sticks unsalted butter

2/3 cup sifted powdered sugar, plus more for rolling

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup coarsely chopped almonds

2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350° and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Cream together butter and 2/3 cup of sugar until fluffy. Beat in extracts, then add almonds. Stir in flour and beat til well mixed.

Divide dough in half and roll each half into log 1 inch thick in diameter. Cut each log into 3/4 inch pieces, and roll each piece into cylinder 2 in. long. Place 1 to 2 inches apart on baking sheets and form into crescents.

Bake 15-20 minutes or til lightly browned. Let cool then roll in sifted powdered sugar.

photo source:https://sierranh.powweb.com/shop/images/Almonds,DryRoastedNoSalt.jpg

Combine turnip with apple sauce as a way to introduce a new taste.

Milk Shake - Healthy Style

What you will need:

1 ½ cups skim milk

1 large, nicely ripened peeled banana

1 teaspoon vanilla

Simply mix all ingredients in a blender,pour in a tall glass, sprinkle with nutmeg and serve.

As alternatives, use a quantity of yogurt in place of milk and fresh peaches or strawberries instead of bananas. Omit the spice with strawberries.

Comments on Healthy Holiday Treats - Your comments are greatly appreciated.

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    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 3 years ago

      Love these healthy ideas! The Fig Cake looks yum! Fantastic lens! Sundae ;-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I love the healthy milkshake recipe :-)

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 6 years ago from Australia

      What a great selection of recipes. I'll have to come back again!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      always good to sneak a healthy treat in with one bad treat, thanks for the ideas, squidliked ya.

    • profile image

      sojourner-1 6 years ago

      Holidays-such a great time for an appetite .

    • DieselJoe profile image

      DieselJoe 6 years ago

      It is going to be hard to stay away from the unhealthy stuff at Thanksgiving. I've really been looking for some way to have healthy snacks. Thanks!

    • profile image

      HUnterf 6 years ago

      That looks great

    • profile image

      seedplanter 6 years ago

      Oh goody! I was just telling my husband yesterday that I'd like to make my own granola, if only I could find a good recipe. There it is - right here on your lens! Thanks!

    • profile image

      Bahrns 6 years ago

      great lens! The food listed above are not just healthy, they look delicious too and I bet they really are... I love granola I eat them almost everyday, glad that it is included in your list... :-)

      Material Handling

    • JohnMichael2 profile image

      JohnMichael2 6 years ago

      Thank you for all these wonderful ideas and recipes. I'll add several of them to my "to do" list

    • Gordon N Hamilton profile image

      Gordon N Hamilton 6 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      What a fabulous looking and informative lens. I'm sure it will be of considerable use to a great many people. By coincidence, I happened to buy some fresh figs just last week for the first time in years and ran out of ideas what to do with them. Thanks for that further suggestion in particular :)

    • RMKK-Marlene profile image

      RMKK-Marlene 6 years ago

      I think I'll try the apricot tea squares today. Thank you for some healthy alternatives. ^SquidAngel Blessed^

      Happy Thanksgiving!

    • profile image

      bibas43 6 years ago

      I loved all these delicacies!

    • profile image

      sahil420 6 years ago

      Iâve bookmarked this because I found it interesting. I would be very interested to hear more news on this. Thanks!

      agence web communication

      Allstate insurance Bradenton

    • profile image

      feetseat 6 years ago

      That Fabulous fig cage would be delicious on a backpacking trip or camp-out. I am drooling just thinking about how good that fig cake would taste.

    • autofanatic profile image

      autofanatic 6 years ago

      I'm putting on pounds just looking at this stuff!

    • autofanatic profile image

      autofanatic 6 years ago

      I'm putting on pounds just looking at this stuff!

    • clemency lm profile image

      clemency lm 6 years ago

      Great ideas, I love figs and can't wait to give the fig cake a try.

    • profile image

      massamargo 6 years ago

      Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Yummy!

    • profile image

      crudeoilsystems 6 years ago

      A timely lens for coming festive holiday.thanks!!

    • Mary Crowther profile image

      Mary Crowther 6 years ago from Havre de Grace

      I love all of the fresh and natural ingredients!

    • DimitriPreacher profile image

      DimitriPreacher 6 years ago

      Nice :)

    • daphnedangerlov1 profile image

      daphnedangerlov1 6 years ago

      The granola recipe looks awesome. And thanks for including recipes that us gluten free folks can use too! We'll be making the Apricot Tea Squares for sure.

    • markettrol profile image

      markettrol 6 years ago

      I love the milk shake recipe.....I am going to try it....Thanksl

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 6 years ago

      I love the milkshake recipe. Thanks! Never thought of trying this.

    • PurplePansy LM profile image

      PurplePansy LM 6 years ago

      Thanks for the great reminder of healthy ingredients and healthy recipes that taste great and look delicious!

    • profile image

      Bahrns 6 years ago

      Healthy and delicious? That sounds interesting. I will definitely try these recipes.

