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Tis the Season To Be Jolly

I just love the Christmas holiday season—it brings such joy on so many levels. Naturally that includes the joy of eating sweet treats and other rich foods.  

However, this enjoyment of what is sometimes deemed as “bad food” frequently elicits feelings of guilt. I am not a fan of guilt, especially when it is a result of eating. I mean we have to eat, right? What is there to feel guilty about?

This does not mean I don’t strongly advocate eating healthful foods and embracing an active lifestyle. Food is a necessity and having access to good food is a blessing to be enjoyed.  

As always, healthy eating is more about balancing the healthy foods and activities with the treats. In many cases, though, the treats can also be healthy foods, as you will see in this festive holiday recipe.

This holiday season eat (healthy foods and a few treats) with a joyful heart, not a guilty conscious.

Christmas Salsa with Cinnamon-Sugar Chips

You could really focus on the holiday theme by using colored sugar on the chips if you wanted to be extra festive.

Chips:
8 corn tortillas
Vegetable oil cooking spray
5 tablespoons sugar
¾ teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Place 2-3 tortillas on a foil-lined baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Bake for 4 minutes. Turn the tortillas over, spray lightly again and sprinkle with sugar mixture. Using a pizza cutter, slice each tortilla into 8 “chips” and then bake an additional 6 minutes, or until crisp. (Watch them closely, as they burn in an instant.) Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas and sugar mixture. Note: there should be about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar left over to use in the salsa.

Christmas Salsa:
3-4 kiwis
½ cup pomegranate seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons finely chopped red onion

Peel the skin off the kiwi fruit and coarsely chop. Mix with pomegranate seeds, sugar mixture, cilantro and onion. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Kim’s Note: The red onion and cilantro add the perfect balance to the sweet fruit. However, if you wish to make this ahead of time, do not add the onion until you are ready to serve it, otherwise the fruit will absorb too much onion flavor. Or, for the kiddos, you may want to omit the onion all together.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 8 chips, ¼ cup fruit salsa)

Nutrition Breakdown: Calories 100, Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 10mg, Carbohydrate 24g, Fiber 3g, Protein 2g.

Percent Daily Value: 35% Vitamin C, 4% Calcium, 4 % Iron, 0% Vitamin A

Carbohydrate Choices: 1 ½ Carbohydrate

Diabetes Exchanges: 1 Starch, ½ Fruit

Kim Beavers is a Registered Dietitian and Diabetes Educator for University Health Care System. She lives in North Augusta with her husband and two children and she  is the co-host of the culinary nutrition segment Eating Well with Kim, which airs at noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday on WRDW. To join the recipe club or view recipes, visit www.universityhealth.org/ewwk. You can also watch the segments at www.wrdw.com/ewwk.

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