Christmas is a time for comfort food, but the Christmas feast doesn’t need to be unhealthy. Here are three nutritious recipes for the Christmas table.
1. Healthy Pumpkin Pie
This pumpkin pie is lower in sugar and fat than other most pie recipes but still delicious. Its wonderful flavor and aroma come from a rich blend of spices.
1 9-inch unbaked pie shell
1 standard (398 ml) can pumpkin
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup raw organic cane sugar or natural, unrefined Demerara sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 425F. Combine all ingredients, beat until the mixture is smooth, and pour it into the pie shell. Bake for 15 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 350F, and then bake for another 40 to 60 minutes. Use a toothpick to test for doneness – when it comes out clean, the pies are ready.
2. Maple-Glazed Carrots and Brussels Sprouts
Maple syrup is a healthier alternative to sugar, and it can be used to add a lovely, light sweetness to vegetables. This recipe makes 4 servings.
16 Brussels sprouts (trim the bases and cut an X into each base)
16 baby carrots (or 4 full-sized carrots cut into smaller pieces)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Salt and pepper, to taste
Steam the Brussels sprouts and carrots until crisp-tender. Then sauté them in the olive oil for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and toss with the maple syrup and a small sprinkle of salt and pepper.
3. Cheddar and Chive Spelt Cornbread
Cornbread is great for any holiday celebration. Although this is not a low-fat recipe, this bread does have more fiber, protein, vitamins, and antioxidants than white bread.
3 cups spelt flour
1 cup cornmeal
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 cups milk
3 extra-large eggs
1 cup melted butter
2 ½ cups extra-sharp aged cheddar
¼ cup chives (you can substitute 1/3 cup green onions and if you’d like a bit of spice, add a few tablespoons of chopped jalapeno peppers as well)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two standard-sized bread pans (you can omit this step if using silicone bakeware). Combine the first 5 dry ingredients in a large bowl. Then combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients, 2 cups of the cheese, and the chives, stirring just until blended (don’t overmix). Pour batter into the pans, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, and let the loaves stand for 20 minutes before baking. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Start testing for doneness with a toothpick after 30 minutes.
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