Are you too busy or just not interested in making all of your holiday foods from scratch? Most of us end up buying a few pre-made items instead of making our own at home so we created a shopping guide for healthier drink, dip, and dessert options to cover the basics. We know that December is the month where the greatest number of people fall flat in maintaining healthy habits they have developed during the year, with the promise of “I’ll start again in January”. So, we thought we’d share some tips to help you have your “cake” and maintain those healthy eating habits too!
Apple Cider Over Eggnog
To satisfy your craving for a sweet, comforting, and refreshing holiday beverage, reach for a glass of apple cider. This drink can be enjoyed cold and is a healthier option to traditional eggnog, with less fat and overall calories per cup. Feeling the chill of the winter weather, you can also enjoy apple cider warm and cozy up to the fireplace.
Festive Apple Cider Hacks
- For an extra festive feel try serving this drink with sliced apples or oranges, or how about try adding spices like cinnamon and nutmeg which are also good for heart health.
- Worried about sugar? We love mixing half apple cider with half brewed cinnamon tea!
Fresh pressed, no added sugar and produced in Canada, this product is one of our
- PC Fresh-Pressed Sweet Apple Cider
- Cost $5.99/3L (President’s Choice – 04-12-2018)
Sparkling Juice Over Sparkling Wine and Boozy Beverages
With all the festivities and celebrations there will be numerous toasts thanking everyone for the experiences they have shared over the past year and wishing them well into the new year. All those alcoholic drinks and even champagne can add up quickly in their sugar and calorie contributions. A delicious non-alcoholic option is Sparkling Juices, for example, Paul Brassac sparkling juices that come in peach and apple flavours. These juices are made in France from organic fruits and contain no added sugar or artificial flavours. A glass of sparkling juice will give you the same fizz as a glass of champagne, with often half the calories for the same serving size.
- Paul Brassac Sparkling Juices
- Cost $14.00 for three 750mL bottles (approximated from past personal purchase)
Hummus Over Anything Else!
Hummus has become a wildly popular item in supermarkets over the last couple of years, resulting in a huge variety being available to the consumer. As compared to other dips, such as spinach dip, ranch dip and even guacamole, hummus is lower in calories and higher in fiber and it also provides other nutrients like protein and iron. Hummus makes a great dip for many vegetables, crackers, and pitas or tortilla chips. To make your vegetable tray a little more vibrant and festive add fun and tasty flavours, like our new favourite black-bean hummus with cilantro and jalapeno! Give it a try or let us know what your favourite flavour is on our social media page!
- Summer Fresh’s Black Bean hummus ups the game with more fiber and less fat than other hummus on the market and we are loving the added spiciness of this flavour.
- Cost: $3.97 for 283g (No Frills – 05-12-2018)
- Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Kosher
We all need some variety so guacamole is the next best option after low cal hummus dips. Along with the avocado craze of the past couple years has come the increasing popularity of delicious guacamole dip. This dip is great with plain and tortilla chips and comes in a variety of flavours. Avocados are a great source of healthy monounsaturated fats that lower bad cholesterol, raise good cholesterol and promote heart health. Want to add a little spice to the holidays? The Wholly Guacamole company has spicy and three Chile versions to keep things hot even when the weather outside is cold. You can also go with the homestyle version for a more traditional snack. If there is a downside to guac, it is that it is high in (healthy) calories and easy to overeat. We love that these even come in individual mini containers for healthy portion size and preventing the browning that is typically undesired by consumers. The Wholly product is also vegan and kosher.
- Wholly Guacamole(R) Avocado Verde Dip
- Cost: $4.97 for 4 mini containers (227g) (Walmart – 04-12-2018)
- Vegan, Kosher
Low Cal Ice Cream
The healthy ice cream alternatives have finally hit the market in Canada. With far fewer calories, fat and sugar Halo Top ice creams are a great choice for your holiday dessert menu. This product uses the natural sweetener Stevia-derived from plants, as well as Erythritol, an alcohol sweetener that does not raise blood glucose levels, making it a better option for individuals with diabetes. As compared to traditional ice cream, choosing Halo Top will save you about 150-250 kcal per ½ cup! The product also provides some fibre and protein. This product is also certified Kosher and gluten-free. They also have non-dairy and vegan options available. With over 14 flavours available in Canada, including some seasonal flavours like Gingerbread House and Pumpkin Pie, this frozen dessert will satisfy your sweet tooth and craving for a bowl of ice cream!
- Halo-Top Ice Cream in various flavours
- Cost: $6.99 per 473mL (Loblaws 04-12-2018)
- Kosher, Gluten-Free
Apple Crisp – A Perfect Pairing For Halo-Top Ice Cream
Still looking for a traditional holiday dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth? We recommend you look for the low fat or low sugar versions of these desserts. Nothing says the holidays like a throw-back to grandma’s traditional apple crisp, and with President’s Choice Blue Menu Apple Crisp, you can experience the sweet cinnamon flavour without the guilt of high calories and fat. This product uses the natural sweetener Stevia to reduce the amount of sugar and uses oat fibre to give you the same texture and mouth feel as the regular product. This product also provides whole grain oats which are a healthy soluble fibre that contributes to good heart health.
- PC Blue Menu Apple Crisp
- Cost: $6.99 (Loblaws 04-12-2018)
Bonus Product Suggestion: What about trying a cake with added vegetables such as a zucchini chocolate cake? Yes, they do exist! https://www.presidentschoice.ca/en_CA/products/productlisting/pc-chocolate-zucchini-rustic-cake.html
We hope that these products will help you help you this holiday season to make healthy choices but also still allow you to enjoy the festivities to the fullest!
For an additional read about how to stay healthy during the holidays, see our past blog post on Holiday Eating Tips at; https://www.nutriprocan.ca/healthy-holiday-eating/.
Key Contributor: Amanda Theriault