12 Healthy Holiday Recipes
Still planning the menu for your holiday feast? Here’s a round-up of some festive and healthy recipes for you to enjoy with your loved ones...
Still planning the menu for your holiday feast? Here’s a round-up of some festive and healthy recipes for you to enjoy with your loved ones this Christmas.
A yogurt parfait not only looks great at your holiday brunch but is also fun to put together. You can customize this tasty breakfast dish by layering Greek or vanilla yogurt, and your choice of fresh or defrosted berries. Sprinkle granola on top for an added crunch.
You can easily prepare a yogurt parfait the night before to make your Christmas morning more peaceful.
Banana Oatmeal Pancakes
These Banana Oatmeal Pancakes from the Healthy Maven will be a wonderful breakfast treat before you dive into the festivities. They provide an excellent source of protein and fiber and don’t require a huge mess to make.
Just throw all of the ingredients into a blender to simplify your cooking and clean-up. Top the finished pancakes with fruit, nuts, or maple syrup for a sweet start to this joyful season.
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 large ripe bananas
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other milk) – more for thinning out
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of sea salt
coconut oil, for cooking
optional add-ins: chocolate chips, mixed berries, nuts
Add all ingredients (except coconut oil and add-ins) to a blender and blend until smooth. If using add-ins, stir in now. Mixture may have thickened in blender so stir in more milk 1 tablespoon at a time to thin out, if needed. Add coconut oil to a pan or skillet over medium heat. Pour in about a 1/3 a cup of batter per pancake and cook until all bubbles have popped (about 2-3 mins). Flip over and cook for one more minute. Repeat until all pancakes have been cooked. Top with more banana, maple syrup, nuts or desired toppings and serve immediately. YIELDS 8 PANCAKES.
Caramelized Onion, Broccoli, and Spinach Frittata
This protein-packed dish is a delicious and filling option to kick start your holiday. It will feed a hungry crowd, plus you can prepare it ahead of time and pop it in the oven before brunch.
½ lb broccoli (about 1–2 crowns of broccoli or 1 bunch of baby broccoli), chopped
1 onion, halved and sliced
1 box of mighty spinach (5 oz)
salt, to taste
Olive oil, butter or ghee for cooking
Prep your vegetables and place the broccoli into a heat proof bowl. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat an oven safe 10” skillet (preferably nonstick or cast iron) over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of olive, ghee or butter (or a mix) to skillet. Once the fat is melted add the onions and a good pinch of salt and turn the heat to medium low. Cook the onions, stirring every few minutes, until they are golden and caramelized, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, pour boiling water over the broccoli and cover with a plate for about 5 minutes. Drain the broccoli and set aside. Once the onions are very fragrant, golden and soft, add the broccoli and another good pinch of salt. Next add in the box of greens and cook until it is all wilted. Meanwhile, whisk 10 eggs with 2 good pinches of salt. Once all the greens are wilted add the eggs into the skillet and stir gently to evenly distribute the vegetables. Turn up the heat to medium high and cook for about 5 minutes until the bottom is golden. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook until the frittata is set, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting into desired slices. Serve immediately. YIELDS 8 SLICES.
A Crudite is a classic and easy-to-assemble appetizer for your Christmas get-together. Combine your favorite vegetables on a tray with some nuts, seeds, crackers, and/or a dip or two. You can substitute the classic Ranch dip for a healthier option like hummus or this Healthy Greek Yogurt Veggie Dip.
Pomegranate Pistachio Crostini
This unique appetizer from Taste of Home not only looks festive and cheerful, but it tastes great and combines three “superfoods” that are good for you!
Pomegranates and pistachios are both excellent sources of fiber, vitamins, protein, as well as antioxidants. Dark chocolate can also benefit your health.
36 slices French bread baguette
1 tablespoon butter, melted
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios
2 oz. dark chocolate candy bar, grated
Preheat oven to 400°. Arrange bread slices on an ungreased baking sheet; brush tops with butter. Bake until lightly toasted, 4-6 minutes. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Beat cream cheese, orange juice and honey until blended; spread over toasts. Top with remaining ingredients.
