We are in the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle, a time when it’s easy to temporarily lose a grip on our typical healthy eating routine.
Last week, I gave a presentation on “Healthy Holiday Eating” with parents of preschoolers. I offered a few tips to help the parents feel well through the holiday season. One tip I suggested the parents try at their next holiday party: rather than automatically taking a scoop of every food available, try instead scanning the table and choosing foods that have some nutritional value.
These Brandied Raisin and Ricotta Crostini Bites offer a great deal of nutritional value and are a welcomed guest at the healthy holiday table. California raisins are fat-free, cholesterol-free, have no added sugar and are high in fiber, potassium, and iron. The whole wheat raisin bread offers fiber, and several B vitamins. And the ricotta and toasted almonds are high in protein and calcium.
And just like a gift that keeps on giving, these Brandied Raisin and Ricotta Crostini Bites leave you feeling good, rather than setting you back like more indulgent holiday bites might do. California raisins lend just the right touch of natural sweetness to the crunchy raisin bread crostini and brandied raisin topping. Smooth, rich ricotta adds creaminess to the bites, and the almonds add a toasty crunch.until next time...
Brandied Raisin and Ricotta Crostini Bites (makes 20 bites)
- 1/2 cup California Raisins
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp. whole allspice
- about 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 5 slices whole wheat cinnamon raisin bread
- 2 Tbsp. toasted sliced almonds
- flake sea salt (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a small saucepan, add brandy, raisins, cinnamon stick and allspice; simmer on low heat about 5 minutes until liquid cooks down and raisins plump. Turn off heat. Discard cinnamon stick and allspice berries.
- Meanwhile, cut each slice cinnamon raisin bread into four quarters. Spray bread with cooking spray; arrange on baking sheet and toast about 8 minutes until golden and crisp (the little toasties will crisp up when start to cool).
- To assemble crostini, dollop about 1 tsp. of ricotta onto each toast. Spoon the soaked raisins on top and sprinkle with toasted almonds.