From early childhood, most people associate lots of treats with the holiday season. All around the house are candy canes, fruitcakes, cookies, pies, gingerbread and a host of other sugar- and calorie-laden foods. The adults happily join in on the excesses, by adding their favorite egg nogs, ciders, wines and liquors.
On top of it all, there are the calorie-loaded Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. The dinner tables groan while being weighed down with candied yams, butter-soaked mashed potatoes, fat-injected turkey meat roasted with bread stuffing. Add all of that to the overloaded sweet treats served as desserts, after dinner treats, before bed snacks and during every other waking hour throughout the holiday seasons.
Is there ever really a need to eat sugary and fat, when it’s just as tasty to eat healthy? After every year-ending holiday meal, it’s no wonder that every celebrant’s bottom seems to get a bit wider, while the belt seems to be a bit tighter.
With a bit of creativity, anyone can create and serve many healthy holiday treats that will resemble the traditional themes in colors, shapes and pleasant tastes. For example, would you enjoy munching a raw veggie candy cane made from a celery or white asparagus stalk with thin strips of sweet red pepper wrapped around it?
Another innovation is an edible veggie Christmas wreath to welcome guests at your front door. It’s made by interveaving various types of dark green lettuce and/or raw spinach leaves into a circle, then adding small radishes and/or fresh cherries at various spots to serve as deliciously fake holly berries.
There are choices about purchasing Christmas trees that will survive much longer than trash pick-up day after New Year’s. Buy a real live pine tree in a planter. Then, after the holidays, plant it by your house and enjoy the beauty and fragrance year around.
Additionally, your live Christmas tree’s branches can serve as a way to hang some of your most creative edible, low-calorie holiday treats. Try non-flamable, edible fake candles of white asparagus spears set in baked potato halves, with tangerine sections on top to imitate flames.
For traditional red and green decor around the rooms where guests gather, hang raw or cooked veggie clusters of broccoli florettes wrapped in strips of sweet red peppers.
Fresh fruits of all kinds all over the Christmas tree can help give it the traditional festive air, including apples, pears, plums (no sugar plums), bananas, cherries, carrot bits, broccoli and scores of other raw veggies, nuts and fresh fruits.
There is just one possible problem in creatively displaying healthy foods to serve as holiday snacks. By the time your guests depart, your house may be stripped clean of all of its naturally tasty holiday decor.