Food is a pleasure for most across the globe, and with the festive season here, it is all about food, family, friends, and fun. However, it is easy to get carried away by temptations and indulge in unhealthy food or overeating. Since Christmas dinners have evolved into mouthwatering salads and low-calorie desserts, it makes sense to carry the new trend along with the old traditions to make it a wholesome event.
Using seasonal produce regularly in our daily diet offers many benefits to our health and wellbeing. And so, this Christmas season, we give you the recipe for a simple and quick salad and a low-calorie dessert using seasonal produce to make it a fun, festive season.
Green Salad with Cranberries
This Christmas salad with mixed greens, nuts, and cranberries will probably be the most sought-after dish at the dinner table. Cranberries are one of the holiday staples that add brightness and deliciousness to any dish with their color and taste. Bursting with nutrients and antioxidants, cranberries can be the best liver-enhancing food, regulate blood pressure, improve immunity, and prevent inflammation. Similarly, mixed greens are loaded with many essential dietary nutrients, including minerals, vitamins, and fiber, that is good for cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health.
- Fresh cranberries – ¼ cup
- Mixed salad greens – 1 pound
- Red onion – 1 small, thinly sliced
- Red wine vinegar – 3 tbsp
- Olive oil – ⅓ cup
- Minced garlic – ½ tsp
- Dijon mustard – 1 tbsp
- Water – 2 tbsp
- Salt and ground black pepper – to taste
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- Blue cheese – crumbled, 4 ounces
- In a food processor, combine the cranberries, garlic, vinegar, mustard, oil, salt, pepper, and water.
- Process until the vinaigrette is smooth.
- Toast the almonds until they are brown.
- Take a large bowl and combine the mixed greens, toasted almonds, onions, vinaigrette, and blue cheese.
- Mix until it is evenly coated.
- Serve immediately.
- You can add walnuts, pecans, or a mix of fruits, nuts, and seeds to the salad, notching up the nutritional value of the salad.
- Use mandarins or orange juice instead of vinegar to add an extra dimension of sweetness to the vinaigrette.
This recipe makes 8 servings.
Nutritional Facts: (for 1 serving)
- Calories – 219
- Protein – 7 g
- Carbohydrates – 6 g
- Fat – 19 g
- Dietary Fiber – 3 g
Christmas Baked Apples
A standard at most Christmas family dinners, baked apples are easy to make, healthy, and a great way to put the fresh seasonal apples to use. While the apples add to the seasonal nutrition, the spices and nuts enhance the flavor of the dessert, making it a perfect way to end the festive dinner.
- Apples – 6, peeled, cored, and sliced
- Whole milk – ½ cup
- Sugar – ½ cup
- All-purpose flour – 3 tbsp
- Raisins – ½ cup
- Chopped walnuts – ½ cup
- Ground cinnamon – ½ tsp
- Ground cloves – ½ tsp
- Ground nutmeg – ½ tsp
- Preheat oven to 175 degrees C (350 degrees F).
- In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the milk.
- Mix well to ensure the apples are coated with spice mix and flour.
- Spread the apple mix on a greased casserole dish.
- Pour the milk evenly over the apples.
- Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until it is soft and bubbly.
- Allow to cool down well before serving.
- Serve with a dollop of fresh whipped low-fat cream, if your calorie count allows it.
- You can use almond milk, almond flour, or ground oats for the vegan or gluten-free version.
- Cooking in a crock pot may take longer than in an oven.
This recipe makes 12 servings.
Nutritional Facts: (for 1 serving)
- Calories – 136
- Protein – 2 g
- Carbohydrates – 26 g
- Fat – 4 g
- Dietary Fiber – 2 g
Images – for representative purposes only
Recipe ideas from Allrecipes.com