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Healthy Snacks to Get You Through the Holidays

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It is tough to resist all of the sweet treats around the holidays! There are a lot of healthy, lower-calorie recipes out there, though. So instead of trying to completely abstain from holiday treats, only to break down and over indulge, consider baking some sweets that contain higher nutrient content with less fat and calories. You can satisfy your urges without all of the guilt!

With a simple search online, you will find hundreds of healthy holiday recipes. Below are a few links that have some really delicious recipes with lower amounts of fat and calories:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/healthy/photos/healthy-holiday-baking.html

http://www.health.com/health/calendar

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/17936/holidays-occasions/christmas/desserts/

http://www.cookinglight.com/entertaining/holidays-occasions/holiday-cookbook-desserts

https://www.babble.com/latina/25-skinny-healthy-holiday-desserts/

 

And here are a few favorite sweet recipes for you to try:

 

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Ingredients:

2 scoops of chocolate protein

1 tablespoon of PB2 (powdered peanut butter)

1 tablespoon of dry, rolled oats

6 tablespoon of honey

Chia seeds

 

Preparation:

Mix protein, PB2 and oats in a small bowl. Then add the honey tablespoon by tablespoon until it becomes thick and easy to form into a ball.

Roll into 1” balls.

Sprinkle with Chia seeds.

Refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours.

ENJOY!

Depending on the protein powder, one protein ball should be approx. 75 calories and 5 grams of protein.

 

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Holiday Bark

Ingredients

1 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut

1 cup oven-toasted rice cereal

1 cup dried cranberries

1 1/2 pounds good-quality white chocolate, chopped

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

 

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 325°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.

Spread the sliced almonds and the unsweetened coconut in an even layer on the baking sheet. Toast 5–8 minutes or until coconut just begins to brown. Remove baking sheet from the oven, and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine almonds, coconut, rice cereal, and dried cranberries. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the mixture, and set aside.

Place chopped white chocolate and 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in a large heatproof bowl, and set over a medium saucepan of simmering water. Stir with a spatula until the chocolate is completely melted.

Remove the chocolate from heat, and fold in the almond mixture. Spread mixture evenly on parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle on the reserved 1/4 cup topping. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until the chocolate has completely set. Break the bark into small pieces, and serve.

Serving size is ounce.

142 calories, 4 grams of saturated fat, 2 grams of protein, 59 mg of calcium

 

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Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

2/3 cup molasses

1 large egg, at room temperature

 

Preparation

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, spices and salt. In another large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream together butter and shortening. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in molasses and egg. Scrape down sides of bowl, then stir in flour mixture to form a stiff dough. Divide dough in half. Form into 2 disks, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 350ºF; line 2 large baking sheets with parchment. Roll out 1 disk of dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out cookies with a 3-inch cutter and place 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Gather scraps and re-roll to form more cookies. Repeat with remaining dough disk.

Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, switching sheets top to bottom and front to back halfway through. Cool cookies on baking sheets on wire racks for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely. Repeat with remaining cookies. Decorate as you’d like.

207 calories, 4 grams of saturated fat, 3 grams of protein, 1 gram of fiber