It’s getting that time of year when those yummy snacks and accessories of sweets begin to magically appear. Well, not quite magically but they do appear! Much as I love those party snacks, cookies, and candies, my body does not agree with me on the subject. So I’ve become a minimalist when it comes to Holiday goodies. Plus, I don’t get led into temptation when I don’t make the unhealthy goodies in the first place! But I do know how fun it is to spend time making treats that are holiday exclusives, and I’m not scolding anyone for doing that! 😁
I have fond memories of growing up, making Christmas candy on winter evenings. My older sister cooked up a batch of caramel candy while Mom made a grande size batch of buckeyes. Then we’d melt chocolate and everyone could help dip them. To this day, buckeyes are the one Christmas candy I always melt over. The peanut butter and chocolate sweetness speaks Christmastime to me!! And oh the days before I needed to concern myself on the complex health subject!
I still enjoy making special treats if they are “healthified” in some way. Some goodies might not be totally healthy but healthier would be the key!
One dreary evening this Fall, I enjoyed making a batch of this tasty popcorn and seeing my children’s delight. It’s still sweet but does not have that notorious corn syrup! I host a substantial grudge against it and all things containing it or high fructose corn syrup! There have been many times I check an ingredient list in the store to find that sneaky item hidden there…..and I huff and I puff about that stuff! Its plopped back on the shelf and I depart the aisle muttering. I wish the company that made it could see the scenario. And if you are like me and do the same thing, perhaps we could get the point across; We hate high fructose corn syrup and refuse to buy your products if it’s in there! Ok. Honest confession. I have bought things with it in or even corn syrup itself- horrors! but it’s far from being welcome and used much in my house! End of sticky subject. Now on to the popcorn!
Melt together 1 cup butter, 1 cup coconut sugar, and 1/2 cup honey. Bring to boil and boil for about 4 minutes, stirring now and then.
Remove from heat and add in:
1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter. Mix well and pour over 6-7 quarts of popped corn. (I used ladyfinger popcorn because it was the only I had on hand but I’d recommend using large kernels) Once well coated, spread on cookie sheets and bake at 225* for approximately 30 minutes. Stir once in between. As it cools on the counter it will become even more crunchy. Store in airtight container.
Party mixes always flock the holiday gatherings but I feel so bloated and trashy after eating it. There’s the high gluten content besides all the preservatives/additives. So here’s a suggestion for a healthier alternative.
Mix together your choice of a variety of nuts. I would go light on the peanuts or omit completely. They can quickly flavor everything else. Add in craisins and a bag of sugar free or dark chocolate chips. This looks festive with the nuts and craisins. Chocolate chips, craisins and nuts are a perfect blend of sweet and salty. (You really do not need M&Ms in trail mix for it to be yummy- who wants all that food coloring and extra sugar anyway?!)
Store your “holiday mix” in a big glass jar on the counter and enjoy! I would still recommend not over indulging because nuts are a heavy food and harder to digest. But they still have health benefits that outweigh the usual mix of crackers, pretzels, cheesies and cereals.
Here’s one more recipe that is in fact, quite healthy! It’s a delicious way to get that good-for-you coconut oil in your body! They are rich.
3/4 cup virgin (unrefined) coconut oil, room temperature. Whisk until its fluffy. Add in: 1/2 teaspoon stevia- I used E.N.D stevia) and approximately 20 drops Peppermint essential oil or more to suit your taste- I used DoTERRA) Whisk everything till creamy. Use a teaspoon and drop into paper lined mini muffin pan. Chill until hardened.
Melt 1 cup sugar free or dark chocolate chips. Drop spoonfuls of chocolate on top of coconut oil mixture. Chill again until chocolate is firm. Makes 1 dozen. These should be stored in the refrigerator or in a very cool place.
I’d love to know- what are your healthier holiday snacks?