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Healthy Holiday Suggestions

Happy Healthy Holidays

Holidays can be difficult for those on a diabetic diet -- actually, for anyone on any diet!

The American Diabetes Association offers the following suggestions to make your celebrations a little sweeter and less damaging to your health ad waistline.

These are great suggestions for anyone to follow, not just diabetics.

Christmas Cookie Shapes

  • You can enjoy an occasional sugar-containing food, but it must be substituted for other carbohydrates already in your diet. If you want a small slice of pumpkin pie, for example, give up the baked potato and toppings at dinner.
  • When you are making a festive dessert, try cutting the sugar by one-third to one-half and increasing the cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and any other sweet-tasting spices and flavorings.
  • Decide ahead of time what and how much you will eat and how you will handle social pressure to indulge in foods that are not normally in your diet.
  • Take a smaller serving size of dessert or scrape off the high-fat whipped cream topping.
  • Volunteer to bring a favorite low-sugar dish such as baked apples or sugar-free puddings to social functions.
  • Do not take a holiday from your daily exercise routine. Continue your normal workouts in addition to extra activities such as power walking while shopping.

Source: American Diabetes Association

Beneficial Baking Basics

Are you looking for a few home made treats that won't blow your caloric intake? Add the following items to your grocery list the next time you want to bake a sweet treat:

Chocolate and raspberries

  • Applesauce: Fruit purees such as applesauce can replace up to half of the fat called for in baked items. The natural sugars and fibers in applesauce help to retain moisture.
  • Cocoa: Reduce the amount of baking chocolate in a recipe with low-fat cocoa. Three tablespoons of cocoa plus 1-tablespoon of water equals one square of baking chocolate. Mix the cocoa into the dry ingredients and stir the water into the wet or creamed items in the recipe.
  • Confectioners' Sugar: Leave that can of frosting on the shelf and reach for the confectioners' sugar instead. A light dusting over cakes and brownies significantly cuts calories and fat compared to heavy frosting.
  • Nuts: It's all right to keep nuts on your shopping list -- simply decrease the amount you usually purchase. Toast the nuts before mixing them into your batter or dough. This will give them a stronger flavor so you can use less of them.
  • Yogurt: Replace up to half of the butter in your recipe with half as much low-fat or nonfat plain yogurt. Not only does this decrease the fat, but it also helps create tender products.

Hints and Helpers

  • Make your own Easter egg dyes. Boil the eggs with grass for green, onion skins for yellow and beets for red.
  • When making Easter eggs, remove an egg that has cracked from boiling water and pour a generous amount of salt over the crack. This will seal the crack and contain the egg white.
  • After the Easter holiday, purchase the large eggs and bunnies made from chocolate at half price or less. Use for any recipes to save some dollars.
  • To preserve a Halloween pumpkin, just spray the inside and outside surfaces with an antiseptic spray to kill bacteria and keep the pumpkin in better shape.
  • When stuffing your holiday turkey, try placing a piece of cheesecloth inside the cavity before adding the stuffing. When you remove the cloth, all the stuffing will come out at one time. Markets are now selling a stuffing sac; one sac costs more than enough cheesecloth purchased in bulk to do ten birds.
  • Never stuff your turkey with warm stuffing and leave overnight, even if refrigerated. Always keep the stuffing separate and stuff the bird before cooking.
  • Grind up a few black walnuts in a blender to add to your pumpkin pie for an improved flavor.
  • Make a heart-shaped cake: First, bake both a round cake and a square cake. Cut the round cake in half, and then turn the square cake so that the corners face you in a diamond shape. Place each half of the round cake on the two uppermost sides of the diamond. Now you have a perfect heart-shaped cake for Valentine's Day.

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