As my children count down the days until Christmas, I can’t help getting caught up in the excitement, anticipation and magic of the season. It’s one of life’s most beautiful things, to be able to experience the holidays through the eyes of a child. Pure joy. A reminder that as much as we teach our children, they often teach us. So, I plan on spending the next couple of weeks, camera in hand, truly enjoying the moment.
For my family, a significant amount of time during the holidays is spent in the kitchen. We bake, a tradition passed down from my mother. Her desserts were amazing, and I say that without bias. Our goal, to make a healthier version of her decadent delights.
Here are some simple tips to making your holiday favorites healthier:
1. Take out the traditional shortening. It contains partially hydrogenated oils. You can replace it one to one with butter or non-dairy butter.
2. Replace refined white or brown sugar with a natural sweetener such as honey, maple syrup or agave nectar.
3. Replace white flour with whole wheat pastry flour (or another whole grain flour of your choice).
4. Replace table salt with sea salt. Sea salt is unrefined and contains vital minerals not found in table salt.
5. Replace milk chocolate chips with dark chocolate morsels.
6. Instead of whole milk, try a non-dairy option such as rice milk.
7. Choose desserts made with fruit or vegetables, such as apple pie, pumpkin pie or carrot cake.
What are your Christmas traditions surrounding food? Try incorporating a little healthy. Let me know how it goes!
Have a warm, wonderful and absolutely joyful holiday!