Low Calorie Holiday Treats

By AM Northwest Staff

Roasted Acorn Squash and Chestnuts: Serves 4


  • 2 small acorn squash
  • 1-tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup vacuum-packed chestnuts coarsely chopped



Preheat oven to 450°F.

  1. Halve squash lengthwise and discard seeds and strings.
  2. Drizzle each half with the oil and place cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast for approx. 45-minutes to 1-hour or until flesh is tender.
  3. Remove pan from oven turn squash right side up. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and scatter chestnuts over squash. Roast again squash until sugar is melted.

Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes with Fresh Herbs: Serves 4


  • 16 oz. Low sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh chives
  • ¼ cup fresh dill, minced
  • 3 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice
  • 1-cup fat free half-n-half
  • Fine sea salt to taste


  1. Place potatoes in a saucepan with the chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer uncovered for 20 minutes or until very tender when pierced with a fork.
  2. Mash warm potatoes with a potato masher, gradually adding half-n-half, salt and pepper to taste. Add remaining half-n-half until potatoes reach desired consistency.
  3. Fold in fresh herbs and serve. Can keep warm in a double boiler until service time.

Roasted Asparagus with Red Peppers: Serves 4


  • 1½ lbs. Fresh Asparagus
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1-tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Trim tough ends from asparagus.
  3. Core pepper and dice into 1-inch pieces.
  4. Place asparagus and peppers on baking sheet. Drizzle with 1-tablespoon oil, salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Roast for approx. 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender but a little crisp.

Low-Fat Cranberry Orange Muffins: Makes 12


  • 1¼ cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3-cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts – optional
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • I use Ocean Spray dried cranberries.  I add about 1/2 cup to the batter.


  1. Spray 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.
  2. In large bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In medium bowl, using a wire whisk or fork, thoroughly mix sugar and orange juice.
  4. Whisk in egg whites, corn syrup and orange peel until blended.
  5. Gradually add to flour mixture, stirring until smooth. Stir in cranberries (and nuts, if using).
  6. Spoon into prepared muffin cups. Bake at 400°F for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and firm to touch.
  7. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Serve warm or cool completely on wire rack. Store in airtight container.

Low Fat Hot Chocolate: Serves 4

Dry Mix Ingredients

  • 1/3-cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1/3-cup splenda, sugar substitute
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 cups low-fat milk


Combine cocoa, splenda & cinnamon in a jar, seal & shake to combine. Whisk milk in a medium saucepan over low heat until hot; alternatively if you have a cappuccino maker, heat your milk using this.

To make: Place 2 tablespoons of choc mixture into 4 cups, pour over a little milk & stir to dissolve. Add some milk froth to each cup & then top with remaining milk. Add some marshmallows if you like & enjoy.


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