Monday, November 16, 2009

Smart Choices: Apple Snack

"'Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?'

'That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.

'I don't much care where --' said Alice.

'Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat.

'--so long as I get somewhere,' Alice added as an explanation."

- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

The holidays are full of surprises and more surprises. While we do have plenty of structured, shared meals around the holidays, I often find that I don't have time to prepare snacks and meals when I am working hard to make the holidays happen. I can feel rather disoriented like Alice in her new world, not quite sure where I am going or how I am to get there.

I used to resent it all. But then I realized that it wasn't anyone's fault, and I did have choices. Lots of choices. As I said before, if we are going to live well and live deeply, we can't do it all. We will have to choose to neglect a few things and to simplify. There are many good things we can do, but only a few of them are best. I try to deliberately streamline my expectations so that I have time for what matters most. I like to say that I am making a smart choice.

The snack I am sharing today is one of my "smart choices" for the holidays. It's low in calories, but full of flavor, texture, and fun. Instead of feeling the need to create home-baked goodies, when I am short on time, I offer this.

First, I peel and slice fresh apples. Dipping the slices in orange juice or a 50/50 lemon juice and water mixture will keep them from turning brown. I arrange them on a plate and put Marzetti's Caramel Apple Dip in the center. Nearby I place some favorite nuts and some mini-bagels. The bagels can even be sliced into halves and piled high on a platter. Plain bagels and cinnamon bagels work very well for this. Toothpicks near the apples keep them clean. I can also put Marzetti's dip near the bagels so that people realize they can use it on their bagels, too. Of course, you'll want some small bowls or plates and a spoon for the dip. I serve coffee and or tea with this.

If you have a nearby farmer's market or apple orchard, fresh apples can be a very economical choice at this time of year. You'll be amazed at the difference in quality and price, compared to the offerings in grocery stores. A trip to the orchard or market can also be an interesting school outing.

I have served this to my family instead of cookies or other treats when we want to celebrate something special over the holidays. It's a great tree-trimming snack, and a great, spontaneous pick-me-up after shopping together for gifts.

Marzetti has recently created a fat-free version of their caramel dip and has begun offering it in small individual-sized cups which are perfect for children. You can find the dip in the fresh produce section of your grocery store, often near the apples.

You can go here to view some of the Marzetti apple dip products.

Do you have a favorite easy recipe that you like to use over the holidays?

1 comment:

I love to receive comments from my readers, since you are the ones I am writing for! Please feel free to leave one.