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Give the gift of good health this holiday season

Published 3:47pm Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hopefully now that the holiday season has begun, you haven’t thrown health by the wayside. We get wrapped up — pun intended — on the next latest or greatest gadget, but do we forget that our health is among the best gifts?

It’s easy to forget when our health is good, but when it’s not so good, it’s all we can think about. Why not give the gift of good health to friends and family this holiday season? Here are some simple ways to get creative and give the gift of good health; friends and family will be so happy you did.

1. Steamer insert: Steaming cooks vegetables quickly while preserving vitamins and minerals. Choose from metal or silicone steamer varieties.  Pair this insert with a basket of fresh vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and carrots or a gift card to your recipient’s favorite grocer.

2. Whole grain gift basket: Line a basket with a colorful napkin; then add exotic rices, steel-cut oats, whole grain pasta, quinoa or other grains. Add a couple of colorful soup bowls that can double as hot cereal or pasta bowls.

3. Herb garden: It’s easy to add flavor while cutting salt with a window-sill herb garden. Bundle a variety of herb seeds with a set of small colorful pots. Every time the recipient clips the leaves, they will think of you.

4. Fancy olive oils: Olive oil is one of the healthiest oils, and various kinds of olive oils look so festive with fresh herbs inside.  Pair the oils with a nice pan for cooking up a heart-healthy meal.

5. Nuts: Nuts are full of healthy oils, fiber and antioxidants. Give an assortment of different nuts, in an attractive re-usable container.  Or make up the recipe below.

6. Sports Fun: Studies show that having an exercise buddy makes us more likely to be active. Give your time (the best gift of all) by pledging to walk, bike, ski or otherwise enjoy exercise with someone you care about.

7. Teapot and tea: Pair a pretty earthenware teapot with an assortment of black, green and/or herbal teas. A warm cup of tea is soothing and full of antioxidants.

8. Lunch Bag: With so many designer varieties to choose from, this could be a perfect teacher gift, filled with healthy snacks and a reusable water bottle. You could even throw in a gift card to the recipient’s favorite grocery store so they can stock up on lunch-packing foods.

9. Fruity basket: Pack a colorful basket full of pretty fruits and dark chocolates.

10. Asian-inspired: For the cook who wants to improve his/her Asian cooking skills, include a cookbook along with popular sauces like fish sauce, teriyaki, light coconut milk, curry paste and brown rice.

Sugar-and-spice pecans

Serves 16 (1/4 cup each)

This year, consider making holiday gifts for family and friends. Pack these spicy pecans in a glass jar and top with a colorful ribbon.

 All you need

•1 egg white

•1 teaspoon water

•1 pound pecan halves (about 4-1/2 cups)

•1⁄2 cup granulated sugar

•1 teaspoon cinnamon

•1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt

•1⁄4 teaspoon allspice

•1⁄8 to 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

 All you do

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

2. Whisk together the egg white and water in a large bowl. Add the pecans and toss to coat.

3. Combine the sugar, cinnamon, salt, allspice and cayenne pepper; sprinkle over the nuts. Toss well to combine.

4. Spread the pecans in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake until toasted,

15 to 18 minutes. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.

Nutrition Information

Per serving: 220 calories, 20g fat (2g sat), 40mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 3g protein

Source: Meal Makeover Moms, used with permission.

 


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