(NAPSI)—When the holidays are here, for many people, that means having a lot on their plate—literally and figuratively. Fortunately, there are ways to lighten the to-do list and even sneak in a little nutrition. You don’t want a household full of people who are “hangry”: angry from being hungry.
It helps if you can balance your menu with a few simple, easy dishes and snacks—such as blueberries—in addition to the more time-intensive holiday staples.
Blueberries are a no-muss, no-fuss option—just rinse and go. They’re great for munching while cooking and they can add a burst of sweet-tart flavor to your favorite sauces, compotes, jams or chutneys.
“I love cooking with blueberries because they’re so versatile and can be used in a wide variety of both sweet and savory dishes. Plus, they’re really good for you and are a convenient way to meet the recommended amount of fruits per day, which is often a bit more challenging during the holidays,” says Sonali Ruder, DO.
“Fresh blueberries are a source of four essential nutrients: fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese. One serving—a handful or a cup—contains only 80 calories and naturally occurring sugars. I always have fresh blueberries in my fridge or frozen blueberries in my freezer to add a quick boost of nutrition to dishes like oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies and sauces,” she adds.
Take Care of Yourself
Here are a few tips and tricks from the experts to help keep your holidays more manageable, enjoyable and even healthful.
Get a smart start. It’s tempting to sample every delicious treat in sight from sunup to sundown but you’ll feel better with a good breakfast. Sprinkle some fresh blueberries into a bowl of yogurt or your smoothie. They’re a good source of vitamin C and fiber, so they’ll help fill you up and keep temptation at bay.
Avoid getting hangry. If you’re pressed for time, you might forget to eat. Never a good idea. Keep some nutritious, easy-to-eat foods on hand. Blueberries are an excellent fit: Just rinse and keep handy to enjoy throughout the day. You’re set no matter what kind of curveball may come your way.
Simplify your kitchen time. There are so many delicious recipes that don’t keep you working away all day. For a sweet and savory appetizer, snack or dessert option, try these Blueberry Brie Bites. They’re so elegant and festive that no one will suspect how easy they are to make.
Blueberry Brie Bites
Makes 15 bites
1 box (15-count) mini phyllo shells
4 ounces Brie cheese, rind removed
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
½ teaspoon chopped, fresh thyme
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350° F. Arrange phyllo shells on a baking sheet. Cut the Brie into small pieces (about ½-inch). Mix the blueberries, thyme, and maple syrup together in a bowl. Place a piece of cheese in each phyllo shell and top with a spoonful of the blueberry mixture. Bake in the oven 16−18 minutes, until blueberries start to soften and Brie is melted. Remove from oven and serve.
Know Your Nutrition
Even with the hustle and bustle of the holidays, you can find ways to fit in those important vitamins and minerals and the less prep time, the better. That’s why blueberries work so well when life is hectic. You don’t have to deal with stems, seeds or peels—just rinse and eat, or grab and go.
Nutrition experts such as Dr. Ruder recommend blueberries because they’re low in sodium, contain virtually no fat and are packed with healthful goodness. They’re high in manganese, which helps the body process cholesterol and nutrients. That’s extra-helpful when you’re eating more rich foods than usual.
Fresh blueberries also serve as a good source of vitamin C, supporting immune function, which is especially important when traveling for the holidays. And they’re a good source of dietary fiber, which may help keep you feeling fuller longer, manage your portions better and aid in digestion.
You can find more holiday recipes, tips and fun ways to celebrate with blueberries at www.PositivelyBluetiful.com.
“Add a burst of fun and flavor to your life during the holidays or at any time with blueberries. Fresh or frozen, they’re low in sodium, have virtually no fat and just 80 calories per cup, and are a good source of vitamin C and manganese. http://bit.ly/2Q5IDjr”
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)