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Guilt-free Christmas Snacking

I promised some healthy Christmas snacks, and though I haven’t been feeling well this past week, I figured I could still manage to get a few ideas out to you and maybe spark up a bit more of an appetite for myself in the process!

Mixed nuts
Christmas treats really don’t need to revolve around sugar, so I’ve included a few savory treats that I just love to nibble on.

Here are a few of my favorite, non-sweet snacking ideas this time of year:

  • A bowl of whole nuts, ready for cracking
  • Deviled eggs (I’m not sure why, but I just adore these, and the protein really helps to maintain steady blood sugar levels)
  • Any sort of warm dip with bread, like a creamy spinach dip or hot, cheesy artichoke dip
  • Fancy cheeses (gouda, brie or camembert, swiss, etc.), with or without crackers or bread
  • A dish of pickles (sweet and dill) and especially stuffed green olives- yummy!

And of course, the obligatory sweet treats, but made with natural sweeteners and other more wholesome ingredients than your usual holiday sweet stuff:

“Sugar” Cookies (made with honey)

Rich Carob (or Cocoa) Balls

Gingerbread Cake

And may I present to you, my mother-in-law’s incredible and easy cheesecake (no holiday is complete without it!):

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Delicious Cheesecake Recipe

Course: Desserts and Sweets
Author: Ann Timm

Ingredients

Cheesecake

  • 2 packages cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup whipping cream of course, it's ideal if cream cheese and whipping cream are organic and even raw, but it's delicious no matter what
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Almond Coconut Crust

  • 2 cups crushed almonds I just grind up whole almonds in my food processor
  • 2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup honey

Instructions

  • Whip the whipping cream in its own bowl and set aside.
  • Mix the cream cheese well, with the honey, lemon juice and vanilla. Taste for sweetness and adjust if necessary.
  • Fold the whipping cream in until all is well mixed.
  • Mix all crust ingredients in a medium sized bowl, until thoroughly mixed. Press into 2 glass pie plates.
  • Bake crust at 350 F for 8-10 minutes.
  • Top crust with cream cheese mixture, and freeze for several hours, minimum. Take out and let thaw slightly before serving.

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Note:
My MIL has large pie plates, and finds the crust recipe is only enough for 1 1/2 of them. I have accidentally used the entire amount of crust in only 1 pie plate, and though it was definitely a bit crust heavy, nobody complained either, because the crust is that good! You might need to play around a bit with different sized plates, or try using a springform cheesecake pan instead (this recipe suits a large springform well, if I remember correctly).

As well, there are many different ways to eat this cheesecake. Some of us in the family prefer it frozen-frozen, while some prefer it more softly frozen or only refrigerated (I believe my MIL sometimes adds a little gelatin if she’s not planning to freeze it, to help it keep it’s shape). We also love to add berries and sauces on top, like raspberry, blackberry or our favorite, strawberry!

And no, this isn’t a picture of the actual cheesecake, because I haven’t made it in a while, but it looks similar to this, with about a 1 cm coconut/almond crust. It’s amazing, so you’ll just have to try it! I can’t wait to have a piece this Christmas!

What are your favorite ways to snack, both savory and sweet, during the holidays? How do you keep it guilt-free? Or do you? πŸ™‚

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19 Comments

  1. What are crushed almonds? Do you buy them this way or crush them yourself? How fine?

    Sweetened or unsweetened coconut?

    Could it be used for baked pies? And if so, would you skip the pre-baking?

    I hope you don’t mind my questions, but this seems like it would be a great gluten free crust substitution and I would love to try it!

    Thank you!!!

  2. That sounds wonderful. I have a cheesecake filling recipe like that only it calls for sugar; I love the fact that this uses honey. I’ll have to try it out. The crust sounds wonderful as well. Yum!

    Hope you feel better, so you can enjoy some of the tastes of the season.

  3. Chatty Housewife, I just use whole almonds and grind them up in my food processor. You can also often buy them already crushed in the baking section with the other nuts. The coconut is unsweetened. And I’ve never tried it for baked pies, but yeah, I would think if you just skip the pre-baking it would probably work just fine! Let me know if you try it!

    Thanks, Devildogwife. I’ve been avoiding all sugars to try to get rid of this cold I can’t quite kick, so I hope it’s gone soon too! I have cheesecake to indulge in! πŸ™‚

  4. Those all look great! We always saved dressed eggs for special occassions- I don’t know why since we all love them. I’m going to make up some of these treats this week and serve them in my ‘lazy susan’. No need to save the nice dishes for a special occassion either. Besides, any day the family is all together is a special occassion.

  5. Fun post! The nuts remind me of when I was a kid. My parents would put nuts & fruit & candy canes in our Christmas stockings, and my siblings and I had great fun cracking the nuts and eating them as snacks during our school break.

  6. Those are some of my favorites! πŸ™‚ I was just telling my husband that I love deviled eggs, cheeses, and creamy dips for munching. I’m not really into sweets (but he is), so we were contemplating munchie choices. πŸ™‚
    Hope you feel better soon!
    Blessings,
    Michele

  7. That looks like a healthier version of a “cloud cheesecake” that we’ve been making in our family for years! YUM! Thanks for the recipe; I’ll be glad to get rid of the one that calls for a tub of Cool Whip!:) (needless to say I haven’t made it in several years!:)

    And to answer your question, no, unfortunately at the holiday season we tend to overindulge a bit! We do not keep it guilt free. In the slightest. There are certain recipes that my family makes every year, only once a year, that it is hard to both make healthier, or avoid! I’m working on it though, and have augmented two of our cookie recipes this year with whole wheat flour, unrefined sugars, etc. (I even soaked one of them first with whey!) but the candies, sigh . . . . I just try to limit them! And vow not to eat any after New Years, or maybe Epiphany . . . πŸ™‚ (Recipes for both healthy, and unhealthy but ridiculously good treats on my blog)

    I DO love salty, spiced nuts, though and am craving any and all things salty, crunchy and/or meaty (at 20 weeks pregnant) so at least we’ve got that going for us! Crunchy breads and veggies (I especially love snow peas) with dips and cheese are also fab – you’ve definitely made some great suggestions!

    Thanks again for the recipes!

    Best,
    Sarah

  8. thank you for all the recipes, and the link to other’s sites, I have been looking for recipes like this for a LONG time with little success.

  9. The cheesecake is a five star! I made it for my little sister’s 8th birthday today (we have four birthdays in June in our family). I left out the vanilla and used coconut oil instead of butter. Though if you want to try it with coconut oil I would recommend using less than the perscribed amount as it took longer to bake when I used 3/4 cup.

  10. The cheesecake sounds great!! Could you tell me about how much gelatin should be added if I would prefer not to keep it frozen? Thanks!

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