      By the way, anybody here can teach me how to create design/format/style like this for my future lenses? The boxes, highlights, borderline and all? I'm new so I'm clueless...

      Thanks!

      Bahrns Material Handling

    • profile image

      MyDestination 6 years ago

      We're going to be taking some of these on our trips!

    • Julia Morais profile image

      Julia Morais 6 years ago

      I'm so eager to try all these recipes. They look great! Awesome lens.

    • MomTips profile image

      MomTips 6 years ago

      Look yummy !thanks!!

    • Sara Krentz profile image

      Sara Krentz 6 years ago from USA

      Yum! Will definitely have to try some of these recipes; thanks for sharing : )

    • iijuan12 profile image

      iijuan12 6 years ago from Florida

      Great lens! I love finding recipes for healthier desserts! Liked.

    • profile image

      Jennifer_Glennon 6 years ago

      These all look yummy.

    • profile image

      kimmy1504 6 years ago

      Hey there, LOVED the look of the milkshake. Is it easy enough to substitute Banana for strawberries? if so is it the same recipe?

    • yano jl profile image

      yano jl 6 years ago

      I got hungry just browsing this lens. I appreciate the info - I too would like to see a lot less sugar in my family's diet - especially over the holidays when we all kinda cut loose with reckless abandon. Fortunately, we stay away from splenda (and other replacement sweeteners as well)

      Thanks for sharing this. 1 Squidlike for you!

    • profile image

      CuteLilBabyCakes 6 years ago

      Thanks will be trying some of these! ;)

    • modernchakra profile image

      modernchakra 6 years ago

      Thank you and personally bookmarked! I have been much healthier in my eating but realize how difficult the Holidays are for staying motivated and not indulging every tasty whim. These suggestions are exactly what I need, a way to indulge a bit but with my health in mind. There ARE delicious foods out there that are healthy... finding them is just as important though and you have provided a great resource. Just cutting the pie crust down is such a good idea... reduce the ingredients that make the treat "unhealthy." and reduce the negative effects it could have. Take care!

    • profile image

      NidhiRajat 6 years ago

      amazing lens.......

    • Silwen LM profile image

      Silwen LM 6 years ago

      Great collections of snacks. They must be really tasty. I have a problem with snacking everywhere and every-time, especially on holiday season, so this lens is really great discovery for me. Thank you for sharing.

    • profile image

      brilliantfireworks 6 years ago

      so sick of the heavy and too sweet deserts. Great lenses!

    • profile image

      Badgermedicinespirit 6 years ago

      thank you, i hope that you have more recipes in your other lenses, i am always looking for gluten and yeast free foods , they look and taste delicious

    • Beadsnresin profile image

      Beadsnresin 6 years ago

      that fig cake looks good, thanks! I have put less sugar than required in a banana cake that I make and quite frankly, i can't imagine what the extra sugarwas for because it was still sweet and it definitely still worked!

    • profile image

      NidhiRajat 6 years ago

      nice lens.. yummy

    • LadyCharlie profile image

      LadyCharlie 6 years ago

      Nice lens. I love recipes and you have some great ones!

    • canoz profile image

      Heather Bradford 6 years ago from Canada

      You have some great information here and it certainly needs to be passed on! I love a teaspoon of coconut oil in my coffee! Healthy (the oil that is - lol) and delicious! Despite believing I was very healthy I recently went on a low GI diet and what a shock to my system to detox! I had major cravings and an absolute energy crash. The final outcome was I lost 6kg (and I was only 66kg when I started) and had triple the energy levels. As a society (whose health generally has never been worse!) we really need to be thinking about how we are feeding our kids. Thank you for your awesome lens.

    • LittleLindaPinda profile image

      Little Linda Pinda 6 years ago from Florida

      Thanks for the gluten free recipe as well.

    • profile image

      FreelancinFran 6 years ago

      Nice lens. Informative and tasty too!

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 6 years ago

      These are worth trying. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great lens! Thanks for sharing!

      SwagBucks

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 8 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Delicious! Thanks for adding your lens to:

      A RocketMoms Thanksgiving Day Feast. Have a Happy Thanksgiving! :)

    • profile image

      roysumit 8 years ago

      Love it. Nice lens with some great recipes. I am surely going to try some.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 8 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Healthy snacks for the Holidays! Love it!

      Thanks for adding this to http://www.squidoo.com/rocketmoms-healthy-living-g...

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      What a great article with many fantastic ideas. The fruit compote looked great...not like the Waybury Inn, but nevertheless great. These ideas would keep one busy after a Colorado snowstorm. We're expecting a c0old front this next week...going down to 75 in the daytime...brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      An extraordinary, beautiful site filled with great recipes & great ideas. Thanks!

    • profile image

      LisaMCampbell 8 years ago

      I love this! Great treats without the guilt and they're actually good for you!

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 8 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I especially like the sound (and look) of that fruit compote. That's a great, healthy alternative to pie. Nice job on this lens!