The holiday season is here! Today I have festive ways to make your holiday season delicious and a little healthier.
First elevate your party platter with nutritious ingredients
Start with fresh veggies, add whole grain ingredients like popcorn and crackers and your nutritious dips like salsa and hummus. Fresh Cravings is known for their refrigerated salsa found chilled in the produce section at Walmart made with a short list of fresh ingredients like vine-ripened tomatoes, crisp vegetables and zesty peppers. Well, they have launched a creamy and delicious hummus also made with a short list of high quality ingredients like Chilean extra virgin olive oil, savory tahini and chickpeas which off a balance mix of good fats, fiber and protein. Find the classic, roasted red pepper and roasted garlic hummus in the deli section at Walmart.
Next, cut holiday dinner prep time in half with this 20-minute side dish.
The line of farm-to-table restaurant-quality risottos by Lundberg family farms are made with a creamy blend of arborio rice and savory rich flavors like butternut squash and porcini mushroom. You can find them locally at Sprouts, Winn Dixie and on Amazon and shop.lundberg.com for under $4 each. Serve them up as is or dress up with your favorite toppings like fresh herbs or cheese like Gayo Azul Dutch Gouda. Gayo Azul‘s traditional premium cheeses draw on both the rich heritage of Dutch and Hispanic cheesemaking. This versatile mild and creamy Gayo Azul Dutch Gouda is excellent in wedge format on a cheeseboard, shredded in a baked dish or used in sauces and soups. You can find it at your local supermarket.
Another easy holiday dish that everyone will love is pasta.
Pasta is a beloved, American household staple that can play a role in any dietary pattern. The US Dietary Guidelines recommend you eat half your grains as whole grains and the other half as enriched refined grains. Barilla pasta is a great staple refined grain for your healthier holiday menu because it contains essential nutrients, is enriched with fiber, iron and B vitamins, and doesn’t have added sugar, fat or sodium. It also serves as the perfect canvas for nutrient-rich vegetables, lean proteins and healthy oils – foods that help promote overall wellbeing. Like this recipe that serves 6-8 people made with 1 box of Barilla fettuccine, 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil, ¼ cup of sauteed yellow onion, 2 cups of asparagus, 12 ounces of cooked shrimp, 1/3 cup of shredded gouda and fresh basil.
Finally, it’s not the holiday season without sweets.
Serve a holiday-themed dessert platter with better-for-you ingredients. These limited-edition holiday chocolate bars by Endangered species are a must-have and come in crave-worthy holiday classics: 72% dark chocolate in peppermint crunch and caramel spiced apple as well as a 48% milk chocolate in fudgy peanut butter. They also make a great gift or stocking stuffers plus 10% of annual net profits go back to Wildlife Conservation. Find the Endangered species chocolate at all major retailers and online at chocolatebar.com and the holiday bars at chocolatebar.com, Sprouts, Publix and Greenwise store. Finally round out your dessert board with fresh fruit, nuts, seeds and meringues. Tidbits meringue drops have less than two calories per piece with less than 80 calories per pouch. With fun flavors like chocolate and cookies n cream, you can enjoy sweets this season while staying within your recommended added sugar limit of less than 10% of total daily calories. Find them at online at tidbits.fun.