Although our holiday menus revolve around the delicious meats and savory sides, there’s still a soft spot for many of us when it comes to holiday sweets. Whether it’s baking cookies this time of year or serving show-stopping desserts at our holiday tables, we might give a little more leeway for treats as part of the special occasion. Below we’ve got recipes for every taste and preference—from Primal to keto, chocolate to peppermint, candy to mousse, pie to cheesecake…and even a jarred Primal cookie mix for gift-giving. Enjoy, and let us know what treats you’ll be baking and sharing this holiday.
There’s nothing like a showstopping baked ham at the center of your holiday table. A succulent ham pairs well with virtually any side, looks impressive in your serving dish, and makes the best leftovers. The best part about a good baked ham recipe is that it’s easy to prepare, and cook time is short compared to other sizeable cuts of meat. The downside? Most baked ham recipes feature brown sugar, maple syrup, or even soda. If you’re trying to keep your sugar or carbs down, sticky-sweet glazes aren’t the best route to take. Should you miss out on a great ham because you’re watching your sugar? No way. Here’s a baked ham recipe that plays off of ham’s smoky, salty qualities with spicy mustard, rosemary, and a touch of honey to round it out. Here’s how it’s done. Mustard and Rosemary Baked Ham Recipe Serves: 16* for an 8lb boneless Time in the kitchen: 15 minutes prep, plus 1 hour* of cook time *Varies based on size of ham Ingredients 1 half Bone-In Ham, around 8 lbs. (We went with a spiral sliced) 1/4 cup water 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 1/3 cup spicy brown mustard 6 Tbsp. chopped rosemary 2 Tbsp. honey 8 cloves grated garlic 1/2 tsp. black pepper 1/4 tsp. ground cloves 4 apples, peeled and sliced Directions Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Place your soaked (see Tips section) and dried ham half cut side down in a baking dish or roasting pan so the fat cap side is facing up. Use a knife to score the fat cap in a checkered pattern. Pour the water in the pan and cover the pan tightly with foil. Place the ham in the oven for approximately 40-45 minutes. While the ham is roasting, combine the apple cider vinegar, mustard, rosemary, honey, garlic, black pepper and cloves. Remove the ham from the oven. Rub about 2/3 of the mustard sauce all over the ham. You can also insert pieces of garlic clove in some of the cuts. Insert a meat thermometer probe into the center of the ham and set the desired temperature for 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange the sliced apples all around the ham and toss the slices in any accumulated juices on the bottom of the pan. Cover the ham again for about 45 minutes. Remove the foil and baste the ham in the pan juices and give the apple slices a toss. Coat the ham in the remaining sauce. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees and roast until the internal temperature is reached and the outside is browned and bubbly. You can baste the ham a few times during the last roast if you’d like. Remove the ham from the oven and plate the ham slices with some of the apples and pan sauce. Serve with your favorite holiday sides, like roasted carrots and brussels sprouts. Tips: Some hams will be too salty if you don’t soak them prior to baking. Purchase your ham … Continue reading “Mustard and Rosemary Baked Ham Recipe”
Research of the Week
Men who use fish oil have bigger, better balls.
A junk food diet reduces the amount of hedonic reward we get from other sources.
Less shoe, more stability and mobility in people with a history of falls.
Men vary more in their cooperativeness than women.
Chimps don’t show evidence of cumulative cultural learning.
