Christmas Snacks for a Healthful Holiday

If you’re looking for some Christmas treats that are delicious without being overly decadent in sugar and calories, try some of these simple but often forgotten favourites!
Homemade Popcorn:

A 3-cup serving of air-popped popcorn contains only 100 calories and an impresive 4g of fiber. Fiber is by-far the most overlooked nutrient and research indicates most of us get only half of the 30g/day requirement. Fiber is essential for gut health, weight management, heart health, blood sugar control and more. So buy organic, non-GMO corn kernels and get popping! Flavour with dried herbs and spices for low-sodium seasoning options.
Spiced Nuts & Seeds:

Nuts and seeds are a nutrition powerhouse filled with healthy fats, plant protein, and essential vitamins and minerals. Not to mention super tasty! Combine raw nuts and seeds with coconut oil, honey/maple syrup and your favourite spice mix. Then spread on baking tray and bake in oven until toasted and fragrant.  Favourite flavours include sweet (cinnamon, vanilla, maple, cacao, cardamom, citrus etc) and savoury (cayenne, paprika, turmeric, cumin, rosemary, kafir lime etc).
Strawberries dipped in dark chocolate:

A classic dessert that never fails to excite adults and children alike. Place a bowl of high-quality melted chocolate on the table with an assortment of fresh fruit and tooth-picks and let the fun begin! Alternatively, if you’re looking for something less messy you can pre-dip the fruit, let cool, and decorate on a large platter for an easy show-stopper.
Grilled cinnamon banana

Sprinkle halved bananas with cinnamon and a dash of coconut sugar before grilling or broiling for a few minutes until golden, caramalized and divine. A sweet dessert without refined white sugar or chemical additives. Plus bananas contain potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B, while cinnamon is rich in antioxidants and can help boost your metabolism. Also works beutifully with apples, pears and plums.
Energy Bites:

 These recipes often include oats, almond meal, honey, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, especially dates. Most energy bites don’t require baking, only a few hours in the fridge, so they are easy to make and the options of flavour combinations are endless. Breakfast, workout snack, afternoon pick-me-up, vegan dessert – there will be energy bite recipes online for that.  Once you catch the energy bite bug you’ll be making these for every occasion and can boast that these are homemade, all-natural and vegan with no added sugar!
Striving for a healthier diet and lifestyle doesn’t have to mean forgoing your favourite desserts and treats. Hopefully these quick and easy treat ideas will inspire you to try some home-made classics instead of store-bought treats. But don’t stop there, from avocado chocolate mousse to black bean brownies, there are many healthy alternative recipes that will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth.
 
Rachel Erwin Younibody    
By Rachel Erwin, Health Coach
B.Sc With Distinction in University of Toronto
Postgraduate Degree in Human Nutrition from HKU                                                             

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