The holiday season is a wonderful time of year filled with family, friends, and also lots of food. Whether sitting around the table for a traditional meal or snacking in a family room while playing games, food is central to our celebrations. We encourage our community to take this opportunity to incorporate some festive, healthy treats during this wonderful time of year, and to do that, we’ve compiled some simple and fun snacks that you can whip up with as little as five minutes and five dollars.
Veggie and fruit “wreath” trays
Veggie and fruit trays are great for centerpiece edible arrangements during any festive time. The bright and distinct colors can be arranged to resemble the evergreen decorations that people often put up in and around the home. You can accomplish this in a tasty form by putting some form of dip (like ranch dressing, hummus or peanut butter) in the center of a large plate and surrounding it with a mixture of fruits or veggies. If you are assembling a fruit tray, we recommend slicing up some fresh strawberries, apples and bananas, along with some blueberries, grapes and chopped cantaloupe. If you are assembling a veggie tray, we recommend stocking it with broccoli, tomatoes, sliced peppers, carrot bits and celery. Include some small skewers or toothpicks nearby so people can pick an assortment without needing to use utensils. And for a little extra festive detail, surround your arrangements with some cranberries or sprigs of herbs.
Snacking on nuts isn’t just for songs about chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Many stores will have holiday concoctions and mixtures of nuts to choose from, perfect for getting in your protein. Peanuts, almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts and pistachios, among others, are excellent choices for casual snacking. They also come in a wide variety of flavors, from smoked to spiced to roasted in honey. Grab a handful of these and start munching away, or even try making your own seasoning mixes!
Crackers are a great choice for snacking, and one of the best parts about them is that they can be turned into mini sandwiches. One way to do this festively is to make them look like little Santa Clauses. Take your choice of round cracker and slice up some cheese into the shape of a beard and place it on one half of the cracker. Then slice some pepperoni or sun-dried tomato into the shape of a hat and put it on the other half. In between, place some small raisins for eyes. These make for adorable, endlessly poppable snacks in between meals.
Boiled egg snowmen
Boiled eggs are a fantastic source of vitamins and protein. To make them into snowmen, put one egg on top of another, fasten them together with a skewer or a single piece of uncooked pasta, and then make little hats and noses out of bits of carrot. Complete the picture with sprigs of parsley for arms and tiny peppercorns for eyes and buttons.
This delicious recipe makes a single-serving snack that looks like the tree that will probably be up in your living room soon (if it’s not already). To make it, the hardest work you have to do is slice up a few apples. Arrange the apple slices into the shape of pine branches, then make the trunk out of some pretzel sticks, and make a star out of two triangle-shaped pieces of cheese. Finish off by decorating with raisins or small nuts for “ornaments” and you’ll have an adorable, complete snack! (Hint: make it look even better by using some Christmas tree-shaped plates!) These are tons of fun to do with the kids, too.
During a time when the oven will often be in use, it might be nice to have some small cookies that require refrigeration rather than baking. No-bake cookies are actually a fairly common treat, and they can be made with ingredients like hazelnut spread, honey, sugar, oats, graham cracker crumbs, chocolate chips and a variety of nuts. With many of these recipes, it’s as simple as mixing the ingredients into a thick paste, rolling them out onto wax paper and refrigerating them for several hours or overnight. Once they’re sufficiently hardened, they’ll make for excellent desserts.
These are just a few common holiday snacks that you can introduce to your family this holiday season. Many more can be found through a simple Google search, and often, grocery stores will have pre-made packages of holiday snacks for you to choose from. If you have any questions about nutrition this season or would like to schedule an appointment, contact us today!