From the USANA Test Kitchen: Healthy Pre-Holiday Indulgences

Written by on October 17, 2011 in From the USANA Test Kitchen, products with 16 Comments

Every year about this time we face the same temptations: a mountain of Halloween candy, the heaping plates of turkey and mashed potatoes, the constant parade of sugar cookies, egg nog and chocolate-covered everything.  And each year I promise myself I won’t gain weight during the holidays, and yet every year I do.

While I don’t mind smart, conscious indulgences, it’s far too easy during the festive months to fill our bellies with comforting foods, without thinking twice about what that means for our health.

Last year, I shared with you a few tips for staying trim in the face of these temptations. This year, I’d like to share a couple of recipes that might make getting through the holidays a little easier.

The first is a low-fat, but very satisfying, butternut squash recipe that is thickened with Fibergy Plus instead of cream.

The second is an Almond Joy-inspired, flavorful Almond Coconut Chocolate Shake that is a healthy, but decadent-tasting alternative to the chocolate treats you’ll encounter over the next couple of months.

**Please note that butternut squash has a higher glycemic load than some of its squash counterparts. So while this is a healthy recipe otherwise, do watch your intake if you need to be conscientious about your blood sugar levels.

Roasted Apple & Butternut Squash Soup

Servings: 10 starter portions

Ingredients

  • 1 large butternut squash (3-4 lbs), halved lengthwise and scooped clean
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and halved lengthwise
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 8 fresh sage leaves, shredded
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock/broth
  • 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 Tbs Fibergy Plus
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Place butternut squash, cut side down, on aluminum foil and bake until tender (about an hour and twenty minutes); drizzle 1 Tbs of oil over the apple halves and place onto baking sheet during the last twenty minutes of roasting.
  3. Once tender, remove the baking sheet from oven and allow squash to cool, then scoop out the flesh of the butternut squash and place into into a large bowl with the roasted apples.
  4. In a large saucepan over low heat, heat 1 Tbs oil; add onions, half the sage and cook until onions are tender and translucent (about 5-10 minutes).
  5. Add stock/brother and squash pulp to saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat; once boiling, reduce heat to low, add fresh ginger, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Turn off heat, then mix in add lemon juice, nutmeg and Fibergy Plus.  Using an immersion blender (or working in batches if using a blender), puree the soup until smooth.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Almond Coconut Chocolate Shake

Servings: 3-4

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk or dairy alternative, such as soy or almond milk
  • 4-5 Tbs shredded coconut
  • 2 cups crushed ice
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 6 scoops of Dutch Chocolate or Chocolate Whey Nutrimeal
  • (optional)  1-2 teaspoon(s) Truvia, if desired
  • (optional) 2 teaspoons of shredded coconut, for garnish

Preparation

  1. In a blender, combine milk and shredded coconut; blend for 5-8 seconds (this helps to puree the coconut first so you don’t over-blend the shake).
  2. Add ice, almond extract, Nutrimeal and optional Truvia to the blender; blend for 10-15 seconds — be careful not to blend it too much or the shake will become too whipped and foamy.
  3. Top with a little shredded coconut, if desired, and serve immediately!

Your Turn

Do you have any healthy recipes, tricks or tips that help you get through the holidays?

Eating well is an important part of being healthy. From the USANA Test Kitchen is a monthly column offering useful nutrition tips, as well as delicious, healthy recipes that use USANA products in creative ways.

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Diana Yin

About the Author

About the Author: Diana is a former member of USANA's public relations team. .

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16 Reader Comments

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  1. Thanks for the recipes and tips!!

  2. Lisa says:

    I cannot wait to try this soup recipe. Thanks Diana.

  3. YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!

  4. Sandra Wilson says:

    I second Kathleen’s YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!! :^) Trying these this week!

  5. Jenna Templeton says:

    They were both sooo yummy, Diana! Thanks for sharing :)

  6. Diana Yin Diana Yin says:

    Thanks, guys! Let me know what you think if you try these recipes!

  7. That looks delicious. I can’t wait to try the soup and shake. I make a shake for my girls every morning for breakfast so always trying to find and create new ones. Combining fibergy and ice are definately key to making the perfect shake.

  8. Annette Walbon says:

    Hi I was wondering if I could get the recipe of the meal you prepared for the Gold and above Luncheon at Convention… it was the vegetarian selection… it was SOOOOOOOOOOOO delicious!!

  9. Sparkle Sparky says:

    Can’t wait to try it at once. Thanks for all the info.

  10. Dyann Lyon says:

    These both sound delicious! Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. Robin Thomas says:

    OK.. You’ve got my favorite soup, and my favorite flavor of Nutrimeal all in one place. Can’t wait to try the coconut/almond choice… as soon as my Chocolate Nutrimeal arrives. My son keeps drinking it out of the house!

  12. Diana Yin Diana Yin says:

    So glad you guys are going to try these. I’m proud of both these recipes– they really are satisfying!!

  13. Christine Rhea S. Igna says:

    Healthy Banana split

    1 scoop nutrimeal strawberry
    2 scoops nutrimeal dutch chocolate
    450-500 ml water
    blender/shaker
    1 medium sized banana lakatan/cavendish

    Combine nutrimeal in a blender/shaker and and water shake blend for 45 seconds may addon banana to shake to blend or maybe eaten separately

  14. Carolyn Gordon says:

    There are so many delicious shake combinations! We have been hooked on pumpkin spice & vanilla nutrameal. Thanks for the chocolate coconut one!

  15. Jo Vos says:

    I made a triple recipe of the roasted butternut squash and apple soup for an open house/party Friday night. It was good after the following “doctoring:” My guests and I found it pretty bland, so I started adding more ginger and nutmeg…about 4 to 5 times what was called for, and I added some rubbed sage (dried) to the fresh sage already in the pot, and a sprinkle of cayenne. I think next time I may try adding some turneric and cumin to this soup–an addition that would be healthful as well as tasty! Because I used low sodium broth, I also needed to add some salt. Next time I would probably use a bit less lemon juice. However, this batch tasted fine after I stirred in a small bit of Xylitol, which brought out the sweetness of the squash. I served it with Greek yogurt and fresh sprouts as garnishes and it ended up with rave reviews!

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