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Mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, turkey, yams... The list of yummy Thanksgiving delights is endless! And for anyone watching their waistline and trying to stay healthy during the winter months, the list of sweet temptations and diet pitfalls can seem endless too. But don’t worry, there’s no need to forgo sweet treats and go without dessert this holiday season, just check out our hottest tips for finding deliciously devilish, yet secretly healthful antioxidant-rich, guilt-free desserts that will promote great health, help stimulate the immune system and counter damaging free radicals all while tasting fabulous! Hungry? Then just read on!
Dark chocolate that is! It’s no secret, far from being just a sweet delight, chocolate has now been ranked as a premium source of antioxidants. Talk about great vindication for chocoholics everywhere! So, while chocolate might not be number one on the list of traditional Thanksgiving desserts, we say that there’s no dessert buffet that doesn’t benefit from a healthful serving of chocolate -- especially dark chocolate. And, with powerful antioxidants that scientific research has shown to help reduce blood pressure, diminish stress and help lower cholesterol, there aren’t many people who wouldn’t benefit from a taste of chocolate either.
Whether you simply serve up some premium dark chocolate truffles with after-dinner coffee, offer guests a rich chocolate gateau as an alternative to pumpkin pie, or keep the house stocked with dark chocolate cookies for houseguests to snack on, the choice is yours. But rest assured, you’ll be helping everyone meet their recommended daily allowance of antioxidants! Yum!
Chock full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, that humble pumpkin isn’t just pretty, it’s pretty healthful too! That’s right, you may not know it to look at it, but 100g of pumpkin delivers 246% of a person’s recommended daily serving of vitamin A. Plus, pumpkins are naturally low in fat too, making them a wonderful ingredient to add to a host of baked goods and desserts. Tired of serving up the same old pumpkin pie? Pumpkins aren’t just good for yummy old-fashioned pumpkin pie, pumpkins can also be great in a host of delicious dessert recipes. For rich and indulgent, think pumpkin cheesecake with lashings of light and fluffy cheesecake topping. For snack time, think pumpkin muffins. And, for breakfast why not try some pumpkin pancakes? Alternatively if you really want to try something different, go for pumpkin frozen yogurt of pumpkin spiced ice cream! Thinking super healthful? Blend up a homemade vegan pumpkin butter to spread on toast or bagels.
And don’t ditch those pumpkin seeds! Got an appetite for a pumpkiny snack? Don’t forget the pumpkin seeds because just 100g of pumpkin seeds provide 30g of protein, 110% of an average person’s recommended daily allowance of iron and no cholesterol. Talk about a great alternative to peanuts that are relatively high in fat.
Go Crazy for Cranberries
They’re tart, full of flavor and easy to come by around the holidays. We’re talking about cranberries of course. We all know cranberries as that canned jelly we serve as an after thought to the Thanksgiving turkey, but did you know that those little red gems serve up some of the highest amounts of antioxidants per serving of any fruit or vegetable? Yes, these small berries pack a real healthful punch.
For a sweet snack, try some dried cranberry oatmeal cookies as a fun twist on the raisin oatmeal cookie. Or, for a breakfast bite with a difference, stir in some dried cranberries to your granola mix. Then of course, if you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner, why not go for a cranberry dessert that’s really got what it takes to wow with a recipe with a difference. Try a comforting bread pudding with cranberries and raisins or even consider a cranberry ice cream.
Want the scoop on the pomegranate? It’s that other small, juicy garnet colored treat that’s abundant in the fall and winter, and, better yet, it’s also packed full of vitamin C and the essential vitamin B5 which helps promote a healthful immune system and healthy skin and hair. Plus, it’s a wonderful addition to any fabulous recipe. Why not stir a handful into a banana smoothie for a breakfast treat that packs a truly yummy nutrient-rich punch? Or, garnish a rich chocolate mousse cake with a topping of fresh pomegranate seeds as a scrumptiously sweet counterpoint to intense, rich chocolate flavors. You could even consider adding a few to your classic apple pie recipe for a fresh and fruity take on a traditional treat. Thinking chilled? Serve up pomegranate sorbet -- home made or store-bought. Or, for a real dose of fun, try making your kids their very own frozen popsicles with some yummy pomegranate juice.
Think Berry and Cherry Tasty!
Yes, it’s time to get berry tempted by strawberries. Why? Because studies have shown that just one cup of strawberries boasts 136% of a person’s daily allowance of vitamin C as well as beneficial amounts of polyphenol antioxidants and the metabolism-boosting nutrient manganese. And all for just a lowly 43 calories! What with Vitamin C being known to help combat the cold and flu, there’s no better time of year to enjoy a great berry-rich dessert treat. And while berries might not be as bountiful in November as they are during the summer, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy its delicious, antioxidant-packed sweet and fruity flavors at Thanksgiving. Simply serve up a tray of chocolate-dipped berries as part of your dessert spread and you’ll serve up a one-two antioxidant punch that’s sure to satisfy hungry appetites! Or, if cherries are more to your taste, why not consider a gourmet box of chocolate dipped cherries too? Rich in powerful anthocyanin antioxidants, they make a great fruity alternative to other desserts.
Crunch on Carrots
And finally, who can resist a carrot cake? Not us, that’s for sure! And when you consider that carrots boast bountiful amounts of vitamin A, vitamin K that helps promote bone health, vitamin C which helps boost the immune system and dietary fiber, a tasty slice of carrot cake just seems all the more tempting than ever. So this Thanksgiving, why not give your favorite carrot cake recipe a fun, festive twist by baking a carrot pumpkin cake? Or, ever considered maple-glazed carrot cake or even honey carrot muffins? Getting your five a day of vegetables and enjoying dessert never seemed so simple!