Santa isn’t the only one working hard on Christmas Eve. His reindeer have a marathon night of flying ahead of them, so when leaving snacks out for your special visitors, don’t forget the reindeer fuel! Just like us, reindeer need healthy veggies for energy, but they also love a sweet treat. We have three reindeer snack recipes that will satisfy the hardest working team in the North Pole. Leave ’em out next to the milk and cookies (or sprinkle on the lawn to lure them to your house) and be prepared to find only crumbs come morning!

Rudolph’s Chocolatey Popcorn Surprise

1 tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil
1/3 cup popcorn kernels
1/2 cup peanuts
4 ounces good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided

Pop the kernels using your preferred method—on the stovetop with a pot and oil or in an air popper. Toss in the peanuts.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Place the chocolate and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl. Heat in the microwave in 30-second increments until chocolate is very soft and becomes completely liquid when stirred. Immediately pour over the popcorn and stir to coat thoroughly. Spread the popcorn evenly onto the baking sheet and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Let sit at room temperature until chocolate has hardened, about 1 hour. We recommend setting a separate bowl out for Rudolph, who has a mean chocolate craving.

The Classic: Carrots to Crunch On

Just like us, reindeer are tempted with too many sweet and sugary treats this time of year, so give them a break from the sugar by setting out a classic: Fresh, crunchy carrots. Insider tip: They like them best with the green tops still on.

 

Sparkling Reindeer Chow

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon sparkling sugar crystals (any color) or glitter if you are confident the kiddies won’t try and steal a bite.

Mix the ingredients together and sprinkle outside on Christmas Eve before heading up to bed.

—Erin Feher

featured image: jackmack34 via Pixabay

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