Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Protein Holiday Treats

By Anna Sward

I want to participate in the Christmas-treat-eating tradition, but I also want to maintain my diet goals. Have any ideas?
The sheer amount of yummy treats and our desire to eat them exponentially rises during the holiday season! Somehow, it's harder to say "no" under the soft glimmer of Christmas lights and the sound of chestnuts roasting on the open fire.
It's also difficult to say "no" to grandma and her pleading. "Are you not having a slice of pie? Have one slice, come on; have a slice or two … it's Christmas! I made this pie … It took me ages … I poured my heart into making this pie."
And then there's Aunt Sue who chases everyone around the room with her oh-so-famous-Christmas cookies asking, "Have you had one of the cookies? Have one. You must have one. Here, have this one. Try it. Tell me what you think. Here you go."
How does one resist those sweet faces and their plates of treats? You have three options. One, hold to your diet and repeatedly turn down every single dessert on the table. Option two is to give your diet the silent treatment and properly indulge—it's only once each year, to hell with it! Option three, the best option, is to have your cake and eat it too! How? By making healthy versions of holiday classics, and eating them!
The benefits of giving your holiday favorites a healthy makeover are twofold. First, you can enjoy holiday foods without spiking your blood glucose to harmful levels or deviating from your healthy diet. Second, you get to show your friends and family how easy it is to make foods that look and taste indulgent, but are actually packed-full of nutrition!
Here are two of my favorite holiday recipes.

/ Pumpkin Protein Pie

Crust Ingredients
  • 3/8 cup Coconut Flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled Oats (gluten-free or regular)
  • 1/2 cup Liquid Egg Whites
  • 1/4 cup Vanilla Pea Protein Powder
  • 3/4 cup Milk (I use cartoned coconut, but cow or almond would work)
  • 1 tbsp organic, grass-fed Butter
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Essence
  • 1/2 tbsp Toffee Sweetener Drops (or Stevia or your sweetener of choice)
Pie Filling
    Directions For Crust
    1. Mix all ingredients until dough is formed.
    2. Using your fingers, press dough into a medium-sized pie tin.
    3. Bake dough for 25 minutes at 375 degrees F (190 C) or until nicely browned.
    4. Remove from oven.
    Directions For Filling
    1. Blend all ingredients.
    2. Pour mixture into already-cooked pie crust.
    3. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 340 degrees F (170 C) or until a knife comes out clean.
    4. Remove from oven and let cool.
    5. Dig in!
    Nutrition Facts
    Serving Size Per slice, recipe makes 8 slices
    Amount per serving
    Calories 147.2
    Total Fat4.9g
    Total Carbs10g
     Pumpkin Protein Pie PDF (15.5 KB)

    Notes: If you want a taller pie, you can double the amount of filling and crust. You can also try making this recipe in little pie tins, or making pies inside silicone muffin tins. Also, try making the recipe without crust.

    / Hazelnut Gingerbread Protein Strongman Cookie

    1. Using a mixer, food processor, or handheld blender, mix all ingredients together and shape the dough into several small cookies or into two big gingerbread strongman cookies!
    2. Once shaped, bake at 355 degrees F or (180 C) for 15 minutes or until nicely browned.
    Nutrition Facts
    Serving Size Per cookie, if you make 12
    Amount per serving
    Calories 73.3
    Total Fat4.1g
    Total Carbs5.8g
    Nutrition Facts
    Serving Size Per strongman, if you make 2
    Amount per serving
    Calories 440
    Total Fat24.8g
    Total Carbs35g

    Notes: Try making different shapes. Make Christmas trees, Santas, or even dumbbells. Have some fun! These cookies are gluten and dairy free!

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