Homemade for the Holidays | Carson Tahoe Health

Skip the highly processed frozen pies, instant pudding, and premade pastries. Instead, try one of these flavorful homemade desserts.

Pumpkin Parfait

1 can 15-ounce low-sodium pumpkin
3 cups fat-free or low-fat vanilla yogurt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ cup raisins
½ cup quick cooking oats
½ cup rice crisps
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
¼ cup brown or white sugar

Use blender or fork to mix pumpkin until smooth. Stir in yogurt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Place pumpkin mixture in cooler.
In a separate bowl, combine all granola ingredients. Spread into an even layer on a baking sheet.
Bake granola for 10 minutes at 35 F. Set aside to cool.
After granola has cooled and hardened, crush into small, bite-size pieces.
To serve, scoop alternating layers of pumpkin and granola into six medium-size bowls.

Nutritional Information
Servings: 6
Calories: 226
Total fat: 4.5g
Saturated fat: 1.5g
Cholesterol: 6mg
Sodium: 107mg
Carbohydrates: 40g
Dietary fiber: 3g
Sugar: 29g
Protein: 8g

Recipe courtesy of the United States Department of Agriculture

Carrot “Cake” Cookies

½ cup margarine (softened)
1 cup honey
1 cup grated carrot
2 egg whites (well beaten)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup raisins

In a large mixing bowl, combine margarine and honey until creamed. Mix in carrots and egg whites.
In a separate bowl, stir together remaining ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, oatmeal, and raisins. Slowly add into the larger bowl until flour is just mixed. Be careful not to over mix.
Roll mixture into individual balls. Place on a greased baking sheet.
Bake at 350˚F for 10 minutes, or until slightly browned.

Nutritional Information
Servings: 2 cookies
Calories: 119
Total fat: 3g
Saturated fat: 1g
Sodium: 96mg
Carbohydrates: 22g
Dietary fiber: 1g
Sugar: 12g
Protein: 2g

Recipe courtesy of Virginia Cooperative Extension, Cooking with Kids: Helping Kids Build Healthy Futures

Warm Apple Pistachio Crisp

3 apples (cored, unpeeled, and cut into chunks)
½ cup raisins
½ lemon juice
½ cup old fashioned oats
¼ cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup pistachios
(unsalted, chopped)
2 tablespoons melted butter

Toss apples, raisins, and lemon juice together in a baking dish.
In a separate bowl, mix remaining ingredients together, adding butter in last. Mix until texture is consistent. Pour over apple and raisin mixture.
Bake uncovered at 350˚F for 45 minutes, or until apples are soft.

Nutritional Information
Servings: 4
Calories: 330
Total fat: 10g
Saturated fat: 2g
Sodium: 60mg
Carbohydrates: 60g
Dietary fiber: 7g
Sugar: 25g
Protein: 5g

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Better Health Foundation, www.fruitsandveggies.org

Healthy Holiday Swaps

Stay on track with healthy eating during the holidays with simple swaps for your favorite seasonal dishes.

  • Mashed potatoes: In place of potatoes, use cauliflower, which has a similar consistency when mashed. A cup of mashed cauliflower has 143 calories (instead of over 200) and 9 grams of carbohydrates.
  • Gravy: Avoid drowning food in gravy, which can be high in sodium and fat. Instead, add only a few tablespoons to turkey, dressing, or mashed potatoes.
  • Whipped topping: Swap commercial whipped cream with a lower fat and calorie almond milk-based topping.
  • Dessert: Skip the crust in homemade pies. Top baked apples with cinnamon and almond whipped cream.
  • Egg nog: Swap homemade or dairy case egg nog for vanilla chai tea latte made with almond, skim, or soy milk. You get a creamy, spicy beverage without the saturated fat.

Seasonal Indulgence

Want a piece of grandma’s famous pecan pie? Eat it. Give yourself permission to relax and enjoy a short list of holiday splurges.