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December 16, 2014 | Posted by: Amanda Hernandez | Posted in: Recipes
5 Deliciously Nutritious Snacks, Meals and Treats for the Holiday Season

The holiday season is the busiest time of year for many people. These five recipes are nutritious, quick and easy (not to mention delicious!) and sure to help you impress without the stress this holiday season. Each of these dishes make great additions to any holiday party or event!

Cranberry Banana Nut Bread


1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 medium, very ripe bananas, mashed

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup frozen cranberries

1/2 cup mixed nuts

2 tablespoons nuts for topping


  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF, and lightly grease a medium-sized bread pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cinnamon and baking soda. Mix well and set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine the mashed banana, Greek yogurt, maple syrup, and eggs. Stir until combined.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and add the cranberries and nuts. Mix well.
  5. Pour the batter into your loaf pan, spreading it out evenly.
  6. Top with nuts and bake for 40 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.

Mushroom and Zucchini Lasagna


1/2 lb. lasagna noodles

1 lb. ground beef (or chicken, turkey, etc.)

1 small wedge of quality Parmesan cheese, grated

For sauce:

1 large zucchini, chopped into bite sized pieces

2 cups celery, finely chopped

1 small onion, diced

1 lb. mushrooms, sliced

1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes

1 14-ounce can no-added salt tomato sauce

1 jar no-salt-added pasta sauce

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder

2 teaspoons black pepper

For cheese layer:

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

16 oz. low-fat cottage cheese

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1. In a large pot, over medium-high heat, cook onions, zucchini, celery, mushrooms and tomatoes for about 15 minutes.
2. Once vegetables start to soften, add pasta sauce, garlic, black pepper and cayenne powder.
3. Meanwhile, sauté beef until cooked through and browned. Add to sauce mixture and keep sauce on low heat.
4. Boil noodles until cooked and drain.
5. In a separate bowl, mix together Parmesan cheese, cottage cheese and garlic powder.

1. Start with a layer of chunky pasta sauce on the bottom of a large rectangular baking dish. Be generous with the sauce as you do not want dried up noodles.
2. Then add one layer of noodles, then a thin layer of cottage cheese mixture, then a sauce layer.
3. Repeat layering until baking dish is nearly full.
4. Top with quality grated Parmesan cheese.

To cook lasagna, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for about 30 minutes. For the last 15 minutes, cook without foil so the cheese melts. Serve once lasagna is hot.

Cranberry Apple Sauce


1 large Granny Smith apple, diced

1 12 oz. bag fresh cranberries

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons maple syrup


1. In a medium pot, add cranberries, apples, cinnamon and 1 1/2 cups water.

2. Cook over medium-low heat and stir every few minutes so fruit does not stick.

3. Add more water as necessary. Cook until fruit is soft and makes a chunky sauce.

4. Add maple syrup and stir.

5. Remove from heat and blend sauce in a blender until smooth.


Lightened Up Deviled Eggs


10 eggs

¼ cup reduced fat vegenaise (or mayo)

3 tablespoons finely chopped sun dried tomatoes

1 tablespoon vinegar

2 tablespoons dill relish

1 ½ tablespoons yellow mustard

1 teaspoon black pepper

Paprika for color on top


  1. Hard boil eggs. Once cooked, run under cold water. Immediately remove shells from eggs while they are still warm as it is easier this way.
  2. Cut eggs in half, remove yolks and add to a bowl (throw out two of the yolks). Mash yolks with a fork. Set aside egg whites.
  3. Mix the rest of the ingredients except paprika together with the yolks.
  4. Fill egg whites with a heaping teaspoon of yolk filling.
  5. Sprinkle with paprika.

These can be eaten immediately or stored in the fridge for a couple of days.

Homemade Gingerbread Latte


Enough coffee and water to make 4 cups strong coffee

1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons your choice of sweetener

2 cups skim milk

Sprinkle of cinnamon for garnish


1. Add coffee grounds, ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, ground cloves and nutmeg to coffee machine.

2. Brew according to directions.

3. Heat milk on a low heat until hot.

4. Combine spiced hot coffee, hot milk and sweetener together and stir.

Try enjoying the Gingerbread Latte alongside a Sea Salt Caramel Nut Balance bare® bar! And for more holiday tips, stop by the Weekly Bite every week!

Amanda hernandez*

*Amanda Hernandez writes awesome articles as a paid spokesperson for Balance Bar®. We also send her delicious Balance Bar® products for free, so…best job ever? And speaking of deliciousness, check out the incredible new Sweet & Spicy Nut Balance bare® bar

Tags: Winter Tips, Holidays, Diet, Balanced Meals, Ingredients, Holiday Foods, Quick & Easy Meals.