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Homemade "healthy" holiday gifts

Try these festive treats to give

By Elaine Magee, MPH, RD
Weight loss clinic WebMD – Column of experts

Reviewed by Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD

People love to receive edible gifts from the kitchens of family friends; At least that's what they tell me when I give them something healthy and homemade every year! Homemade food gifts are particularly welcome during vacations because it is the time of year when people are busier than usual and can take a break to eat or drink.

One year I took the neighbors containers of 9-inch lightweight cinnamon rolls. Another year I did my lesssugar triple berry jam, and last year I left loaves of blueberry nut bread on its doors. But in case you do not want to challenge the kitchen right now, I included a list of some healthy foods and non-food gifts that you can buy instead of making them.

10 healthy food gifts you can buy for your friends and family

A ceramic bowl filled with light mixes, a new spoon and a scraper and a kitchen towel. A nonstick skillet or a pan wrapped with a can of canola oil or a Misto sprinkler and a pair of non-stick spatulas. a couple of bottles of light and tasty salad dressings and some light salad dressings, such as a bag of croutons or salad toppins and some salad tongs or serving spoons A tea or teapot cup wrapped for gift with a box or tin of tasty tea bags. The Republic of Tea brand has some nice tea cans in fun flavors like Mango Ceylon or Ginger Peach (also available in decaffeinated) A medium sized basket filled with freshly baked muffins, nut bread or buns (preferably whole grain) with a canned jar with less sugar A nice plate of sweets filled with pieces of chewing gum wrapped individually A bottle of olive oil and a bottle of balsamic vinegar wrapped decoratively A cheese board that includes a couple of delicious cheeses, low-fat cheeses and a box of low fat crackers (possibly whole grain), packed with a cheese knife. A bag of ground flaxseed packed with a light cookbook on how to cook with flax (for example, The linen cookbook by Elaine Magee) You can make a basket of fresh fruits and nuts by decorating with fresh fruits and some festive nuts.

10 healthy non-food gifts that you can buy for your friends and family

A subscription to a health-oriented magazine A one-month pass to a gym that offers classes in Pilates, yoga, swimming, aerobics, etc. An easy-to-use book on nutrition or healthy cooking. Exercise equipment (such as a stationary bicycle or treadmill). An exercise video A certificate to "pamper yourself". Gifts that have nothing to do with food: manicures. , pedicure, facial, or massage. A bottle of perfumed massage oil packed with a candle. A "gift basket" for not stressing, which includes a relaxing aromatherapy candle with a relaxing music CD, a "quiet" or "serenity" tea pack and a bottle of bath oil and / or lotion. A gift set "Get in touch with your feelings" which includes a nightly diary, a pen (with or without light) and a book light Some sessions with a personal trainer

And for you, friends of the kitchen, here are some recipes that work very well as homemade gifts for the holidays:

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Cranberry Sweet Bread Quick Bread

Diary of a slice like: 1/2 of a small muffin.

This bread tastes even better the next day. Small cute breads are excellent gifts because the color and flavor of this bread personify the holiday season! These breads also freeze well.

1 large egg
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 cup of white sugar (Splenda can be substituted)
1 cup of light eggnog (cardboard); Soy egg punch is now available and can be replaced
1/4 cup of canola oil
1/4 cup of rum
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of fresh blueberries (washed and well drained cranberries and badly thrown)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover the bread molds with canola oil. Beat the egg and the egg substitute in a large bowl. Mix the sugar, eggnog, canola oil, rum and vanilla until smooth. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Mix the dry ingredients in the eggnog mixture; Beat over low heat only to moisten the dry ingredients. Stir gently in the blueberries. Pour the mixture into the prepared molds). Bake until the toothpick or tester inserted in the center comes out clean (approximately 50-60 minutes for a large loaf, 40-50 minutes for two medium-sized loaves, or 35-40 minutes for three mini-loaves). Let cool completely. Wrap well and store in the refrigerator.

Make two loaves of 8 × 3 3/4 inches, one of 9 × 5 inches or three loaves of 5 3/4 × 3 1/4 inches.

Per serving (about 20 servings in total): 135 calories, 3 g of protein, 22 g of carbohydrates, 3.5 g of fat (0.5 g of saturated fat, 1.8 g of monounsaturated fat, 0.9 g of polyunsaturated fat), 20 mg of cholesterol, 1 g of fiber, 118 mg of sodium. Calories from fat: 24%.

