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Spiced Apple Cider Instead of Eggnog and Sweet Potato Custard

Spiced Apple Cider
This hot cider recipe has a special occasion feeling to it, but it doesn't have the fat and calories of eggnog. Each ¾ cup serving has only 71 calories. Compare that to an 8-ounce glass of eggnog with rum, with a calorie count of 450.

Ingredients:

12 whole allspice berries
6 whole cloves
2 quarts apple juice or apple cider
1 quart of water
3 tea bags, with or without caffeine
1/2 orange with peel, thinly sliced
1/2 lemon with peel, thinly sliced
2 cinnamon sticks
Ground allspice, to taste

Directions:

  1. Place whole allspice and cloves in a tied cheesecloth packet.
  2. In a saucepan, bring apple juice or cider, water, tea bags, orange, lemon, cinnamon and cheesecloth packet to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes.
  3. Remove cheesecloth packet, tea bags and orange and lemon slices. Simmer 5 minutes.
  4. Add ground allspice to taste.
  5. Serve hot or chilled. Garnish with slices of lemon or orange.

Sweet Potato Custard
It's awfully hard to give up dessert during festive times. Serve this custard to guests, or take it with you as your contribution to a holiday dinner. You'll be doing a favor for all the other people who want a heart healthy dessert.

Ingredients:

1 cup mashed, cooked sweet potato
1/2 cup mashed banana (about 2 small bananas)
1 cup evaporated skim milk
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 beaten egg yolks (or 1/3 cup egg substitute)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Non-stick cooking spray, as needed
1/4 cup raisins
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together sweet potato and banana.
  2. Add milk, blending well.
  3. Add brown sugar, egg yolks and salt, mixing thoroughly.
  4. Spray a 1-quart casserole with non-stick spray. Transfer sweet potato mixture to a casserole dish.
  5. Combine raisins, sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over top of sweet potato mixture.
  6. Bake in a pre-heated 325-degree oven for 40 to 54 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Yields six half-cup servings.

Source:
American Heart Association, 2001

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