Friday, December 23, 2011

Sugarless Holiday Treats

Just because you've decided you no longer want sugar in your life doesn't mean you can't enjoy some cheery holiday sweetness.

Are you missing your holiday Bailey's or Kahlua with coffee and cream? Both liqueurs are full of sugar so if you're following a sugar-free regimen, they are off limits.

Instead, make yourself a good old-fashioned Irish Coffee.



I brew a small pot of decaf coffee, pour 1.5 ounces of Bushmills Irish Whisky (you can use whatever whisky you prefer) into a big mug and add 1 teaspoon of Truvia, a stevia based sugar substitute then add the coffee and stir.

To top it off, I make a batch up homemade whipped cream flavored with a tiny bit of high quality vanilla extract and a little Truvia. I don't like my cream very sweet, so I use sweetener sparingly.

If you don't want to bother with making whipped cream, buy a can. But be sure to check that it only has one carb/sugar gram per serving.



Put a few dollops of the whipped cream on top of your special coffee, cozy up in front of your holiday tree or fireplace, and enjoy a tasty and comforting holiday beverage that won't send your blood sugar levels soaring and will warm your cockles...whatever those are.

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I don't miss holiday cookies, fudge and the like one bit. I like sweets, but now that I know how sugar makes me feel and look, it's a no-brainer for me to leave them all for someone else to enjoy.

What I do miss are those lovely sugar and spice nuts. I am sucker for anything that has both a little sweetness and a little saltiness. And if it's crunchy to boot? Watch out!

I perused a few different recipes and found a way to make sugar and spice nuts, sans the sugar. Be warned: these won't last long in your house. I made these two days ago, and the entire batch is gone.



"Sugar" and Spice Holiday Nuts 

3/4 cup raw, whole almonds
3/4 cup raw, halved walnuts
3/4 cup raw, halved pecans
1 egg white, whipped lightly with a fork
3 tablespoons Splenda brown sugar*
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
A dash of cayenne (optional)

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Cover a jelly roll pan 15 x 10 x 1 with foil or parchment paper or spray with cooking oil.

Combine the nuts in a large bowl and coat well with the egg white. In another small bowl, combine the Splenda with cinnamon, salt and cayenne. Sprinkle the 'sugar' mix over the nuts and toss to coat.

Spread the mixture evenly onto the pan and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, stirring every ten minutes.

Remove from pan onto waxed paper to cool. Enjoy!

Store what's left over in a jar with a tight fitting lid. I like to chop them up and add them to a green salad with goat cheese and a tangy vinaigrette.


*I like a subtly sweet and salty flavor and used small amounts of Splenda and salt. For sweeter nuts, up the Splenda to 1/3 cup and the salt to 2 teaspoons. 




Happy Holidays! 

Adrienne 

6 comments:

Marguerite said...

How fabulous! I will be trying this recipe soon. Thanks, Adrienne and Merry Christmas.

High Heeled Life said...

Wow!! these are brilliant. I will be venturing down the limiting sugar (hopefully work my way to no sugar over the coming year) road as soon as the clock turns 2012 ... so these are great alternatives. Happy Holidays, xo HHL

Sulky Kitten said...

I'll be giving both of these a try. Those nuts look fantastic!

Adrienne said...

Marguerite,

I made the nuts again last night for our dinner guests as a little something to nosh on before the meal. Even though they don't adhere to a sugarless lifestyle, they liked them very much....so much that the whole bowl was gone within about 30 minutes.

I hope you like the way they turn out. I used an extra tablespoon of Splenda brown sugar yesterday and a few extra shakes of salt and they were quite tasty.

HHL,

It's so hard to avoid sugar this time of year. I figure that if I can get through the holidays without sugar, I can do it anytime!
Happy Holidays! xoxo

SK,

The nuts are fantastic! I think I may end up getting sick of them, though, they are becoming an everyday treat :)

Adrienne

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Rebekah said...

I will be trying the coffee just as soon as I can get to the liquor store! What a great drink for New Year's.