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Healthy, Tasty Holiday Snacks

spiced-pecans

Image: www.eatingwell.com

As a nurse, you know the importance of eating healthy foods and taking advantage of fresh ingredients, but avoiding all the sugar and junk food during the holidays can be tough.

Luckily, there are delicious, easy dishes you can whip up using the ingredients available now in stores, along with wonderful spices to entice your family and friends to eat nutritious foods. The bonus is that these recipes will fill your heart and home with the inviting aromas of the season.

Mississippi Spiced Pecans

Nuts are a great source of nutrients. They contain essential fatty acids, linoleic and linolenic acids, which are vital for growth, healthy skin and hair, blood pressure control, immune response and blood clotting.

The mild taste of the pecans get an extra zing from the combination of cayenne pepper, rosemary and thyme found in this great recipe from Eating Well.

Your shopping list for this recipe:

1 pound pecan halves, dark brown sugar, kosher salt, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, ground pepper, cayenne pepper or piment d’Espelette (see recipe), extra-virgin olive oil

Carrot and Spice Quickbread

Getting kids to eat their vegetables is sometimes a challenge, but the carrots in this recipe are combined with spices and other ingredients to make it a real treat!

The lemon/citrus taste of the ginger combined with the zest of the grated orange rind and the sweetness of the cinnamon make this flavored bread a warm blend of holiday goodness. Check out this taste sensation from the Mayo Clinic staff.

Your shopping list for this recipe:

All-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, trans fat-free buttery blend, brown sugar, fat-free milk, unsweetened orange juice, egg substitute, vanilla extract, grated orange rind, shredded carrots, golden raisins, finely chopped walnuts

Green and Yellow Beans with Wild Mushrooms

Green beans are a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A and manganese. They’re also a source of dietary fiber, potassium, folate and iron, and help promote colon health and have anti-inflammatory nutrients.

The strong flavor of garlic really pumps up the flavor of these green beans in this recipe from The Food Network.

Your shopping list for this recipe:

1 pound green beans, 1 pound yellow wax beans, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, wild mushrooms, kosher salt, ground pepper

Magic Cookie Bars
Dark chocolate is a potent antioxidant and can help lower high blood pressure. If you’ve just got to have chocolate for the holidays, consider a healthier—but still sweet—version of these cookies with reduced butter from Healthy Cooking at Suite 101.

Your shopping list for this recipe:

Graham cracker crumbs, butter, canola oil, sweetened flaked coconut, nonfat dry milk, white sugar, dark chocolate chips, peanut butter

Makeover Veggie Pizza Squares

This favorite appetizer has been remade by the folks at Taste of Home and now has good-for-you vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and mushrooms. Broccoli and cauliflower, both members of the cabbage family, contain lots of phytochemicals, substances believed to block the action of cancer-causing free radicals. The subtle, anise-like flavor of the dill weed adds just the right bit of sweetness to this recipe.

Your shopping list for this recipe:

Refrigerated reduced-fat crescent rolls, reduced-fat cream cheese, fat-free cream cheese, plain yogurt, reduced-fat mayonnaise, fat-free milk, dill weed, garlic salt, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, green pepper, mushrooms, olives, sweet onion


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Anita Bruzzese

Anita Bruzzese is an award-winning journalist. Her book, 45 Things You Do That Drive Your Boss Crazy...And How to Avoid Them, was named one of the top 10 most notable business books by the New York Post in 2007. For more information, visit her Website at 45things.com.
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