Add some spice to your holiday rotation this year by trying some of these new holiday flavors.
Yo! Just add yogurt – Yogurt adds a creamy and fluffy consistency to your favorite baked goods such as muffins, pancakes, cheesecakes, and rolls. Try replacing some of the liquid, oil, or butter with yogurt in your baked good recipe for some added protein, unique flavor and texture. Yogurt also makes a great sauce addition. Use it as a crepe filling or waffle topping for a waffle yogurt parfait. - picture of a muffin? Or a splash of yogurt
Pomegranate arils – The edible seed pods within a pomegranate add a pop of holiday color sprinkle and fill nutrition gaps to any dish. Sprinkle them on salads, grain bowls, mix into a fruit salsa, pair with pork tenderloin, add to a soup or stew, layer in a yogurt parfait or overnight oats, stuffed squash, oatmeal, or cottage cheese. If looking for something festively elaborate place arils on a cheese ball as an “ornament” center piece or add to a holiday charcuterie board and sprinkle on top of cheese and crackers. When selecting a ripe pomegranate, choose one that feels heavy for its size.
Mocktails – Are the new rage this year because you can treat yourself to some festive cheer any day, anywhere. Whether you’re in a work meeting or just looking for some holiday cheer, mocktails can slip in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds to support your immune system. Mocktails really are the best ‘holiday health beverage’. Mocktails can be as simple as 100% juice combined with seltzer water or try dressing up your mocktail using this formula: energy drink or juice with seltzer water + fresh herbs (rosemary, basil, mint) + extras (jalapeno, chili powder, drop of vanilla extract, cinnamon) + lemon or lime.
Apples – Sliced, diced or sauced, apples are a seasonal favorite that aren’t just for snacking. Apples are loaded with powerful flavonoids, antioxidants and fiber – which may help reduce your risk of hypertension, heart disease, and certain cancers. Add apples to a charcuterie board or pair apple slices with strong, firm cheeses like sharp cheddar. Chopped apples can be added to bread, oatmeal, cereal, a grain bowl, salads, or chicken pasta salad. For a holiday seasonal dessert, while still getting in some blood-sugar balancing fiber, apples can be topped on pizza with feta cheese or dipped in chocolate. Flavor Tip: Add applesauce to pancake batter or muffins to decrease the sugar or add a delicious sweet topping to pork or chicken with some ginger and cinnamon for some extra flavor.
Juice! – Juice can make great marinades, sauces and salad dressings that impart their unique fruity flavor with a punch with no peeling or slicing required. Start with 100% fruit juice as the base, add oil, an acid (like lemon, lime juice or vinegar) and your choice of seasonings such as ginger, garlic or fresh herbs. Each variety of juice can give your sauce or salad dressing a new flavor profile or decreasing total calories by decreasing the amount of oil needed. Flavor Tip: Try mixing pomegranate juice with balsamic and brown sugar and reduce to thicken into a sauce.
For the nut of it – Texture is as important as flavor. Adding nuts give your recipes a great crunchy texture and savory flavor. Add pistachios to muffins or use nuts for a crust on protein like pistachio crusted chicken nuggets or pistachio crusted fish. Add the savory nuts to a sweet dish like brittle or chocolate bark. Top your grain bowl or salad with nuts or add to something plain like yogurt for an elevated flavor.
Date Night – Dates are now in season and add a natural sweetness, impart a unique indulgent flavor, rich texture and bump up the antioxidant level and fiber to any dish. Try slicing dates and topping on top of your dishes. They can serve as a great binder or sugar-substitute in no bake cookies or energy bites. Try stuffing dates with a nut butter as a snack or appetizer, add to an oat smoothie, or just enjoy this superfruit as a snack. Flavor Tip: Replace the sugar in baked goods with pureed dates for a no sugar added treat!