I’m a big snacker, always was, likely always will be. Holiday season is a special challenge to me when the days get colder, and the evenings cozyer. The big question is: What treats won’t make me feel super guilty after consuming?
Its not really the weight that gets me in panic mode. I am for sure no health guru-follower that focuses religiously on clean eating.
But lets face it, the common sweets and bakery around Christmas and other holidays, are anything but a cleansing experience for our bodies.
No matter what country and culture we live in, no matter if religious or not, celebrating events or not; one thing we all have in common is: We love to eat and please our mind with yummy treats that feel like a gentle stroke over the head. Well done, you are an okay person, now enjoy my sweetness…
The only problem is, that most of these short moments of pleasure immediately turn into an inner conflict of the two parties happiness and guilt.
I challenge you to stop feeling guilty and be kinder to yourself. To truly enjoy your holidays and the fact that there are plenty of good things out there that won’t be as unhealthy as eating mindlessly anything ‘bad’.
1. Step: Reducing Sugar
Getting completely sugar-free is maybe too much to ask around the holidays. I too enjoy a few sweet things now and then. Like Cranberry Shortbreads for example.
On my Youtube-channel, you can find a play list, titled 'Vintage Dinner / Retro Food Recipes' and it also contains a video tutorial for this recipe. Or you might go to the recipe Cranberry Shortbread Cookis with Honey to see how quick and easy you’ll get some soft cookies for an extra-yummy treat.
In the video, I used Xylitol as a substitute sweetener. Xylitol is an often used sugar-alternative today and I too have used it in recipes before. That I rely on honey now, is simply because I am not entirely sure about the health benefits, industrialized process and safety, as there seem to be no long-term- studies about it. Caution! To pets, this substance can be lethal, even in small amounts. So please be very careful when using Xylitol in your home. Otherwise it might be still better than using refined regular sugar in these baked goods.
Honey and sugar are both carbohydrates composed primarily of glucose and fructose. But honey is more complex and contains dextrin, a type of starchy fiber. Which makes organic honey my choice of sweetener over sugar for this recipe.
Try also: Banana bread with oatmeal, avocado chocolate pudding, zwieback with honey or my favorite „Apple CinnamonQuark Rolls“!
Nuts & Berries
It might sound boring at first, but believe me, nuts and berries can be super satisfying if you give them a try, instead of the chocolate bar or soft drinks lurking everywhere to be your comfy food.
Plus they are so beneficial to our health, since they're loaded with antioxidants (like blueberries), vitamins and are an overall great source of fiber, protein, magnesium, selenium, vitamin E etc.
When you're not allergic, they sure won't leave you unsatisfied.
|nuts, honey & cranberries|
2. Step: Reduce the „bad“ ingredients in spicy treats
I can let go of a lot of things when they‘re clearly not beneficial to my health. After all, if learned early in my life that no short moment of pleasure is worth dealing with headaches, stomach problems or worse.
There is just one weak spot that I always reach when it comes to spicy treats: Potato chips.
For years I‘ve tried different sorts of alternatives, but always stumbled over a pack of regular chips and felt bad after finishing the bag within a few minutes, watching a movie. To get that crispy highlight, I went through the jungle of alternatives including homemade vegetable chips.
It didn’t work for me.
Recently though, I discovered organic chickpea crisps that I am already addicted to.
There are several kinds of chickpea and hummus crisps that reach from garlic / Italian spice flavours to classics like paprika and vinegar.
To me, one of the best discoveries for the munchies, ever.
Try also: Hommeade whole wheat pizza bread, chilli ajwain biscuits, garlic breadsticks, or broccoli buns