Making great holiday treats, and keeping them healthy

Eating healthy and getting fit with Blue Cross Blue Shield

Grace Derocha joined Rachelle, Mike, and Leslie this morning to talk about great Christmas gifts, staying healthy, and making classic holiday treats more healthful.

Recipes for these delicious treats are below! You can also get more information at

Chickpea Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies


• 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained, well-rinsed and with husk removed, dry thoroughly

• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

• ½ cup and 2 tbsp. natural peanut butter (or nut or seed butter of choice)

• ¼ cup of honey (or maple syrup)

• 1 tsp baking powder

• Pinch of salt

• ½ cup flour of choice – try oat or almond flour

• ½ cup dark chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place parchment paper on cookie sheets.

2. In a food processor, combine all ingredients except flour and chocolate chips.

3. Once ingredients are combined, add flour. Pulse until fully combined.

4. Gently fold in chocolate chips.

5. Place heaping tablespoons (about 1 1/2 inch balls) onto prepared cookie sheet. Slightly press down on balls because cookies will not flatten when baking or use cookie cutters to cut into favorite football shapes.

6. Bake for 12-18 minutes, until edges are dry. Cool completely before serving. Enjoy!

For nutritional information, additional recipes and health tips, visit

Peppermint Black Bean Brownies


• 1 (15 oz.) can unsalted black beans, thoroughly rinsed and drained

• 2 eggs

• 3 tbsp. coconut oil, melted

• 3/4 cup cocoa powder

• 1.5 tsp. baking powder

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

• 1/2 cup raw sugar, finely ground in a food processor (or you can use granulated sugar)

• 1 tsp. peppermint extract

• 1/3 cup flour of your choice

• 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (non-dairy, gluten free)

• 2 tbsp. finely crushed candy canes


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 12-slot standard size muffin pan.

2. Use blender or food processor to blend all ingredients EXCEPT flour, candy canes, and chocolate chips. Puree about 3 minutes until smooth– scraping down sides as needed.

3. If the batter appears too thick, add 1-2 tbsp. water or milk and pulse again. It should have the consistency of frosting.

4. Stir in flour until blended and then stir in chocolate chips.

5. Evenly distribute the batter into the muffin tin and smooth the tops with a spoon or your finger.

6. Bake for 20-28 minutes or until the tops are dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides. I found mine took about 25 minutes.

7. Remove from oven and let cool for 20-30 minutes before removing from pan. They will be tender, so remove gently with a butter knife or fork. The insides are meant to be very fudgy, so don’t be concerned if they seem too moist.

8. Dust with crushed candy cane and serve immediately and whipped cream is optional. Enjoy!

9. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days.

For nutritional information, additional recipes and health tips, visit

Quick Baked Pears


• 2 large pears

• 2 teaspoons brown sugar

• ½ teaspoon cinnamon

• ¼ cup apple juice

• ½ cup dried cranberries or dried cherries or dried fruit mixture of your choice

• ¼ cup low-fat granola

• Vanilla frozen yogurt or low-fat whipped cream – optional


1. Cut in half lengthwise. Remove core and seeds, creating a hollow space. Try using a melon baller or grapefruit spoon.

2. Place pear halves, with hollowed core sides up, in a glass pie plate. Combine sugar and cinnamon with apple juice until sugar is dissolved. Carefully spoon mixture evenly and spread along each pear half.

3. Combine dried fruit and granola; mound into hollows of the pear halves. Pour the apple juice in and around pear halves. Cover dish loosely with wax paper.

4. Cook in microwave on HIGH 6-8 minutes or until the pears are tender when pierced with a knife. Let stand in the dish 5 minutes. You can also bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes at 400 degrees F. Use a large spoon to transfer the pears to serving plates.

5. Drizzle juices from pie plate over pears and serve with frozen yogurt or whipped cream. Enjoy!

For nutritional information, additional recipes and health tips, visit

Holiday Mediterranean Dip served with Christmas Tree Veggie Platter


• Hummus – homemade or store bought

• Labneh or plain Greek yogurt

• 1-2 Artichoke hearts, chopped

• 2-4 Tomatoes, de-seeded and chopped

• ~2 Cucumbers, de-seeded and chopped

• 1-2 cups Kalamata olives or black olives, de-seeded and chopped

• 2-4 roasted red peppers, chopped

• 6 ounces of feta

• Parsley, chopped


1. Once vegetables are chopped. Place them in a colander/strainer in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This will remove some of the excess water.

2. Layer hummus on the bottom of a square or rectangular dish.

3. Mix 2 ounces of feta cheese with 2 cups of Labneh or plain Greek yogurt. Then layer on top of hummus.

4. Then layer various chopped vegetables on top.

5. Serve with vegetables or chips. Enjoy!

For nutritional information, additional recipes and health tips, visit

Reindeer Cheese and Crackers


• Laughing Cow cheese wedges

• Maraschino cherry, cut in half

• Mini dark chocolate chips

• Small pretzel twists

• Whole grain cracker


1. Place wedge of Laughing Cow cheese on cracker.

2. Place half of cherry at the point as the reindeer nose.

3. Place two pretzel twists on the other two corners of the triangle wedge for reindeer ears.

4. Place two chocolate chips on cheese for eyes. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

For nutritional information, additional recipes and health tips, visit

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