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Holiday Recipes: Lighten Up and Feed Your Face

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This holiday, lighten up and feed your face.

December is here, which means many things, but top of mind for many – how will I escape the month without punishing my belt, when the opportunities for bites and imbibing are endless?

Well, at Kari Gran, we are all about moderation. I for one am not about to deny myself holiday chocolates, but I do try and keep things in check by finding lighter recipe alternatives for celebratory meals when I’m the one holding down the kitchen. Opting for fresh, seasonal and relatively healthful recipes gives my waistline a break and also includes lots of things that are naturally good for my skin (and you know, I am all about skin!).

Here’s a few holiday recipes:

Mashed “Potatoes”: Yep, mashed potatoes with butter pretty much have the “best side dish ever” title locked down, but I’ve got an alternative that comes a close second without packing in the carbs and cream. The answer: cauliflower. Chop it up, boil in a pot of salted water until tender, then blend in a food processor with some of the cooking water until smooth. Whiz in some roasted garlic, salt, pepper, a squeeze of lemon and a dash of cayenne pepper and there you have it. Like other cruciferous vegetables, cauliflower is LOADED with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that help to neutralize damaging toxins and are great for your skin.

Green Beans: That cream-of-mushroom-fried-onion casserole? I’ve devoured it many times, and the sodium, cream and fried goodness kicked my butt.My new alternative is to simply sauté fresh green beans with olive oil, a clove of minced garlic and season with a pinch of salt and chili flakes. This dish is much lower in calories, and bonus, fresh green beans contain antioxidants along with Vitamins C, A, K and calcium, potassium and folate. Your skin loves all that stuff.

Dark Chocolate Dipped Satsuma (or Mandarin) Oranges: Satsuma oranges are in season during the winter months and you can pick up a whole case for pretty darn cheap. They are a great easy-to-peel little snack, and on top of that, are packed with antioxidants and Vitamin C – these both help neutralize free radicals and flush out toxins, which delay the onset of fine lines and wrinkles. As a lighter dessert, pair Satsumas with some chocolate for a winning combo. Double boil your favorite dark chocolate, dip half of a peeled Satsuma segment in the chocolate, place on a lined baking sheet and let dry. So good, so easy!

Pomegranate Mocktail: We like to find just as many reasons to say cheers as the next person, but those holiday cocktails and sips of celebratory wine are quick to dehydrate the body and zap away the moisture that keeps skin plumped up, healthy and glowing. When entertaining, try a chic mocktail option to go with the booze bar. I’m partial to pomegranates, which contain a lot of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc and Copper – all of these contribute to fighting inflammation, providing natural sun protection and neutralizing free radicals. Try combine pomegranate juice (the real stuff, not the sugar-laden pomegranate cocktail juice) along with soda water and ice, then top with an orange slice.

Here’s to a happy and healthy holiday season!

-Kari