You can make this recipe for Spanakopita Stuffed Mushroom from Wholesome Yum in just 30 minutes. It combines delicious Greek flavors, feta cheese, spinach in an appetizer everyone will enjoy.
1 lb. Cremini mushrooms (about 24, stems removed)
1 tbsp Olive Oil
8 oz. spinach
1/2 cup Feta cheese (crumbled)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tbsp Fresh Parsley (minced)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper (grease lightly if using foil). Place the spinach in a bowl with a few tablespoons of water and cover with plastic wrap. Steam in the microwave for 2 minutes, until wilted. (You can also steam the spinach on the stove if you prefer.) Drain extra water and set aside to cool. Arrange the mushrooms cavity side up on the baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with sea salt and black pepper. When the spinach is cool enough to handle, squeeze it tightly several times to drain as much moisture as possible. It should turn into a small, tight ball. In a medium bowl, mix the spinach, feta cheese, garlic, and parsley. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste if desired. Spoon the mixture into the mushrooms. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft and golden.
Healthy Green Bean Casserole
Green Bean Casserole is a beloved side dish at many holiday parties but it’s also often a heavy side dish for your meal. This Healthy Green Bean Casserole offers a lighter option by using less butter, and switching out the Cream of Mushroom soup with a creamy parmesan gravy sauce. Seriously, yum.
For the onions: 2 medium to large yellow onions, thinly sliced - 1 tablespoon olive oil - 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (or whole wheat pastry flour or gluten free oat flour) -
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs - 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder - 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the green beans: 2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
For the mushrooms: 2 tablespoons butter, divided - 1 pound (16 ounces) sliced baby bella mushrooms - 1 teaspoon fresh thyme - Salt and pepper
For the sauce: 2 tablespoons butter - 1/3 cup all purpose flour (or whole wheat pastry flour or all purpose GF flour) - 2 cups low sodium chicken broth (or vegetarian broth) - 3 cloves garlic, minced - 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese - Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Place sliced onions in a large bowl, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil then add in flour, panko bread crumbs, garlic powder and salt. Use your hands to toss to combine, then place onions onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-25 minutes, using a tong to toss the onions every 8-10 minutes or so, until nice and crispy. Once done cooking, set onions aside. Reduce the heat in the oven to 350 degrees F. While the onions are cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add green beans in two batches, cooking for about 2-3 minutes per batch. I like to remove the green beans from the water with metal tongs and transfer to a large bowl, then repeat with additional green beans. Set aside. Next cook your mushrooms: Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add in 2 tablespoons butter. Once butter melts, add in the mushrooms, fresh thyme and salt and pepper. Cook mushrooms, stirring occasionally until mushrooms are nice and golden brown; about 4-6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. In the same skillet you cooked the mushrooms, add in 2 tablespoons of butter and place over medium heat. Once butter melts, whisk in flour and cook for 15-30 seconds until a paste forms, then VERY slowly add 2 cups of the broth, while you continue to whisk away any lumps. You’ll need to whisk pretty vigorously. Once smooth, increase heat, and bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes stirring every so often until sauce thickens up a bit, similar to a gravy. If it gets way too thick, add in 1/4-½ cup more broth. Once thick, turn off the heat and stir in minced garlic and parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spray a 2 quart baking disk or 9x13 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray, or grease with olive oil or butter. Add in green beans, mushrooms and 1/4 of the crispy onions; gently toss together. Pour the sauce all over, then cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove foil, add the remaining crispy onions on top and bake for 5-10 more minutes. Serves 8-10
Maple Cranberry Brussel Sprouts
You’ll have to make room for these Maple Cranberry Brussel Sprouts from Pure and Simple Nourishment on your menu. The cranberries add a pop of color to your Christmas buffet, and combining it with maple syrup will create a sweet and tart flavor combination that will delight your guests.
