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Last-Minute Healthy Holiday Treats!

The holidays can be the "most wonderful time of the year," but they can also be the busiest and most stressful, and often the temptations of holiday treats can be too much to resist. We’ve given a couple of our favorite healthy snacks a healthy twist. Give them a try and let us know what you think!

 

Organic Kale Chips

Whether you’re at a gathering with friends, or watching a movie with the kids, there’s nothing quite like sharing a bag of crunchy chips. But commercial potato chips are laden with saturated fats and contain almost no nutritional value.

Kale chips are a healthier—and fast!—alternative that you can feel good about.

Organic kale is full of fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants. It’s inexpensive, and, when baked in the oven, makes a tasty, bright green snack. Plus, when you buy organic, you skip harmful pesticides.

Makes 20 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches of organic kale
  • 2 Tbsp of olive or avocado oil
  • 1-2 tsp of sea salt
  • 2 tsp cumin, nutritional yeast, tamari, and/or onion powder for flavoring (optional)

Method

Wash and dry the kale. Preheat your oven to 350º F or 175º C. Tear the kale into small pieces and toss with olive oil and salt, and any extra flavoring you’d like. Use your hands to massage the oil and spices into the leaves so each one is coated evenly. Spread a single layer of kale on baking sheets and place in the oven for about 10-12 minutes. Keep an eye on the kale and turn it after 5 minutes. It’s ready when the kale is crispy, but still has its bright green color.

If the kale starts to turn golden-brown, take it out immediately. Don’t worry, it will still be tasty!

Homemade Roasted Nut Mixes

Nuts and seeds are packed with the best kind of fat for your body. These mono- and polyunsaturated fats are essential for keeping cells healthy and inflammation down. Nuts and seeds are also a fantastic source of plant-based protein for vegetarians and vegans. Buy organic where possible.

These homemade savory and sweet nut mixes will wow your party guests and only take 20 minutes to make. Bag them up and give them out as party favors, or as a last-minute gifts for co-workers. 

Savory Nut Mix

Makes 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic almonds
  • 1 cup organic cashews
  • ½ cup organic sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp tamari
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ⅛ - ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

Method

Preheat your oven to 350º F or 175ºC. Mix the nuts, seeds, and flavorings well in a bowl. Spread out on a baking sheet in one layer and bake for 20 minutes. Stir the mixture after about 10 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

Sweet Nut Mix

Makes 10 servings

This recipe uses maple syrup and honey instead of refined sugar for sweetness. Refined sugars like high fructose corn syrup are stripped of nutritional value. While honey and maple syrup are indeed sugars that should be eaten in moderation, they are whole-food natural sweeteners that contain their own nutrients and antioxidants.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup organic hazelnuts
  • 1 Cup organic walnuts
  • ½ Cup of your choice: organic almonds, cashews, pecans, etc.
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp water
  • Pinch of sea salt and black pepper
  • ¼ Cup toasted sesame seeds

Method:

Preheat your oven to 350º F or 175ºC. Mix the nuts (except sesame seeds) in one bowl and the flavorings in another; then combine. Spread out on a baking sheet in one layer and bake for 20 minutes. Stir the nuts after 10 minutes to make sure they roast evenly. Sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds over the mixture as soon as you take it out of the oven so they will stick, but won’t overcook in the oven. Let cool and enjoy!

Hint: combine the savory and sweet variations for a flavor explosion!

Photos by Gwen Romanes