5 Healthier Holiday Cookie Recipes

‘Tis the season for holiday carols, cookies, and sugar-crashes.

Errr, wait a minute. Scratch that last part.

Let’s replace that with holiday cheer instead, with five healthier cookie recipes that make it easy to do just that. From protein-packed chickpeas, to naturally sweet dates, to fiber-filled oats, the following recipes include some magical ingredients that’ll take your holiday baking to the next (and better-for-you) level. While they’re probably not your grandma’s cookies, we promise that they’ll be just as tasty!

chocchippumpk

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies via Sweet Treats & More

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Healthy Holiday Recipes from the LV Community!

LifeVest recently held its first virtual “potluck” featuring users’ favorite healthy recipe renovations! From veggie-filled sides to revamped casseroles to an array of convenient, make-ahead Crock-Pot meals, we received a hearty round of recipes to now display at our virtual table. We’ve selected a few of our favorites to share with you, so grab a seat with us and get inspired for your next holiday gathering. Also, we’d like to extend a warm thank you to our entire LifeVest community and all whom swapped a recipe with us!

sweet_potato_and_kale_gratin

Renovated Sweet Potato Gratin

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Link Love: Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

4,500 – The average number of calories eaten per American on Thanksgiving.

This whopping number makes us feel that as a nation, we’re not giving nearly enough thanks to our bodies. Even with exercise to the rescue, that splurge would take a 155-pound person six hours of running to burn it all off. If you’re taking a slow jog around the track, make that ten hours.

Rather than take on that fitness feat, this year we’re making a commitment to give thanks to our health. Join us as we celebrate Thanksgiving both by practicing moderation, and also by revamping some of our favorite holiday dishes. The menu below allows you to dig into many of the classics with a slightly healthier spoon, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie included.

Choose one or two to bring to your celebratory table, and then allow yourself to enjoy what else is offered. Just be mindful not to go too overboard so you can walk away feeling energized and thankful (rather than passed out on the couch!).
Baked Greens Casserole

Green Sans Bean Casserole: Baked Greens Casserole with Crusty Crumb Topping via Cia Chow Read the rest of this entry »


Spiced Oven-Baked Rutabaga Fries

Rutabaga Fries

“They’re like French fries but without as many of the calories and fat,” said LifeVest member Laura Meier.

Bingo. Laura’s description of rutabaga fries sounded great to us, and it didn’t take us long before we set out to discover its truth.

Rutabaga

Since joining the program, LifeVester Laura is over halfway to her goal of losing 50 pounds, and now has a new goal of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for the long run.

“We’re going to keep encouraging each other and thinking smarter so we can remain feeling good,” says Laura who set out on her journey to health in partnership with her husband. “You have to think long-term. Otherwise, it’s all for nothing. Why go back when you could feel good for life?”

Laura told us she loves finding new ways to transform some of her favorite recipes into healthier versions. It keeps her feeling both satisfied and excited about continuing on.

She has always loved french fries, and we do too, so we were thrilled to hear about her latest version that enables her to remain on the right track toward her goals.

Rutabaga Fries

Rutabagas have just 1/2 the calories and 1/2 of the carbs that potatoes contain. So, inserting them into the standard oven-baked fry equation sounded like a genius idea to us.

Often mistaken for a turnip, the root veggie has that same sweet bite of a turnip with the starchiness of a potato. This makes them perfect for slicing up into flavorful fries, ones that luckily come without too much detriment to your diet.

Rutabaga Fries

At just 65 calories per cup, the winter veggie (in season Oct. – March) has become no small fry in our recipe book. Rather, thanks to Laura, it’s our new fry-making go-to.

We were thrilled with the crispy results upon our first batch, and are excited to experiment with other spices and herbs. We’d encourage you to do the same after first trying the chili powder version below.

Chili powder

As Laura shares, “It makes us, especially my husband, think we’re having a burger and fries.” She serves her ruta-fries alongside turkey burgers with lettuce swapped for the bun, a combo we can get behind.

Let us know in the comments, how do you make your favorite comfort foods healthier? We’d love to hear what you’re doing to transform some of your favorite recipes, and thank you to Laura for sharing this idea with us!

Click here for recipe…


Homemade Curry Pumpkin Seeds

Homemade Curry Pumpkin Seeds

Put your carved jack-o’-lantern on your porch, but please pass along its seeds to your plate! Those tiny ovals will obtain an irresistible crunch upon roasting, meaning they have no place in the trashcan.

They’re also scary good for you. Legend has it that jack-o’-lanterns originated as a means to ward off evil spirits. However, we’re starting to think it’s the pumpkin seeds that deserve most of the credit for scaring off death. You see, pumpkin seeds contain a solid 150mg of magnesium per ounce. Research shows that meeting the recommended daily value of magnesium (442mg/day) is highly associated with a reduced risk of death. (That’s a 34% risk reduction for overall mortality, 59% reduction in cardiovascular death & a 37% reduction in cancer death, according to this study. Woah!)

In addition to that magical magnesium, pumpkin seeds are packed with protein, fiber, and heart healthy fat. This all makes them an incredibly satisfying snack — especially when you add a little salt and curry powder to the mix.

We’ve got the recipe below that shows you how to do just that, so get ready to go save your seeds and take them to the table.

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“Turnip For What?” These 5 Turnip Recipes

In a video-gone-viral, Michelle Obama says, “Turnip for what?” We’re responding to that question with this roundup of healthful turnip-central recipes.

The late autumn crop is particularly low in calories among the root vegetable kingdom – just 34 cals per cup vs. 116 per cup of diced potatoes – and is packed with vitamin C and other antioxidants. This makes it a great filler and addition to lighten up traditional starchy dishes, like Turnip Mashed Potatoes (swap 1/2 the potatoes with turnips), and some of the recipes you’ll find below.

Both the turnip’s greens and bulb can be eaten. Each provide a nice bitterness that pairs well with sweeter veggies, meats, and spices. See for yourself as you turnip some music and your stove, and dive into one of the recipes below.

Sweet Turnip and Carrot Soup

Sweet Turnip and Carrot Soup via InFine Balance Read the rest of this entry »


Pumpkin Green Monster Smoothie

Pumpkin Green Monster Smoothie

In honor of Halloween and the season of pumpkin everything, we’re replacing bad monsters (300 calorie, 38 grams of sugar pumpkin lattes) with good monsters by inviting this recipe into our kitchen.

The creamy shake is packed full of nutrition and fill-you-up fiber, making it a great choice to add to your weekly, or even daily, breakfast rotation.

Feel free to play around with any toppings, as well as the thickness by adjusting the amount of soy milk you add to the blender. Sometimes we let this green monster spread its mighty power to a bowl, and dive in with our spoon instead of a straw. Regardless, get this good guy on your (table)side.

Click here for recipe…