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Holiday Treats

Healthy Sweets and Snacks

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It's Easter!!

Nina Ghamrawi, MS, RD, CDE

Among all the family festivities, egg-dyeing, easter egg hunts, marshmallow peeps and church parties, Wondering how you're going to stay away from the honey-baked ham this weekend? Frustrated that all the family gatherings you attend will have plenty of savory deviled eggs, creamy scalloped potatoes, and tasty caramel-filled chocolate bunnies?  In case you need it, here are a few recipe ideas to arm you for the fun-filled weekend.

Happy Easter!

Bite-sized Crustless Quiche for a twist on deviled eggs

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely diced potato (the little red or multicolored ones with skins are best)
  • 1/2 cup minced mushrooms
  • 1 cup freshly chopped spinach
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 6 large eggs, 6 egg whites
  • 1 cup lowfat mozzarella
  • ½ cup fat free milk
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1½ cups chopped fresh spinach
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until the potatoes are just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk eggs, cheese, milk, pepper and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Stir in spinach and the potato mixture. Divide the quiche mixture among the prepared muffin cups.
  4. Bake until firm to the touch, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before removing from the tin.
  • To make ahead: Individually wrap in plastic and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. To reheat, remove plastic, wrap in a paper towel and microwave on High for 30 to 60 seconds.

Get your Smoked Flavor fix without the ham: Smoked Cheddar Fricos with Pea Puree

A frico is a cheese crisp that can be eaten plain or topped like a cracker. These are made with smoked cheddar cheese, but they're also delicious made with other creamy cheeses like aged Gouda or Manchego cheese.

  • 2 cups shredded smoked cheddar cheese (I love the combination of pepper jack and smoked cheddar together)
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Pea Puree
  • 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • Microgreens or minced fresh basil for garnish
  1. To prepare fricos: Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with a silicone baking mat.
  2. Mound 12 heaping tablespoonfuls of cheese 1 to 1½ inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Spread each mound out slightly to an even 2-inch round. Sprinkle lightly with cayenne (if using). Bake until the cheese is melted, lightly browned and crisp on the edges, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack until completely crisp, about 10 minutes.
  3. To prepare pea puree: Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add peas and cook until bright green and tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and rinse well with cold water.
  4. Transfer the peas to a blender or mini food processor; add oil, mint, lemon juice, salt and pepper and process until smooth.
  5. To serve, top each frico with about 1 tablespoon pea puree. Garnish with microgreens, if desired.
  • To make ahead: Store fricos airtight at room temperature for up to 1 day. Refrigerate pea puree for up to 1 day.

Instead of cookies: No-Bake Apricot-Almond Balls

  • ⅓ cup creamy peanut or other nut butter
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup finely snipped dried apricots
  • 2 tablespoons toasted almonds or walnuts, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
  • 2 cups wheat cereal flakes, (I use Trader Joe's High Fiber Cereal) crushed slightly
  • In a medium saucepan, combine peanut butter, coconut oil, honey and extract. Cook over low heat just until melted and nearly smooth, whisking constantly. Stir in cereal, apricots, almonds and ginger until well mixed. Using slightly wet hands or a 1-ounce scoop, shape mixture into balls. Let stand on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet about 15 minutes or until firm.
  • In a small saucepan, combine chocolate and 1/4 tsp coconut oil; cook and stir over low heat until melted. Drizzle balls with melted chocolate. Chill about 15 minutes or until chocolate is set. Store in the refrigerator.