It is officially Thanksgiving Eve and my mouth is practically watering in anticipation. I have already completed my leisurely run the day before any road race, and am just hoping this gloomy rain outside doesn’t turn to sleet or snow by the time the gun goes off at the start line tomorrow. This is the third entry in my Thanksgiving Countdown series, so be sure to check out the first and second to get all my healthy eating tips and recipes. I saved the most convenient tip and recipe for last, knowing that you may be scrambling to gather last-minute dinner essentials or to travel to your Turkey Day destination. And it’s the gift that keeps on giving—these tips can be recycled and used all holiday season long! Oh joy!
Healthy Holiday Tip of the Day
It’s almost guaranteed that from this day forth until the end of December, you will receive an onslaught of gifts. Specifically, gifts in the form of food. Somehow we have figured out that whenever you don’t know what to gift a person, food is always acceptable. Harry and David have literally made millions on this premise alone. But after you’ve received your ninth snowman-shaped candy box, you’re precariously balancing on the edge of drowning in chocolate (and here I’ve made a Willy Wonka reference for the second day in a row). So what’s an innocent gift recipient to do when he knows he can’t eat all these treats but would feel guilty throwing them away? Freeze them!
That’s my healthy holiday tip for you today—freeze your treats. Take that batch of homemade cookies from Sheila at the office, save two or three to eat over the course of the season, and freeze the rest. Trust me, it’s worth it for the excitement you’ll feel when it’s the dead of winter, no holidays are on the horizon, and you get to pull one of those delicious cookies out of the freezer. The great thing about this tip is that you can literally freeze anything. Chocolate? Freeze it. Pumpkin bread? Freeze it. Cake? Yup, freeze it. My freezer is currently home to a piece of cake from my birthday (September) AND my dad’s birthday (May). And believe me, I will enjoy the heck out of that cake when I’m feeling festive and decide to defrost it. Freezing gives you the freedom to enjoy the tasty treats given to you by pretty much anyone, while avoiding over-indulging or over-trashing.
Healthy Recipe of the Day
Believe it or not, I found this recipe in a Stop & Shop circular, and it has become one of my favorite healthy dessert options for any season. This Microwave Apple Crisp is ready in 10 minutes and is once again both dietitian- and boyfriend-approved. Plus, you’re getting great vitamins and fiber from the apple, and fiber and complex carbohydrates from the whole grain oat topping. If you’re feeling extra daring, you can make this dessert a la mode by topping with a dollop of whipped cream, frozen yogurt, or ice cream. It’s like a healthier, apple-y version of those brown sugar and cinnamon Pop Tarts we all know we love but won’t admit to still craving as adults.
So there you have it, a trilogy of healthy holiday tips that is short and sweet, unlike a trilogy involving certain Hobbits… Consider yourself armed with easy strategies to make this holiday season enjoyable, yet guilt-free. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow; happy tryptophan-induced turkey nap everyone!
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 apple, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons quick-cooking oats
- In a 1-qt. plastic Ziploc bag, combine brown sugar, flour and cinnamon.
- Place sliced apple in the bag and mix to coat.
- Using a separate bowl, mix together the melted butter and oats.
- Transfer the apple mixture to a microwave-safe bowl, top with the oat mixture, and microwave for 2-3 minutes, or until apples are soft.
- To serve this apple crisp a la mode, top with a dollop of whipped cream, frozen yogurt, or ice cream!