Unsure how to spread holiday cheer the healthy way? Eating right can be tough this time of the year when there’s a plate full of sugar cookies lurking around every corner. Maintain positive momentum (and eating habits) while celebrating the wonderful Christmas season. Paige Green, Hy-Vee Dietitian with the Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages you to take the milk plunge with a new “cookie” recipe that deserves to top Santa’s nice list. Filled with powerful protein and a fiber-filled produce favorite, feel jolly without the extra jiggle this December with an energy bite that tastes like Christmas!
No bake bites are the perfect treat that can take the stress out of time spent in the kitchen. Plus, when healthy meets convenient, you’ll feel more energized to tackle the busy season with a smile.
Tweak the Sweets
Here’s the sweet truth: sugar is best enjoyed in small, happy doses. And, unfortunately, most Christmas treats are sugar bombs. By using the natural sweetness from the pear, you can enjoy an edible goodie that’s good for you, too.
The Time is Ripe
December is National Pear Month, and the perfect time to learn about
this cold-weather fruit.
There are 10 varieties of pears, although the Bartlett pears, like the one we are using today, are most often used for snacking, because of their sweetness.
“A pear a day…” it’s too bad that’s not the saying, because pears are just as powerful as apples at keeping the doctor away. One medium-sized pear contains 100 calories and 6 grams of fiber (24% of Daily Value for fiber). Adults should aim for 2 cups of fruit daily, and since one pear is equal to a cup, you’ll be halfway there with this sweet and juicy snack.
For many pears, you can “check the neck” by gently pressing the stem end of the fruit with your thumb. If it’s soft, it’s ripe and ready to eat.
This holiday season, help yourself and others feel jolly without the extra jiggle! Each pear is only 100 calories! Combining this high-fiber fruit with protein makes edible goodies guilt-free! fresh fruit and protein make the perfect “pear”.
Whip up dazzling holiday treats with little effort with these no-bake energy bites. There are 10 varieties of pears, ranging in color from green to brown to red. Take part in the festivities without sabotaging your health goals.
Naughty or Nice No-Bake Bites
All you need:
1 cup cashews
1 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup vanilla whey protein powder
1 Tbsp almond butter
1/2 of a fresh, small pear
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
All you do:
1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until a thick batter
2. Roll into bites and place on a baking sheet or in a flat Tupperware container. Place in refrigerator to help bites set.
*Keep bites stored in refrigerator for a longer shelf life.
Nutrition Facts per serving (1 bite): Calories: 100, Fat: 4.5 g, Sat Fat: 3 g, Sodium: 26 mg, Carbs: 12 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 26 g, Added Sugar: 0 g, Protein: 4 g