To view the segement from WSBT, click here: Mom's First: Healthy Holiday Treats

The average American gains between 5-7 lbs. from Thanksgiving to New Years and your sweets are a big reason why. Many people tend to eat too much or too often through this holiday stretch. Now, I’m not the Grinch and I won’t tell you that you can indulge in any sweet, but there are however, a few strategies you can utilize to help keep your waistline in check.


First, reduce your portion sizes. Easier said than done, sometimes. Try to save the desserts until after the appetizers and main entrees where you can fill up with more nutrition foods. Then take a small dessert plate and limit yourself to sample a few desserts that fill up the plate. You will then get to taste a little of everything, keeping in check your portion size.

Second, try modifying some of your recipes. Now baking is a science where all the ingredients have a function so you don’t want to modify all at once. For most recipes, however, you can reduce the sugar and fat by ¼ and still get the same great, baked good just with less fat and calories.

Another way you can modify is by increasing the nutritional value of your baked good by adding nuts or dried fruit. In my super bark recipe here, I used 70% chocolate which contains high levels of flavonoids – potent antioxidants that protect cells against damage. I’ve also added in some nuts which are a rich source of protein and fiber and contain heart healthy omega-3. Lastly, I’ve add in some dried fruits to help you meet your servings of fruits for the day. Look for dried fruits with no added sugars.

Super Bark
Ingredients
2 Tbsp. raw almonds, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp. crystallized ginger, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp. shredded coconut
2 Tbsp. dried pomegranate blueberries (dried cherries, goji berries or other dried fruit are a fine substitute)
4 oz. 70% or higher dairy-free dark chocolate
1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil
flaky sea salt
Method
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Mix together the chopped almonds, chopped ginger, coconut, and dried blueberries. Take out 1-2 Tbsp. of the mixture; reserve for topping.

Melt the chocolate along with the coconut oil in a double boiler or in 30-second intervals in the microwave; stirring in between. When smooth and creamy, stir in the larger amount of chopped almonds, chopped ginger, and dried blueberries.

Spread the chocolate mixture out onto the prepared baking sheet and smooth it into an even layer. Top with the remaining superfoods' mixture and a sprinkling of flaky sea salt. Refrigerate until chocolate is fully set, about 30 minutes.

Be Well,

Kristin

For a printable version of this recipe, click here: Super Bark