4 Healthy Christmas Recipes That Make Happy Holidays for All
8 minute read
Nobody wants to miss out on all their favorite holiday foods, but then again, you don’t want to put your health goals on hold either. So, how do you manage to enjoy the holidays while still making healthy food choices? These amazing Christmas recipes are the solution you’ve been waiting for.
1. Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Many holiday vegetable dishes come covered with cheese or are deep-fried. They taste amazing, but end up losing nutritional value. To avoid unwanted calories, go back to the basics and strip the vegetables down to their basic goodness. Using brussels sprouts takes advantage of their antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, and more.
Ingredients: (10-12 servings)
2 lbs. brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 Tbsp. olive oil
0.25 cup balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss the prepared brussels sprouts in the oil and balsamic vinegar until coated. Spread brussels sprouts out on a baking sheet and drizzle with any remaining oil and vinegar mix.
2. Dust with salt and pepper.
3. Place baking sheet in the oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once in the middle. You want tender sprouts that are lightly browned and have a few little crispy spots.
2. Vegan Lemon Garlic Herb Roasted Potatoes
With a crispy exterior and a creamy interior, these fresh little spuds will leave guests wanting more. And there’s no need to smother them in cheese or sour cream to make them delicious when you have the flavor and health benefits of garlic.
1 lb. baby potatoes
1 ½ Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. basil leaves, minced
1 Tbsp. parsley leaves, minced
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. maple syrup
½ tsp. sea salt
Black pepper, to taste
Lemon Herb Olive Oil Mixture
3 Tbsp. olive oil
½ lemon, zest
1 tsp. parsley leaves, minced
1 tsp basil leaves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper. Make fine slits in each potato, but do not cut through.
2. In a large bowl, mix the first set of ingredients and toss so the potatoes are well coated. Place potatoes on baking sheet with cut sides up. Roast for 20-25 minutes.
3. In a small bowl, mix the lemon herb olive oil ingredients. At 20-25 minutes, baste the potatoes with half of the lemon herb mixture and put back in the oven to roast another 20-25 minutes.
4. When the potatoes are done, drizzle them with the reserved lemon herb oil and serve.
3. Healthy Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
If your weakness over the holidays is sweets, we’ve got some solutions to get you through this hurdle too. This sweet treat takes a holiday classic and makes it gluten-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free, and vegan.
1 ¼ cups almond meal
1 cup oat flour
½ cup granulated erytritol (or dry sweetener)
1 Tbsp ginger, ground
2 tsp cinnamon, ground
⅛ tsp nutmeg, ground
⅛ tsp cloves, ground
1 tsp double-acting baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup molasses
⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl whisk together: almond flour, oat flour, erythritol, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder, and salt.
2. With an electric mixer on the low setting, combine molasses, coconut oil, vanilla, and stevia thoroughly. Add dry ingredients slowly and mix until blended.
3. Roll one third of the dough between silicone baking sheets until an eighth-inch thick. Using the silicone sheets is a great trick that saves your cut-out shapes.
4. Dip your cookie cutters into a little oat flour and press onto cookie dough. Continue until you’ve made as many as you can on that sheet, and then peel away the excess cookie dough, leaving your cut-out shapes. Transfer that silicone baking sheet to the oven and bake for 12 minutes.
5. Slide a cookie sheet under the silicone sheet to transfer it to the counter and let cookies cool completely. Keep working the dough until it’s all gone.
4. Peppermint Fudge No-Bake Energy Bites
For those people who want a delicious holiday treat but prefer the “no muss, no fuss” variety, these little no-bake beauties really pack a punch. And they’re the perfect, guilt-free taste of the season.
½ cup raw almonds
⅓ cup pitted Medjool dates (about 6)
1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
¾ tsp. vanilla extract
⅛ tsp. peppermint extract
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 Tbsp. mini dark chocolate chips
½ cup crushed peppermint
1. In your food processor, start with the almonds and chop them. Then add the dates and blend well.
2. Next you will be adding the cocoa powder, both vanilla and peppermint extracts, and coconut oil. It may be necessary to add a couple of drops of water to help it combine.
3. Once that is well mixed, add the chocolate chips and pulse a few times to mix and chop the chips. Don’t over pulse—you want the chips to have some texture.
4. Scoop out a tablespoon of the mixture and roll it into a ball. It will be messy, and you may do more pressing than actually rolling it together to get the dates to bind. Then roll in crushed peppermint and set aside.
5. When you’re finished, move all the bites to the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes so they can set. Serve chilled.
The Bottom Line
The holidays can be fun without giving up your health goals. You can indulge in the flavors of the season without going overboard on calories, refined sugars, and unhealthy fats. These recipes give you a great place to start, and with planning you can come up with your own twists on Christmas classics. Create a season full of flavor and excitement, while keeping your health on track.