Holiday Recipes: Light Bites for Healthier Holidays

Light Bites for Healthier Holidays

For those who are always on the go leading up to the holidays, the season can feel more like madness than merrymaking. From planning get-togethers to building out a perfect menu for the events, there can be difficulties for hosts and guests alike to ensure proper nutrition is still top of mind.

Instead of sacrificing taste or eating less, aim for simple changes that give you the energy to power through the busy season. For example, instead of opting for a carb-loaded breakfast in the morning, try a low-carb Milk Chocolate Protein Muffin, which takes just a few minutes of prep and microwave time. The quick cook time leaves you with ample opportunities to run errands or divvy up precious seconds toward other activities, while the protein can fuel you for the day ahead.

Almost nothing beats warm soup on a chilly day, and this Butternut Squash and Pear Soup provides feel-good flavor without weighing you down. Finally, when snacks are on the mind – as it tends to happen when constantly on the go – Coconut Muesli Clusters are simple to make and won’t undo the nutritious efforts you’ve made throughout the day.

This full menu of tasty recipes is part of the Atkins low-carb lifestyle, a long-term, healthy eating approach focused on high-fiber carbohydrates, optimal protein and healthy fats. The plan also aims to reduce levels of refined carbohydrates, added sugars and the “hidden sugar effect,” – when carbohydrates convert to sugar when digested. You don’t see the sugar, but your body does.

An On-the-Go Energy Boost

As a hectic holiday season unfolds, it can be difficult to maintain energy while making dishes for get-togethers and keeping up with the festivities.

To stay fueled and energized throughout the season, try incorporating Atkins Plus Protein and Fiber Shakes. Sweet and creamy, they make for ideal snacks, containing 30 grams of high-quality dairy protein and 7 grams of fiber. To help ensure steady blood sugar levels, the shakes also have a low glycemic impact and are made with 20 vitamins and minerals.

Available in Creamy Milk Chocolate and Creamy Vanilla flavors, the ready-to-drink shakes provide hunger satisfaction for those who are on the go and seeking to maximize production with a busy schedule.

Find more ways to live healthier during the holidays and learn more about the benefits of a balanced, low-carb lifestyle at Atkins.com.

Milk Chocolate Protein Muffin

Milk Chocolate Protein Muffin

  • Servings: 1
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2          tablespoons full-fat cream cheese
  • 1          egg
  • 3          tablespoons Atkins Milk Chocolate Protein Powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1          dash salt

Directions:

  1. In microwave-safe mug, heat cream cheese 10-15 seconds to soften. Add egg and blend briskly using fork. Add protein powder, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; blend until smooth.
  2. Microwave on high 1 minute; muffin will puff up then deflate slightly once done. Remove from mug and enjoy warm.

Coconut Muesli Clusters

Coconut Muesli Clusters

  • Servings: 8
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil spray
  • 1          cup plain protein powder
  • 1/2       cup unsalted sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • 1          cup whole raw pecans
  • 1          cup unsweetened whole flake shredded coconut
  • 1/2       cup chia seeds or ground flaxseeds
  • 1          tablespoon stevia
  • 2          teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1          tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1          tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2          large eggs
  • 1/4       cup water

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper, coat with olive oil spray and set aside.
  2. In large bowl, mix together protein powder, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, pecans, coconut, chia seeds or flaxseeds, stevia, cinnamon and turmeric.
  3. In large skillet, combine coconut oil, peanut butter and vanilla extract; melt completely then stir in nut mixture. Turn heat off and add eggs and water, tossing well. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and spread mixture in layer about 1/2-inch thick.
  4. Bake 10-15 minutes until mixture starts to brown and clumps together to make clusters. Cool completely on baking sheet then store in airtight container, refrigerated, up to 1 week.

Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

  • Servings: 6
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1          tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1          medium (2 1/2-inch diameter) onion, chopped
  • 2          pounds butternut winter squash, cubed
  • 1          medium pear, sliced, plus additional, for garnish (optional)
  • 1          teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 5          cups chicken broth
  • 1          teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2       cup heavy cream
  • nutmeg (optional)

Directions:

  1. In large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and saute until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add squash, pear, curry powder, salt and white pepper; saute 3 minutes.
  2. Increase heat to high and add chicken broth. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low; simmer 20-25 minutes, uncovered, until cubed squash is very tender. Allow to cool about 10-15 minutes.
  3. In blender or food processor, puree soup in batches until smooth. Return pureed soup to pot and add lemon juice and heavy cream. Stir soup over low heat until hot. Garnish with additional sliced pears and sprinkle of nutmeg, if desired.

Do you love to try new recipes? Or simply crave change in your everyday meals? Visit Motherhood Defined Recipes for more great salad recipes to keep the taste-buds excited all summer long.

About the author
Mrs. Hatland is a 30-something married, mom of 7 and the face behind the popular online publication, Motherhood Defined. Known as the Iowa Mom blogger by her local peers and “The Fairy Blogmother” worldwide. She has professional experience in working closely with clients on brand ambassadorships, client outreach services, content creation and creative social media advertising exposure.
%d bloggers like this: