After Thanksgiving week, I always hear stories about the “too much” that everyone ate. Despite good intentions, clients will share that they tried to be good but it was too hard to resist. Most of us agree that overeating at the holidays doesn’t make us feel good and that reducing sugar is a good idea. To support that, you need a plan to make holiday eating easier!
- Plan ahead: Make sure you eat before your go to a party or celebration. That might mean eating a small meal like soup, lettuce roll-ups with turkey, hummus with veggies or plain yogurt with nuts and seeds.
- Bring a dish: Choose a food that you can eat freely like shrimp cocktail, veggies with bean dip, a salad, a cold appetizer plate including meats, olives, roasted veggies, etc.
- Permission to eat: When we feel restricted, we want to rebel and eat more. If you give yourself permission to have one well-chosen treat, you will likely feel less deprived and make better choices during the event.
Simply Easy Tip:
Create new food traditions and treats that are healthier and low in sugar. Look for Paleo-based baking recipes that use less processed grains and sugars like the recipe below.
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Simply Delicious: Homemade Fig Newtons!
1 cup dried black mission figs, quartered, stems removed
2 Tablespoons orange zest
1 Tablespoon fresh orange juice
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Pinch fine sea salt
1 cup blanched almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch/flour
Pinch of salt
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/4 cup butter cut into small cubes (dairy free, replace the butter with 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled)
Preheat the oven to 350F. Cover a standard baking pan with parchment paper or a nonstick pad and set aside.
Place the figs in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Soak for 3-5 minutes until softened, then drain and discard the soaking liquid. If your figs are very soft to start with, skip this step.
Make the filling: Pulse the figs a few times in the food processor to roughly chop, then add the remaining filling ingredients and puree into a chunky paste. Stop and scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure everything is evenly incorporated.
Transfer the filling to a small bowl and set side. Wash and dry the food processor.
Make the crust: Pulse the almond, coconut and tapioca flours, and the salt together several times to combine. Add the egg and maple syrup, and process for a few seconds to combine.
Add the butter and process until the dough comes together into a ball. You shouldn’t be able to see any large clumps of butter left in the dough.
Divide the dough in half and gather each half into a ball. Place one ball of dough on a piece of wax paper, cover with another piece of wax paper, and roll out into a rectangle (dough should be about 1/2 cm thick).
Slice the rectangle in half lengthwise to form two long strips.
Divide the filling into four equal portions and spread one portion along the length of each of the two strips of dough (set aside the other two portions of filling for the moment), leaving about a 1/2″ border of dough.
Pick up the wax paper and use it to gently fold each strip of dough over onto itself, forming two filled logs. Gently press the edges together to seal each log and then carefully transfer it to the prepared baking sheet. Flatten each slightly with the heel of your hand.
Repeat the process with the remaining dough and filling. You should have a total of four logs.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the logs are slightly golden around the edges.
Let cool until they are comfortable enough to handle, then cut into 1 1/2″ – 2″ slices and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.
Note that the texture when they’re right out of the oven will be slightly flaky, but as soon as you store them, the moisture redistributes slightly and they become more cakey, like packaged fig newtons.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days, or in the freezer for up to three months.