Whether you're on a diet or just watching your waistline you can still enjoy holiday fare without sabotaging your efforts. Here are our favorite strategies to avoid holiday weight gain.
Choose Wisely - Load up on veggies and hummus first, then opt for high protein selections like shrimp cocktail, smoked salmon, grilled items and sushi, which are all lower in calories but will fill you up and keep you satisfied.
Watch the Beverages - You can easily drink a days worth of calories with just a couple holiday beverages. Go for dry wines or champagne instead, which have half the calories. Make it fun & festive by mixing up spritzers - half wine & half club soda or seltzer with limes and frozen cranberries.
Eat these Desserts - Calories from dessert, like alcohol, can quickly add up. Seek out the homemade all butter shortbread and molasses cookies (see recipe below), which are lower in sugar than many other dessert options. One or two pieces of dark chocolate are always a good choice. And of course sharing dessert will always cut the calories in half!
Chewy Pomegranate Molasses Cookies
Good old fashioned molasses cookies a modern fruity twist with pomegranate molasses.
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup pomegranate molasses
1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
Coarse sanding or raw sugar (for rolling)
Preheat oven to 375˚. Combine flour, soda, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together egg, butter, sugar, pomegranate molasses and brown sugar. Mix into dry ingredients just until combined.
Scoop out dough by the tablespoonful and roll into balls. Roll in sanding sugar and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2" apart. Bake cookies, rotating baking sheets halfway through, until cookies are puffed, cracked, and just set around edges (over-baked cookies won't be chewy), 8–10 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit Chewy Molasses Cookies, December 2013.