How can the weather be cold and dreary when you have so many opportunities for baking, cooking, and eating with family and friends? Big family gatherings and festive holiday parties will undoubtedly provide plenty of warmth. We know they’ll provide plenty of food, because food is an integral part of every celebration in our culture.
When extended family is home for holidays, serving pancakes is easy with Oven Baked Apple Walnut Pancakes. They’re 100 percent whole grain and nutrient-rich. Even better, these pancakes give you a jump-start on that New Year’s resolution to lose weight, because the latest research shows that breakfast eaters are more likely to lose weight and keep it off. Pair the pancake with protein-rich ham or Canadian bacon – two lean breakfast-meat choices – and you’ll up your chances for success even further. Studies show that eating more protein at breakfast fills you up, keeps you satisfied and helps control overall calories.
Celebrations and nutrient-rich foods aren’t mutually exclusive, though – just blend and balance. For example, most holiday cookies are made with lots of high-calorie ingredients. Balance those calories with extra exercise, smaller portions or by adding nutrient-rich ingredients. Almond Shortbread Thumbprints contain the prerequisite flour, sugar and butter (Indiana dairy farmers will take comfort knowing this dietitian won’t use anything but real butter in all her cookie baking!), but one-half of that flour is whole-wheat with whole-grain nutrients.
If you want a treat where every ingredient is nutrient-rich, make a batch of Chocolate Fruit & Nut Clusters. Have fun creating your own version, such as Date Fig Walnut or Cherry Cranberry Pecan. Boost heart-healthy chocolate antioxidants by using dark instead of semisweet.
Happy, healthy and tasty holiday to all!
|About the Author: Registered dietitian Kim Galeaz is an Indianapolis-based writer and culinary-nutrition consultant to the food, beverage and agriculture industry. She also blogs at The Dietitian Does dessert … Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, Too.|