Of all the holidays to navigate for folks who are on diets, have allergies or are gluten sensitive, Christmas seems the most designed to break hearts and resolve.
|That would be me on my fire engine and the special elf from my childhood before elves were used to prompt good behavior.|
I loved Christmas growing up. Such a season of anticipation of goodies. A huge box of Christmas cookies and candy came every year from my Nanny. It was stored in the cold garage until my mother's HUGE open house around mid-December. So, so, so hard to keep from sneaking out and sampling. There was peanut butter roll, chocolate fudge, peanut butter fudge, coconut kisses, fruit cake cookies, date nut cookies and a huge fruit cake. I know I am forgetting something but those were my favorites.
I will be sharing some of my adaptive recipes in the coming weeks but wanted to share, as baking and making season starts some tricks I've learned to make some of the old recipes a little healthier or non-allergenic!
For pulled candy recipes: Instead of corn syrup use cane syrup or Lyles Golden Syrup. It can be found on Amazon and at speciality grocery stores. Note: I don't use brown rice syrups any more due to the reports about high levels of arsenic in the processing.
For fudge and other recipes that use confectioners sugar: I have gone corn-free. Even if you don't have allergies, reducing the corn in your diet is a good thing. Most organic confectioners' sugars use tapioca. You can also pulverize granulated sugar and starch in your processor. Add two tablespoons of tapioca or arrowroot starch per cup of sugar and grind to a fine powder.
For breads like pumpkin or banana: Substitute Pamela's baking mix for flour and leavening.
Search the web for adapted recipes. No, it's not your favorite Aunt's strudel but you may find something that evokes the memories, if not the actual cookie, candy or other holiday favorite.
More and more traditions are going organic. Trujoy candy canes are the only organic candy canes out there.
Focus on the scents of Christmas, not the calories: Can't eat Hershey's candy cane or chocolate mint kisses? Find a mint chocolate coffee or tea.
Reward yourself for staying on your diet or within your restrictions. As I navigate through meals and parties, I am going to reward myself for staying away from things that aren't good for me by getting a kindle novella or book I really want. Ruthyand Virginia have books I am allowing myself to read because I made it through Thanksgiving. Click on their names to reward yourself.
So, what special treat do you make during the holidays? Any you have had to adapt?