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From Our Freshologists: Holiday Snacks

Cookies and fudge and pie – oh, my. Traditional holiday snacks and desserts aren’t exactly health food. So, try to even things out with some of these new holiday snacks we’ve brought in. They’re festive and rich, but at least a little bit healthier than mainlining a platter of Christmas cookies.

Fix mix pretzels and popcorn: Popcorn or crunchy pretzel nubs, drizzled with caramel, dark chocolate and white chocolate. Salty and sweet, all at once – but thanks to the pretzel or popcorn base, the calories stay under 150 per serving.

Popcorn, Indiana flavored kettle corn: Famous for their kettle corn, this snack maker has a lot of decadent flavors, just in time for the holidays. But they’re not nearly as bad as knocking back a few cookies. Cinnamon-sugar popcorn, crunchily sweet with just a bit of salt, is only 130 calories for 2.5 cups! And even the black-and-white popcorn, drizzled with white and dark chocolate, is just 140 calories for a 1.5 cup snack. Plus, there’s no cholesterol, no gluten, and no preservatives in these natural, simple treat.

Immaculate Baking Co. cookies: OK, yes, they’re cookies. But these ready-to-bake, pre-shaped balls of cookie dough come from a company that’s committed to natural ingredients, and gives a portion of its income to charities that support children and the arts. Their holiday flavors include gingerbread spice, vanilla sugar, and my chocolate-peppermint cookies, and they’re just  70 calories each. And you can keep them in the fridge and just bake a few at a time, so you won’t be so tempted to over-indulge.

Stacy’s Simply Gingerbread Pita Chips: These crispy baked chips, from the Stacy’s line of bagel and pita chips, taste like gingersnaps. They’re not-too-sweet, fragrant with cloves and cinnamon, and really crisp and crunchy.  A serving has 140 calories, about a third of them from fat.