Holiday Nibbles Bites & Sips

Spiced Nuts PostAiming to maintain, not gain, this holiday season? Well then pay attention to those nibbles, sips and bites. Because they can really add up fast and before you know it, you’ve enjoyed hundreds of extra calories in one day. And many don’t offer nutrient perks – only extra calories.

Take a look at these approximate calories:

Bite of those iced sugar cookies in the break room = 30 calories.

A big sip of pumpkin spice caramel macchiato = 55 calories.

Whittle away at co-worker’s famous fudge in break room =75 calories.

Wait, another nibble = 50 more calories.

Handful of Hot Sweet Spicy & Smokey Mixed Nuts (recipe below) you made for the office party = 120 calories*

Another cookie bite = 30 calories.

Someone just opened the homemade peanut brittle, so 2 big bites = 160 calories.

This is a whopping 520 extra calories (at least) above and beyond your meals.

So be aware. Plan for these treats. Watch portions at meals to balance. And get moving. Movement = calorie burn. Get out of your chair!

*You brought these nuts to the office party because you know their calories are packed with tons of perks.

Hot & Spicy Grammy Perks:  heart-healthy fats, fiber, protein and dozens of essential health-promoting vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, copper, zinc and selenium.

Cooking with Grandkids: Even the youngest kids can pour nuts in the bowl, add oil and stir, help stir the spices and stir the spices onto nuts. Older kids can help stir nuts occasionally while cooking in oven.

Spiced Nuts Post

Hot Sweet Spicy & Smokey Mixed Nuts
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: snack, appetizer
Serves: 10 servings of ⅓ cup each
  • 1 cup walnut halves and pieces
  • 1 cup pecan halves and pieces
  • 1 ½ cups cashew halves and pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Mazola corn oil
  • 3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne red pepper
  • ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  1. Heat oven to 325°F. Coat a 10x15x1-inch rimmed baking pan with cooking spray or parchment paper and cooking spray. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix walnuts, pecans and cashews. Add corn oil and toss until blended. In a separate small bowl, mix sugar and all spices. Add to nut mixture and stir well, coating all pieces. Spread evenly in prepared pan. Bake, stirring several times, until nuts are browned, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely. Serve or store in airtight container or plastic bag at room temperature. Nuts will last about 5 days. Freeze if you have them longer.
  2. Makes about 3⅓ cups nuts (10 servings of ⅓ cup each).


3 Reasons Canned Foods Fill My Pantry

Kim's Canned Fruit SaladWhite Bean Bruschetta
1. Budget-friendly and nutrient-rich.
Not only are canned foods one of the most affordable ways to meet the Dietary Guidelines goals on MyPlate, they contain comparable nutrients to fresh, frozen and dried forms. Think about it. They are picked at their peak and packed immediately which means valuable nutrients are retained. In some cases, however, canned choices may have even more nutrients than their fresh counterpart. Peaches are my favorite example. Research shows that canned peaches have 4 times more vitamin C and 10 times more folate than fresh peaches.

2. Convenient and versatile.
Buy. Place in Pantry. Open. Pour. Maybe a draining step in there, too, but look how convenient! Real time-saving ingredients for recipes – something we all appreciate when time-pressed. Canned foods work in all kinds of recipes, too, and that’s the versatility part. Oh sure, canned tuna salad is a staple and favorite in most of our recipe repertories, but Bruschetta?! Who would ever guess an appetizer so easy, elegant and upscale came from canned beans and jarred sundried tomatoes! Try this White Bean Bruschetta.

3. Earth-friendly packaging.
Cans are highly sustainable food packaging. In fact canned foods are packed in the most recycled food and beverage container – steel cans. Steel cans contain a minimum of 25% recycled content. And the steel industry is a leader in recycling. Find statistics and more facts about this sustainable packaging at

Kim’s Favorite Fruit Salad
1 can (15 ounces) mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained
1 can (20 ounces) pineapple tidbits in 100% juice, drained*
2 cans (15 ounces) sliced peaches, drained
1 large red apple, chopped
1½ cups red grapes
2 medium bananas, sliced and halved

Combine mandarin oranges, pineapple, peaches, apple and grapes in a large bowl. Stir in bananas right before serving. *Reserve a couple tablespoons juice if desired and stir into fruit salad.
Makes about 8 cups (16 servings of ½ cup each)
Recipe created by Kim Galeaz, RDN CD

White Bean Bruschetta
1 French baguette, cut in 16 (1/2-inch thick) slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato juliennes* in oil, drained
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh basil leaves or 2 teaspoons dried basil
Salt to taste
2 cloves garlic, halved
*Juliennes are matchstick strips.

Heat oven to 400°F. Brush one side of each bread slice with the olive oil. Place on a baking sheet, oil-side up. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted. Meanwhile, mix beans, sun-dried tomatoes and basil in a medium bowl. Mash with a fork and mix well. Season with salt. Rub the cut sides of garlic over the tops of the toasts. Cover each toast slice with 1 tablespoon bean spread. Serve immediately.
Makes 16 servings
Recipe from