Healthy Food Baskets

A food basket is a great gift idea, but it doesn't have to be a decision between just good taste or just healthy.
December 15, 2013 5:25:22 AM PST
The holidays are very much about food, and a food basket is a great gift idea.

But it doesn't have to be a decision between just good taste or just healthy - you can have both! David Grotto, RDN and author of "The Best Things You Can Eat," came into our ABC 7 Eyewitness News studio with tips.

David's Recipes:

Simple Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Makes about 8 servings (3 strawberries per serving)


2 pint baskets California strawberries
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
Finely chopped toasted almonds or pistachios (optional)


Line large baking sheet with waxed paper.

Rinse strawberries and pat dry with paper towels.

In separate small, microwave-safe bowls (such as custard cups) melt chocolates, one at a time, in microwave at 50-percent (medium) power, allowing 1 1/2 to 2 minutes each.

Stir until smooth. (If not completely melted, microwave a few seconds longer.) Or, melt chocolate as package directs.

Holding strawberry by stem end, dip into chocolate to cover about three-fourths of berry; dip into nuts, if desired, and lay on baking sheet.

Repeat with remaining strawberries, chocolate and nuts.

Refrigerate until chocolate is set.

For Double- and Triple- Dipped Strawberries:

After first coating of chocolate is set, dip into contrasting chocolate, leaving part of the first chocolate exposed.

Repeat with third chocolate, if you wish, allowing each layer to set between dips.

To Drizzle Strawberries with Chocolate:

Microwave chocolate in small plastic bag until melted; squeeze into one corner of bag.

Lay strawberries close together on baking sheet.

With scissors, cut a small hole in corner of bag, and move back and forth over strawberries, squeezing bag gently.

Or, drizzle contrasting chocolate over strawberries that have been dipped.

Refrigerate until set.


Microwave melting times vary with amount of chocolate and wattage of your oven.

Chocolate amounts are approximate; amount needed depends on size of strawberries, and whether or not they are single, double, triple-dipped or drizzled.

Rosemary Nuts

Excerpt from 101 Optimal Life Foods, by David Grotto, Bantam Books, 2008

Servings: 28-30 portions (approx 1/4 cup portions)


2 lbs. assorted nuts, roasted; but not salted
4 tablespoons fresh rosemary needles; finely chopped
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/3 tablespoons kosher or sea salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter; melted


Pour nuts one-layer thick on a baking sheet and toast in a 350 oven for 14 minutes.

Mix all other ingredients into the melted butter in a bowl big enough to hold the nuts, and keep warm.

Nuts should also be warm when they are added to the butter mixture.

Gently re-heat either one until if they cool before combining.

Pour warm nuts into the bowl, and with two wooden spoons, mix thoroughly, coating nuts with the butter.

Let the nuts dry and cool completely before storing them in an airtight container.

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