This season is hardly synonymous with healthful meals, but just because it’s not necessarily the tradition, it doesn’t mean that healthy holiday recipes that offer both nutrition and flavor don’t exist. Of course they do!
This year, as families come together to celebrate, enjoy each other’s company (and push each other’s buttons), consider preparing a few healthy holiday recipes among the fatty, salty and sugary ones that everyone expects and enjoys.
The following are some healthy holiday recipes that you can add to the table to keep the nutrients flowing but without sacrificing taste.
Spicy kale and spinach salad – instead of a usual green salad made of iceberg lettuce, make sure your starter packs a punch of both taste and nutrition. Be sure to add some fun ingredients such as grated pecorino cheese as well as sliced strawberries and a touch of lemon, but for that extra zing, shake on a few red pepper flakes, too!
Maple roasted Brussels sprouts – although green veggies may not usually be the most popular ones on the holiday spread, this year, you can make sure that there will be more battles over the last sprout than there were over the drumsticks. Adding a touch of pancetta and maple syrup can add some decadence while sneaking lots of vitamins and minerals onto the dinner plates.
Apple basil cranberry sauce – usually serve cranberry sauce but don’t want the sugar? Swap out the added sugar water you’d usually use for some apple juice, instead. At the last minute, throw in some chopped fresh basil leaves for added freshness and complex layers of flavor.
Carrots with honey orange sauce – you know that carrots are a great part of a healthful meal, but they are always the dish most likely to produce leftovers. Change that up, this year, by adding some zip to your carrots. Boil them in the typical way, then toss them in a pan with a splash of orange juice and a touch of honey. They’re a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
Roasted asparagus – even asparagus can become a fast fav when you roast it in the oven coated in olive oil and a few cloves of garlic that have been crushed through a garlic press.
Cranberry pear crisp – just because you want a nutritious meal it doesn’t mean you can’t have dessert. Chop up some peeled pears, toss in some cranberries, add some crushed ginger and go ahead and use your favorite crispy sugary topping…after all, it’s the holidays!