Forget the whole three French hens, six geese a-laying and a partridge-in-a-pear tree thing. Last December, I baked eight chocolate chip Oreo cheesecakes, about a dozen banana breads and hundreds of assorted cookies as gifts for clients and service providers. While everyone enjoyed their goodies, the process sent my healthy habits into a tailspin; I gained five pounds from rampant sampling and was exhausted by daily sugar crashes. So this year, I’ve planned ahead to create a healthier holiday baking season through these steps:
- Minimize temptation. Rather than producing piles of cookies that can be easily misplaced – you know, in my mouth – I’m preparing three main deliverables: banana bread, pumpkin bread and chocolate chip breads that are baked directly in a foil gift loaf tin. As I explained when strategizing this plan with Certified Health & Nutrition Coach Linda Citron, taking a huge bite out of the middle of someone’s pumpkin loaf is just bad manners. Eliminating the transfer of the breads from another cooking pan means there’s no temptation to let one accidentally on purpose crumble apart and become fair game for overindulgence.
- Honor my own needs. I’m done making cheesecakes. They take way too much time and it’s really hard not to dig into the Oreo cookies when crushing them for the crust. And instead of having to prepare something each day, I planned deliveries and shipping to knock out one session last night (you can see the photographic evidence above) and two more next week.
- Offer healthier options. Some people I bake for are gluten-free now, while others shun sugar. Personally, I’m a whole lot nicer to be around when avoiding both of those ingredients. That’s why I’m going to share my new favorite treat, vegan sweet potato brownies that are gluten-free, with people who crave healthier options. Here’s the recipe from Deliciously Ella:
Makes 10 brownies
– 2 medium to large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
– 2/3 of a cup of ground almond (almond flour)
– 1/2 a cup of buckwheat flour (brown rice flour will also work)
– 14 medjool pitted dates
– 4 tablespoons of raw cacao
– 3 tablespoons of pure maple syrup syrup
– a pinch of salt
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Steam the sweet potato chunks for 20 minutes or until really soft and add into a food processor with the pitted dates. Mix until creamy and blended.
- Put the remaining ingredients into a bowl, before mixing in the sweet potato date combination. Stir well.
- Bake in a lined baking dish for 20 minutes, until piercing with a fork comes out dry. Remove the tray and cool for at least 10 minutes to allow everything to set. Ella has a great step-by-step “how to” video on her site too!
Courtesy of http://deliciouslyella.com/
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What is your stance on healthy habits during the holiday season? Think it is a waste of time or the compass that keeps you sane? How do you handle food temptations?