You know that black hole of time between work and bed? There’s nowhere to go, nothing new to watch, and a bottle of wine (or bag of chips) calling your name from the other room. Call it the pandemic happy hour or straight-up boredom, but if you’re using your after hours time in a less-than-ideal way, check out this week’s post from PHCI Coaching Director, Erin Power. And keep your questions coming in our Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook Group or below in the comments. Ann Marie asked: I don’t have a problem eating healthy during the day, but I can’t seem to control myself after dinner. I just feel ravenous, even when we’ve made a healthy meal. I try to hold out but once my husband goes into the kitchen for a snack, I’m right there with him. And once I start, I can’t stop eating!! How do I tame my late-night cravings? I think it’s safe to say that your eating cycle is off, Ann Marie. What do I mean by eating cycle? It has to do with your circadian rhythm. People used to eat during the daylight hours and fast at night. But with our new normal, there’s a good chance you’re burning the candle at both ends and just grabbing a coffee or quick bar or yogurt to fuel yourself during the day – and then feasting at night. You’ve totally moved away from your body’s natural rhythm. Why does this matter? Because your circadian rhythm controls everything from your appetite to your body temperature to your hormones – even how fast you heal from wounds. This study looked at the behaviours of night-shift workers and found that they have a 43% higher risk of obesity than their 1st shift counterparts. The culprit? Circadian misalignment. Researchers had participants who worked the midnight to 6am shift complete a self-administered questionnaire about their occupational history, socio-demographics, habits around food, smoking, alcohol drinking, leisure-time physical activity, sleep patterns, and mental stress. Of the 3,871 participants, 26.8% were overweight and 83% were obese. They were also more likely to smoke and drink more alcohol. My guess is that you’re on autopilot most of the day, totally oblivious to your hunger cues. And once your body perceives that it’s made it to the end of that day, it shifts into ravenous mode. In general, your body doesn’t have a lot of need for fuel at this time of day, so eating your largest meal at suppertime, then snacking all night is actually out of alignment with your biology. So how do you get your circadian rhythm back on track? Eat your biggest meal during the daylight hours. I like to start with a satiating protein rich breakfast. If the idea of eating within the first few hours of waking doesn’t sound appealing at all, you’re likely still full from dinner the night before, so begin tapering the size of your last meal (including snacks) for a few days and you’ll notice a … Continue reading “Ask a Health Coach: How to Stay on Track After Hours”
Believe it or not, Christmas has never been my favorite holiday. As a kid, I was always partial to Halloween—not just for the candy, but more for the adventure of venturing out into the black night with your best friends and marauding all over town. As I’ve gotten older, Thanksgiving has enjoyed special prominence in my life for obvious reasons—the food, the gratitude, the family gathering around the table to partake in the bounty laid before us, the lack of adornment and focus on what truly matters. I wasn’t so into gifts as a kid, instead preferring to mow lawns or paint houses to pay for my own stuff. Or perhaps it was my parents who preferred that I work for my possessions and helped instill that in me. But that’s not to say Christmas wasn’t a big deal. It was.
I have to admit: There’s something special about the Christmas or holiday “spirit,” whatever that is. You can feel it in the air, and I’m not quite sure what’s behind it. All I know is that it exists.
Let’s not beat around the holly bush: the holiday season just isn’t the same this year. You could get down in the dumps about it OR you could get creative about finding ways to celebrate with friends and family. Honestly, it’s ok to do both. Grieve the ambiguous losses we’re all experiencing this season while also looking for ways to make the best of what we have. We might be apart from loved ones, but we can still be together in spirit. One thing I’ve realized this year is how often physical closeness is used as a proxy for bonding. That is to say, people get together in the same physical space and call that “bonding,” when all they’re really doing is being near one another. Being in the same room is great—oh, how I miss it—but by itself, it doesn’t generate emotional closeness or deep connection. Nobody is making lasting memories simply by virtue of watching a football game and eating turkey together. This year, we have an opportunity to get out of old holiday ruts and try something different, maybe even start new traditions. Somebody needs to put the ho-ho-ho back in the holidays, and I nominate you. Here are some ideas you can put into action: Things You and Your Loved Ones Can Create Together Family members or friends all contribute, and the final project is something special to keep for years to come. You’ll learn more about your family members and end up with a record of special memories or family favorites. As a bonus, these ideas are all free! Shared photo album Set up a shared album in any of the many online photo album tools. Invite family members to submit their favorite family photos from years past, or ask for old holiday photos specifically. Level up: Optionally, arrange the photos chronologically. Do a family Zoom session and view the slideshow together, pausing to reminisce and tell stories about the scenes from the images. Family cookbook Everyone submits their favorite recipes. A shared Google doc will do the trick, but it’s even better if someone collects the recipes and arranges them in a pdf. Free tools like Canva make it simple to lay out a basic cookbook, which everyone then gets as a holiday gift. You could even have them spiral bound and sent to folks who prefer hard copies. Level up: Host a Zoom party where everyone cooks a special family recipe together or a virtual dinner party where everyone prepares recipes from the cookbook at home. Memory book Same idea as the cookbook, but everyone submits their favorite memories of holidays past or recounts the wildest family legends. Level up: Have one person collect the memories and put the stories in a slideshow to be shared during a virtual get-together. Music playlist Nominate an “emcee” to collect everyone’s favorite songs (holiday or otherwise) and create a family playlist in Spotify, for example. Level up: Everyone agrees to play the playlist at the same … Continue reading “How to Really Bond with Your Family This Holiday Season”