3 Tips to Managing Treats During the Holidays & A Spice Cookie Bar Recipe!
One Bowl, Super Easy, Spice Cookie Bars (Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free, and Higher Fiber)
How many more descriptive buzz words can I add?? But seriously, these Spice Cookie Bars really are so good and so easy and a nice break from the sugary holiday cookies you might be having this season!
Speaking of which… Let’s talk about that and how to maneuver through your health goals this season…
Right off the bat, we know it’ll likely be easier to maintain some sort of routine and health without all the holiday parties, working from home instead of being in the office, and just social distancing as a whole. With that being said, a lot of us have found our ways back into the office, exchanging cookies with neighbors, and having mini parties with our quarantined circles. For that reason, it’s still always helpful to have a few, practical tips we can put into place so we can enjoy the holidays, the treats, and feel really darn good while we do it.
3 Tips to Manage Treats During the Holidays:
1. The Freezer is Your Friend.
Gifted a batch of a dozen cookies from your neighbor, a box of chocolates from work, and baking with your kids?
The treats on the counter add up quickly… Which means, the freezer is your friend. It’s not practical to throw away every treat that comes your way. It’s not practical to eat them all at once either. And leaving them on the counter to mindlessly graze on all December long sounds like a recipe for disaster.
You can put those chocolates and cookies from your neighbor in the freezer while you enjoy the gingerbread cookies you decorated with your kids. Periodically take out the frozen treats one at a time when you want it. The freezer will keep most baked treats good for about 6 months!
2. Balance the Fun Foods into Your Day.
Do you really want a holiday cookie a day for all of December? Because if you do, you can have it. Seriously.
But if you want it to fit into your health and fitness goals, your best bet is to balance that treat into your day. What do I mean by that? If you normally have eggs and toast for breakfast, now you’re having eggs, a cookie, and a side of veggies for breakfast. That cookie becomes your carb but you need to make sure you’re still getting fiber and protein at that meal. Keep those eggs for plenty of filling protein, healthy fats, and nutrients. Add the veggies for filling fiber, vitamins, nutrients, and health. You get the picture.
3. Set Aside The Guilt
I know you’ve heard it before. When you can’t have something you want it more. There’s the magnetic, rebellious pull you can’t control telling you to click the big red button. And you’re going to click it.
Just like if you say “NO MORE COOKIES THIS WEEK!” That invisible magnetic pull will draw your fingers to those cookies Thursday at midnight for the 3rd week in a row. Sucky I know.
Simple solution? Set aside the guilt. You can have the darn cookie. It’ll taste better and be more enjoyable if you’re sitting down, enjoying it, maybe having a cup of tea or low sugar hot cocoa with it. But you can have it. Guilt-free. I promise. It won’t kill you. The same way you don’t lose 10 pounds from eating one salad, you don’t gain 10 pounds from eating one cookie.
But you know that. You just have to practice it. No guilt! Happy thoughts! Eat the cookie and MOVE ON!
You have better things to do than eat.
What You Need:
- Monkfruit Sweetener (or granulated sweetener of choice)
- Unsweetened Apple Sauce
- Ground Spices: All Spice, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger
- Unsweetened Almond Butter (Other nut and seed butters would work too. Peanut butter would bring a strong flavor and possibly drown out the flavor of the spices)
- Almond Flour
- Eggs (I haven’t tried any egg substitutes but a flax egg should work)
Spice Cookie Bars
Imagine a gluten-free, sugar-free, spice cookie. Then imagine it in bar form. It’s the easiest and most flavorful holiday cookie you’ll have this season.
prep time: 15 minutes cook time: 12 minutes total time: 27 minutes
- 1 cup almond flour
- ½ cup almond butter
- ½ cup apple sauce
- ½ cup maple syrup or maple syrup substitute (*see notes above)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 8x8 baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl add almond butter, apple sauce, maple syrup, egg. Mix well.
- Add almond flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. Mix until incorporated.
- Refrigerate batter for 20–30 minutes then transfer batter to 8x8 baking pan and bake for 10–14 minutes or until cooked through and the knife comes out clean.
- Transfer finished cookie bars to a drying rack and evenly slice to 12 square bars.
Improving your relationship with food and pursuing weightloss by yourself can be a battle. Just like anything in life, having a support system and expert to guide you in the process is a game changer. To work with me find me @Practical.Nutritionist on Instagram or LivingWithLeena.com! I look forward to chatting with you soon!