Replace salad croutons with a few chopped walnuts, almonds, or sunflower seeds. They’re a great source of healthy fats and fiber.
As we close in on the winter holidays and the new year, it’s important to remember that drastic cuts in calories are just as bad for you as drastic increases in calories. Experts say that significantly reducing the number of calories you consume can actually hinder weight loss efforts. Drastically cutting calories often leaves you feeling deprived and very low-calorie diets cannot be maintained over the long-term. “Instead of focusing on deprivation, focus on making small changes you can live with for a lifetime,” says Beth Hubrich, a registered dietitian with Calorie Control Council.
Instead of opting for a fad diet in between holidays, find a reasonable eating and exercise plan that supports the loss of one-half to two pounds per week OR consider weight maintenance as a goal until the holidays are over. “Adopt healthful habits that you will be able to stick to indefinitely, and always allow yourself a little wiggle room for special occasions,” said Hubrich. “By making better nutrition choices, eating smaller portions, exercising and reducing you overall caloric intake you have the best chance of keeping off weight over the long term.”
This Banana Custard Pie recipe is so easy to make ahead, you’ll be the hit of the party or potluck without spending the whole day in the kitchen. The custard for this pie cooks on the stovetop and needs no further baking so you have your choice of crusts: a regular pie crust (pre-baked) or a graham cracker crust. Either will go beautifully with the banana-custard filling.
Yield: 8 servings
1 prepared (baked) 9-inch pie crust or graham cracker crust
3 medium-sized ripe bananas
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
50 drops SweetLeaf Stevia or the equivalent of your favorite sweetener
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon dried lemon peel
3 large egg yolks at room temperature, beaten
Optional toppings: light whipped topping, sugar-free caramel or toffee sauce, chopped walnuts or pecans*
Slice the bananas, and distribute the slices in the baked/prepared pie crust. Set aside.
Place the cornstarch and salt in a medium-sized saucepan, and add a little of the milk, whisking until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Pour in the remaining milk, and place the saucepan over medium heat. Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture becomes visibly hot. Add Stevia, extracts, and lemon peel, then drizzle in the beaten egg yolks, constantly whisking. Cook over medium heat until thick – about 5 to 8 minutes longer.
Pour the hot custard over the banana slices in the crust, and let cool to room temperature. Let it sit for at least 2 hours. The custard will thicken further as it cools.
Top with whipped topping, sugar-free sauce and chopped nuts if desired. *(Not included in calorie count below)
Total Fat 6.9 g
Saturated Fat 4.1 g
Total Carbohydrate 14.2 g
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
Sugars 5.7 g
Protein 4.5 g
These crunchy, fruity treats are a great choice if you like crispy cookies. Not as sweet as a sugar cookie, they are especially good paired with coffee in the morning or lightly drizzled with melted chocolate for dessert. Wrap up half a dozen in pretty cellophane for a homemade Christmas gift.
Makes 3 dozen cookies; Serving is 2 cookies
1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (or cinnamon)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup Stevia In The Raw® Bakers Bag, or the equivalent of your favorite sweetener
2/3 cup shelled pistachios
2/3 cup dried cherries (tart or sweet), coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ginger (or cinnamon). In a medium-sized mixing bowl, use a hand-held mixer on medium speed to beat the eggs with the sugar for 3 minutes. Add the stevia and beat for 30 seconds. Using the lowest speed, mix in the dry ingredients until the dough looks moist. Finish mixing the dough by hand. Mix in the nuts and cherries. The dough will be thick and sticky.
Shape half the dough into a rough log about 8 inches long and place it on one side of the baking sheet, moistening your hands lightly with cold water to help smooth and shape it. Shape the dough into a rectangular, flat 9-inch by 3-inch strip. Repeat, shaping the remaining dough on the other side of the baking sheet.
Bake the biscotti for 16 minutes, or until the logs are rounded on top and golden with slight browning along the sides. Remove and cool the biscotti on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Remove to a cutting board and cut each log diagonally into ½-inch slices. Return the slices to the lined baking sheet, arranging them in rows with the edges touching. Bake for 8 minutes, or until the biscotti are lightly colored and feel dry to the touch. Cool the biscotti on baking racks. These biscotti keep in an airtight container, for up to 2 weeks.
Dietary fiber: 1g