It sounds contradictory, but not all sweets have to be bad for you. Often, what makes sweets unhealthy in the first place is that we eat too much of them. So, when thinking about ways to keep your children healthy through the holidays, consider healthy alternatives to traditional treats, and remember to emphasize portion control at every meal, party and snack-time.
One healthy treat that's always a big hit with my family during the holidays is pumpkin pie. Pumpkin is a great source of vitamin A, which helps with vision and contains antioxidants. It's also a great source of fiber, potassium and iron – even canned pumpkin.
Here's the healthy pumpkin pie recipe that I use for my family:
1/3 cup butter-flavored shortening
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons ice water
Put flour and shortening into a small bowl. With two knives (or a pastry blender), cut shortening into flour until thoroughly mixed. This is the time to work on the crust, not after adding water.
Add water and use a fork to toss quickly. Handle as little as possible. It can be a little crumbly when you put it onto plastic wrap. Form a ball as you wrap it tightly and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
When ready to make the crust, sprinkle a little flour on a large piece of plastic wrap. Put dough on the floured wrap.
Turn once to get flour on both sides. Cover with a second piece of plastic wrap. Use a rolling pin to roll crust to fit a nine-inch pie pan. A quiche pan with a fluted edge works well.
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
1/2 cup egg substitute
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk pumpkin with egg substitute, sugar and spices. Add evaporated milk and stir thoroughly. Pour mixture into pie shell.
Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and keep baking for 30 minutes longer or until tester inserted in center of pie comes out clean. The center will get firmer as it cools.
This makes 8 servings. Each serving contains about 273 calories, 8 grams protein, 9 grams fat, 40 grams carbohydrate.