It never fails, each year as Christmas creeps closer and closer, I get the itch to say Fa-la-la-la-la to all our healthy eating habits as I turn into a baking fool.
And once I've voluntarily sequestered myself in the kitchen, it's just so easy to grab a toxic (albeit delicious) holiday treat to satisfy those snacking urges.
I know I'm not alone - you just ate that cookie, didn't you? The one sitting there on the plate with the imperfectly iced angel wing? Yeah, I know, that one had to be taken care of, because no one else would want to eat such an ugly cookie.
I hear you.
But I also know that you probably don't really want to rely on holiday junk food (as yummy as it is) to fill you up these days.
It's hard not to grab what's out and easy, though, isn't it?
So here are my top go-to snacks to save those unhealthy choices for the treat that they should be and not a mini-meal.
They're all easy to have on hand to help you deck your hunger instead of your health this season.
1. Vanilla Yogurt
I'd made the mistake of putting a couple of chocolate chips in her yogurt several months ago for a special treat and that became the new way to eat yogurt.
Luckily, I came up with the idea to splash some vanilla in and that has become her new favorite.
So much healthier and no sugar! Start off with a good yogurt (make your own Greek yogurt in the crock pot - see how here) and then just pour in some vanilla.
How much vanilla? Well, you know how recipes usually call for 1 teaspoon of the stuff? We triple that. We just squeeze that bottle until our kitchen smells sweet or the yogurt begins to turn to soup, whichever comes first.
Thankfully, we haven't reached the soup stage yet.
Mix it all up and then be ready to remind your taste buds that no, this concoction is not loaded with sugar and yes, it is totally delicious.
Simply scoop some ripe avocado out into a bowl (our minimum is two), squirt a little lime in (we usually use half of one) and then shake some salt and pepper over it all.
Stir it all up until it's smooth or you can't take it any longer and you just start shoveling the stuff into your mouth with the spoon.
Yeah, it's ready then.
You just dump whatever it handy and edible into something that blends and then drink it all up for a surprisingly filling snack.
Our current binge food is this easy applesauce energy smoothie.
4. Nut or Snack Mix
The good thing about both of these holiday treats is that they don't have to be your standard toxic Chex Mix (although I usually make a version of that, too!). My favorite version is an Asian mix full of plenty of wasabi powder. G's favorite is one that's all ginger and spice.
Nut mixes are an especially healthy choice, particularly if you find a recipe that doesn't use a ton of sugar.
I have several concoctions that I play around with each year (and can flip to the back of the recipe page for rankings by each member of the family). I'll certainly be making a batch or two soon, so hopefully I can share more details with you then.
I'll often spread some of this deliciousness onto some great homemade bread for an easy snack - and another of Gv's favorites.
6. Standard Snack Staples
Check out this post for a list of our top munchies and if you still haven't found something that keeps you from reaching for the batch of fudge you just shoved in the fridge, poke around the blog a bit - just type "recipe" in the search box - and see if something catches your fancy.
Now go cover yourself in flour and chocolate and bake up a slew of treats for you and everybody else to enjoy - but keep a few of these tasty tidbits on hand to help you say Fa-la-la-la-la to unhealthy choices - at least when you need an energy refill during all that festive holiday action.
What's your favorite thing to snack on at Christmas (healthy, or otherwise)? I'd love to hear! Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.
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