Cinna-nilla hot cocoa mix (with Splenda)

Daily as: 3/4 cup of skim milk.

Mix of hot cocoa with a touch! This recipe produces enough hot chocolate mixture to fill approximately four bottles of 1 pint. Many of the hot cocoa mixes you buy in the store contain partially hydrogenated fats, which means they contain the undesirable trans fats. By making your own hot chocolate mix, you can use a cream without milk without fat and milk powder to almost eliminate trans fats and Splenda to replace the sugar.

4 cups of fat-free milk powder
2 cups of Splenda (powdered sugar can be substituted)
1 cup of cocoa powder without sugar
3/4 cup non-fat vanilla vanilla cream without fat (or use a regular nonfat non-fat milk cream and add 2 tablespoons of pure vanilla powder – it's close to the extracts in most supermarkets)
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon (just leave it if you do not like cinnamon)

Add dry milk powder, Splenda or powdered sugar, cocoa powder, non-dairy cream and cinnamon to an extra large bowl and stir to mix ingredients well. Use a flexible funnel or mat to gently pour the hot cocoa mixture into pint bottles (filling them about 3/4 inch from the top) and decorate the jars with ribbon, bows or rounds of cloth. Include a label or label with the instructions; "Add 1/3 cup of cocoa mixture to 3/4 cup of boiling water."

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Makes about four bottles of 1 pint.

Per cup of hot cocoa prepared: 70 calories, 4.5 g of protein, 12 g of carbohydrates, 0.5 g of fat (0.3 g of saturated fat, 0.2 g of monounsaturated fat), 2 mg of cholesterol, 1.2 g of fiber, 68 mg of sodium. Calories from fat: 6%.

One cup of cocoa a day …

According to a study recently published in the December 3 issue of the edition, hot cocoa wins as the food drink most likely to have the highest amount of antioxidants, compared to green and black tea and red wine. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry. The antioxidants in question are the phenols and flavonoids, which are believed to help prevent heart disease Y Cancer. The researchers of the study carried out chemical analyzes of the four drinks and discovered that cocoa not only had twice as many antioxidants as red wine and almost three times as much as green tea (black tea had even less than green tea), but the principal investigator. He also suspects that the heat in hot cocoa may even trigger the release of more antioxidants.

Easy orange cranberry sauce

This festive sauce is as easy as it is beautiful. Make it a gift of gourmet food by loading the sauce into a serving dish or gift jar, cover it and wrap it with decorative cellophane. I have three sugar options in this recipe. You can do it with 2 cups of sugar, you can use less sugar (1 1/2 cups), or you can use 1 cup of regular sugar and 1 cup of Splenda (sugar substitute).

2 cups of sugar (Splenda can be substituted for 1 cup of this sugar)
2 cups of orange juice
2 packs (12 ounces each) of fresh blueberries
2 orange peel

Add all the ingredients to a large nonstick pan; carry a boil at medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let it cook until the cranberries open, stirring frequently (approximately 10 minutes). Fill gift vials or serving dishes with the orange cranberry mixture, cover them well and keep refrigerated in the refrigerator until they are served or given to friends and family.

Makes enough sauce to fill about five 1-cup jars.

Daily as: 4 teaspoons of jam.

Per portion of 1/4 cup (if 2 cups of sugar are used): 105 calories, 0.3 g of protein, 27 g of carbohydrates, 0.1 g of fiber, 0 mg of cholesterol, 1.2 g of fiber, 0.8 mg of sodium. Calories from fat: 1%.

Daily as: 3 teaspoons of jam.

Per portion of 1/4 cup (if using 1 1/2 cup of sugar): 85 calories, .3 g of protein, 22 g of carbohydrates, .1 g of fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 1.2 g of fiber,. 8 mg of sodium. Calories from fat: 1%.

Daily as: 2 teaspoons of jam.

Per portion of 1/4 cup (if you use 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of Splenda): 67 calories, 0.3 g of protein, 17 g of carbohydrates, 0.1 g of fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 1, 2 g of fiber, 0.8 mg of sodium. Calories from fat: 2%.

Originally published on December 5, 2003.
Mediacally Updated on October 15, 2004.

© 1996-2005 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.


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