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!
Finding Healthy Holiday Recipes You’ll Love
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. That said, this doesn’t mean that you need to eat those dishes exclusively. It’s also important to remember that while you may feel festive throughout the rest of the season, this doesn’t mean that you should be eating as though it’s a feast day every day.
If you want to keep having dishes that help you to keep up the spirit of the season without cutting down on your nutrition or that make it harder to keep your weight under control, then healthy holiday recipes should be a main focus for you this year. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be eating salads just to keep the calories down. Instead, it focuses on satisfying, filling, but nutrient-packed meals you’ll serve yourself in reasonable portions.
Use These Healthy Holiday Recipes to Get Started
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.
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!
Pumpkins are packed with nutrients that are fantastic for your overall health, for fighting cancer, and even for preserving your vision, making them an important part of how to keep your eyes healthy. Pick up a sweet pie pumpkin and cut off the top, scooping out the insides just as you would if you were going to carve a jack-o-lantern. Don’t forget to set the seeds aside to bake them as nutritious, filling and high-fiber snacks!
In a bowl, mix cubes of whole grain bread, diced onions cooked until translucent, boiled potatoes, cubed, apple cubes, sage, rosemary, and some summer savory, as well as some black pepper. If you want this dish to provide a whole meal, toss in some cooked, chopped chicken or turkey breast or your favorite beans and/or chickpeas. Pour the mixture into the pumpkin and really pack it in there, jamming the lid back on. Place it into your pressure cooker (you may need to chop the stem off the lid for this. Just pop it off at the base). Pressure cook for about 50 minutes to an hour…carve the whole pumpkin into the number of portions that there are people being served. Everything in this healthy holiday recipe can be eaten except the pumpkin skin.