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12 Days of Holiday Food Gifts

Give the gift of healthier edible goodies this season.

4. On the fourth day of Christmas, my FOODIE gave to me… 4 whole-wheat cake mixes.

Whole-wheat cake mixes? That's right. They're brand new from Bob's Red Mill, headquartered in Oregon. There are four flavors, each calling for a small amount of vegetable oil and each with its own topping suggestion printed on the package:

  • Lemon Poppy Seed Cake Mix.
  • Chocolate Cake Mix.
  • Gingerbread Cake Mix.
  • Spice Apple Cake Mix.

A serving of each of these cakes contains around 2 grams of fiber, 220 calories, and 17 grams of sugar. A nonstick, 9-inch cake pan completes the gift nicely. Find them at www.bobsredmill.com

5. On the fifth day of Christmas my FOODIE gave to me … 5 chocolate bars!

Remember the "5 golden rings"? I can't think of anything, food-wise, that compares to the preciousness of gold other than chocolate. Here are a couple of options (but there are, of course, many more wonderful chocolate bars out there to behold).

Moonstruck Chocolate Co. sells a 5-bar pack of elegant chocolate bars for $15. It includes the standard milk, ivory and dark chocolate, plus Chile Variado and Espresso Bean flavors. Find them at www.moonstruckchocolate.com

Dagoba Organic Chocolate is one of a few organic chocolate companies in the U.S., and their bars are loaded with the phytochemicals that the cocoa bean is naturally endowed with. May I suggest their 12 Bar Alchemist's Blend box? It's a mix of their top-selling dark and milk chocolate bars, including flavors like "Brasilia," with coconut and roasted exotic nuts, "Chai" with a secret blend of chai spices and crystallized ginger, and "Mon Cherri" with cherries/vanilla. According to my calculations, if you give away two gifts of 5 chocolate bars each, that leaves two bars for you. But who's counting? Find them at www.dagobachocolate.com

6. On the sixth day of Christmas, my FOODIE gave to me… 6 faux frying essentials.

This Faux Frying Gift Basket uses a brand spanking new nonstick frying pan as the basket (item No. 1). The pan is filled with these 5 other faux frying essentials:

  • A nonstick spatula to help "fry" food in your nonstick frying pan and bakeware.
  • A silicon brush, for brushing canola oil lightly onto food or your nonstick frying pan and bakeware.
  • A can of canola cooking spray for lightly covering your food or pans.
  • A small bottle of canola oil. Light frying often requires a small amount of an oil that can handle higher temperature oven-frying and light pan-frying.
  • A cookbook that contains recipes for lighter versions of "fried" foods. Of course, I recommend my own book Fry Light, Fry Right, which is all about having your favorite fried foods and eating light, too.

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