When I think of Christmas, I think of gingerbread, candy canes, whipped shortbread, and taking down at least one box of turtles, and one container of Ferrero Rocher chocolates – to myself.
It is kind of hard to stick to my 80/20 rule when I want 100% of my Christmas treats to be all of the above things. And… with all of the craziness of running around Christmas shopping and grocery shopping in preparing for the Holidays, I am often in a state of hangry… in a parking lot… packed like a sardine can – and that my friends, is a really terrible combination.
So just like I filled my freezer with energy bites to combat my post spin class hangry-ness, I am filling my freezer with energy bites with a festive theme to keep my blood sugar above the “crazy angry shopper” level this holiday season.
In my quest to fill my freezer and my belly with some sweet treats for Christmas, without completely sabotaging my fit(ish) habits over the holidays, I came up with a bit of a middle ground, and learned a few lessons about messing with Christmas treats.
Lesson 1 – DO NOT even try to mess with whipped shortbread cookies. Love them for what they are and limit how many you eat. Messing with a man’s most favourite holiday treat will land you an intense death stare and a draft copy of divorce papers.
Lesson 2 – Candy Canes and peanut butter are actually a pretty terrible combination. Thinking you can throw candy canes on anything and call it a Christmas treat is a bad idea. We tried this. It failed.
Lesson 3 – Protein powder in Christmas themed energy bites crosses a line. We tried it. It was gross. We abandoned that recipe.
Lucky for me, my ultimate Christmas go-to treats converted to healthier versions quite nicely and our “cook day” wasn’t a total write off.
Pecan Caramel Clusters AKA Turtles – from The Viet Vegan
The key to these bad boys is super soft and fresh Madjool dates. The soft dates are what is creating the caramel taste and feel in these, so don’t skimp in the good quality dates on this one. These are also probably the easiest treat I have ever made. Open date, add 3 pecans, fill with chocolate. Done.
Ferrero Rocher – from Heidi Hearts Clean Eating
It isn’t Chirstmas for me without Ferrero Rocher so of course we took a stab at those too.
We used the Ferrero Rocher recipe from Clean and Healthy. We weren’t sure if we liked the fully dipped in chocolate or not, so we tried both ways. They both are delish.
Gingerbread Energy Balls – from The Healthy Maven
These probably came a bit too late because my husband and daughter already made a gingerbread house…. And it may be missing part of it’s roof now. But, going forward in the holiday season, I am ready for my gingerbread cravings with these energy balls.
What is great about these treats is that there is no baking involved so these all come together really quick – with a couple friends you could have these done in under an hour – depending on how much wine you have while doing this.
If this is something you might want to try with a couple of friends, I already have the consolidated shopping list here for you. If there are more than 2 people, I would consider at least doubling these recipes.
So, there you have it, a way to mess with some Christmas treats, and a few lessons on what not to mess with! Happy Holidays!