1 1/2 lbs Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoon avocado oil
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoon herbs de Provence spice blend
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (omit for AIP)
227 g fresh cranberries
3 tablespoon maple syrup
Preheat your oven to 400F. Trim the stems off of the Brussels sprouts and cut them in half. Add the cut Brussels sprouts to a bowl and add all the ingredients (except the maple syrup) and stir well to combine. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the Brussels spouts mix out into an even, single layer. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the Brussels sprouts are the crispness you prefer. Remove from oven and add the maple syrup, and stir well to combine. Serve and enjoy!
Roasted Artichoke Salad
This colorful side dish uses fresh and healthy ingredients and a flavorful vinaigrette, that will pair nicely with your main course. You can get the full recipe for this Roasted Artichoke Salad from Sunday Supper Movement.
Roasted Artichoke Hearts
28 ounces artichoke hearts in a jar
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper freshly cracked
¼ cup shallot minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper freshly cracked
½ cup fresh basil chopped
½ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons capers drained (or more to your liking)
2 roasted red peppers sliced thinly
¼ cup red onion minced
2 tablespoons parsley chopped fresh
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
How to Roast Artichokes
Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the artichoke hearts on the baking sheet and drizzle with ¼ cup olive oil. Sprinkle on ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper and toss until well-coated. Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the artichoke hearts are toasted golden-brown.
How to Make Vinaigrette with Basil
Place minced ¼ cup minced shallot, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp. Dijon mustard, 1 Tbsp. champagne vinegar, ½ tsp. kosher salt, and ¼ tsp. freshly cracked black pepper in the bowl of your food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 30 seconds. Then, add ½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves and process again into a green puree. With the processor running, slowly pour ½ cup olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube until the ingredients are finely pureed. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or until ready to use.
Assembling the Salad
When the artichoke hearts are done roasting, place them in a serving dish and toss with enough basil vinaigrette to coat. Add 3 Tbsp. capers, 1-2 sliced roasted red peppers, ¼ cups minced red onion, 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, and ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes to the dish. Give it a taste and adjust with seasoning as needed. Toss everything together and serve chilled or at room temperature with additional dressing.
Christmas Fruit Wreath
Put a festive spin on your fruit platter by creating a Christmas fruit wreath. Follow this guide from This Healthy Table for help making your own.
7 or 8 sprigs of mint
7 or 8 sprigs of rosemary
2 cups of green grapes, cut into small bunches
1 cup of red grapes
3 kiwis, peeled and chopped
½ cup raspberries
Place the sprigs of mint and rosemary on a large, round serving plate or board. Trim the ends if they are long. Create a circular pattern with the green grapes on top of the herbs. Then layer with kiwi and red grapes. Finally, add the raspberries on top, sprinkling them throughout the wreath.
Cacao Chia Pudding
How about pudding made from whole, nutritious foods? All Nutritious’ Cacao Chia Pudding will satisfy your chocolate craving without all the added sugar. It contains chia seeds which not only give this pudding its consistency but also offers many nutritional benefits, as they are high in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber.
2 tbsp unsweetened cacao powder
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 tbsp dark chocolate chips
unsweetened shredded coconut
Mix cacao powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, coconut milk, chia seeds, and dark chocolate chips together. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Divide the mixture into two cups/glasses afterward, and top up with raspberries and shredded coconut.
Honey Cinnamon Cookies
These Honey Cinnamon Cookies will go perfectly with your glass of eggnog (everything in moderation, right?). They are made without processed sugars as they are sweetened naturally with coconut sugar and honey, and feature all of the flavorful spices of the season.
2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt
1 ½ teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg powder
¾ cup extra virgin coconut oil softened (not melted)
¾ cup coconut sugar
¼ cup raw honey
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl beat together softened coconut oil and sugar with an electric mixer for few minutes. Mix in the egg, vanilla, and honey. Beat until combined. Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet and beat until combined. Put the plastic wrap over the bowl. Refrigerate dough for 30-60 minutes, until it is completely chilled. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll the dough into small balls (about the size of a walnut), using a scoop or tablespoon. Place the balls on prepared baking sheet, at least 2 inches apart. Bake 8-10 minutes. Remove cookies from the oven and let cool for a minute or two. Then transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.