By Jude Teal

For most of us, December is the busiest month of the year. Starting with putting up the nativity scene, the outside lights, and decorating the tree. Then comes all the shopping, wrapping and cards. And, if that isn’t enough, we are faced with cooking and eating!

The eating is fun and delicious, but often not too healthy. Chocolate and cocoa often play a big role in these holiday treats. But as long as the recipes are low in fat, chocolate is OK. Chocolate and cocoa contain a lot of antioxidants, especially dark chocolate that may keep blood pressure down and reduce the risk of blood clotting.

So, just don’t eat all the candy in your Christmas stocking at one time like Old What’s His Name does every year. “Santa” is filling his stocking with vegetables this year! (don’t tell him!)

Jude Teal is a former chef, consultant and caterer from Silicon Valley. Using her Cordon Bleu background she creates healthy recipes that still taste delicious. Email her at" class="auto" target="_blank">class="s1"> if you have questions about recipes.