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Christmas is around the corner and with it comes the Christmas family dinner. Celebrated around the world, Christmas is a time for showing your appreciation for family and loved ones. For many, dessert is often the best part of the celebrations. However, for those who suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, finding a healthy dessert that doesn’t add extra calories or cause symptoms to flare can be difficult.
In the spirit of Christmas, the Lung Institute has compiled a list of the top 3 Christmas holiday desserts just in time for your holiday season.
3. Vanilla Sweet Potatoes
The sweet potato has always tasted more like dessert than dinner. What is less well-known about the sweet potato is its high nutritional content. Bursting with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and blood sugar-regulators, sweet potatoes contain unsurpassed levels of beta-carotene and have high levels of Vitamin A.
- 10 small sweet potatoes
- 1 ½ cups maple syrup
- 1 6-inch vanilla bean
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Scrub the sweet potatoes, pierce each with a fork, and place in 350°F oven. Bake 45 minutes–1 hour or until fork-tender.
- Combine the maple syrup, vanilla bean, and cloves in a glass measuring cup and microwave 5 minutes.
- Remove the potatoes from the oven and cut each lengthwise into 4 wedges. Arrange on a serving dish, sprinkle with the salt, and pour the syrup. Remember to remove the cloves and vanilla bean.
2. Strawberry Santas
Strawberries have been popular among fruit lovers for centuries. Among its various nutritional benefits such as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, its iconic red coloring contains the chemical anthocyanin which is known to stimulate the burning of stored fat.
- 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 12 large strawberries
- 24 mini chocolate chips
- Pastry bag with small star piping tip
- In a medium bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the mascarpone and vanilla until smooth.
- Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until the mixture is thick and smooth
- Using a spatula, transfer the frosting to the pastry bag.
- Cut off the leaf-end of each strawberry to make a flat surface.
- Cut a ½ – to ¾ inch piece from the pointed end of each strawberry and reserve as the hats.
- Place the strawberries, wide-side down. Pipe a ¾ inch swirl of frosting on each strawberry and place the hats on top and pipe a small ball of frosting on top of the hats.
- Press two chocolate chips pointed-sides inward, into the swirl of frosting to make eyes.
1. Ginger Bread Men
As we’ve mentioned before, ginger has a long tradition as a healing root. Particularly effective at eliminating intestinal gas, ginger possesses numerous therapeutic characteristics such as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
- ½ cup margarine
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup molasses
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until smooth. Stir in molasses and egg yolk. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg; blend into the molasses mixture until smooth. Cover, and chill for at least one hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to ¼ inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until firm. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks. Frost or decorate when cool.
Healthy eating along with alternative therapies such as stem cell therapy could help you enjoy your holiday season and improve your overall quality of life. If you or a loved one suffers from lung disease, the Lung Institute may be able to help with a variety of stem cell treatment options. Contact us at (800) 729-3065 to find out if you qualify for stem cell therapy.
Tried one of our Christmas recipes? Have one better? We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts and comments on our list of the top 3 Christmas Holiday Desserts below.