For the most part, I’m all for pigging out around the holidays, but sometimes it’s better to give a healthy holiday treat. Maybe you have a family member that is trying to stay healthy and you don’t want to derail them with a box of cookies, or maybe giving a cheese and sausage gift basket to your running buddy seems counter productive. Whatever the reason, there are plenty of healthy yet delicious holiday food gifts around. Believe it or not, some of them even come from Wisconsin. The state that is famous for cheese and bratwurst is also known for cranberries, cherries and other healthy holiday treats.
No Sugar Added Tart Dried Cherries – Tart dried cherries are hard to find outside of Wisconsin so they are a popular gift on Wisconsinmade.com. A nutritious topping for salad or cereal, tart dried cherries also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, according to the Wisconsin Cherry Growers Association. Other cherry goodies that make sweet gifts: cherry salsa and cherry jam.
Cranberries– Cranberries are a ruby in the Wisconsin agricultural crown. Studies suggest that cranberry rich diets have the potential to prevent heart disease, ulcers and certain types of cancer. If you enjoy dried cranberries, try Curbanies. This sweet snack is similar to a dried cranberry, but goes through a special drying process so they retain some moisture. For an even sweeter cranberry treat try some dark chocolate covered cranberries.
Popcorn– An extra large bag of movie popcorn can contain thousands of calories, but it’s the butter that’s to blame, not the popcorn. The gourmet popcorn varieties grown in Wisconsin have plenty of flavor without all the extra toppings. You can even taste the difference between the types of kernels. Dieters love popcorn for the satisfying crunch without the calories and fat of other salty snacks. Not sure how to pop kernels without the bag? Check out this blog post with stove-top popping instructions.