‘Tis the season of excess and naughty indulgences. Seasonal celebrations are one of the best ways to fit off the blahs of winter. However, they doesn’t have to ruin your diet. Here are 25 healthy holiday recipes that are deliciously seasonal and celebratory.
Fermented vegetables are an easy and delicious way to add a boost of probiotics to your diet. They are so simple to make and add a level of sophistication to holiday gatherings. Here are a few of my favourite recipes.
- Pickled cocktail onions are so much better than your usual store-bought cocktail onions.
- Try garlic flavoured carrot sticks.
- This pickled beet recipe comes with 5 different flavour options!
- Giardiniera is Italian-style pickled vegetables.
- Sweet and spicy vegetable pickles can be made with your choice of seasonal vegetables.
Health Holiday Appies
Veggies and dips, cheese platters and other appetizers can be a delicious way get in a little extra nutrition.
- Skip buying fancy cheeses and make your own herb and garlic cheese spread. Bonus points for using homemade kefir or yogurt cheese!
- Homemade tzatziki is a naturally probiotic (yogurt!) and lower-in-fat dip. It’s a delicious and healthy alternative to the usual vegetable dips.
- Hummus is a staple at most parties. Did you know it’s also REALLY easy and affordable to make your own? Not only that, you get to avoid all the extra fat, preservatives and whatever else might be in the tub of store-bought hummus.
- Salt-brined pickled eggs are high in protein and probiotic! They also make the most amazing deviled eggs.
- No charcuterie platter would be complete without an interesting sauce or two. This healthy apple chutney is naturally sugar-free and full of flavour.
- Celebrate red, white and green with a caprese salad on a toothpick.
Load up on Vegetables
A healthy diet should be made up of about 50% fruits and vegetables. That’s actually quite a lot of vegetables… luckily there are many delicious recipes for salads and vegetables sides. Here are a few seasonal options:
- Colourful honey garlic coleslaw
- Balsamic and garlic roasted Brussels sprouts
- Roasted beet, walnut and goat cheese salad
- Roasted acorn squash
Prebiotic side dishes
Instead of reaching for white bread and fluffy mashed potatoes, try to include a few side dishes that are high in fiber. Prebiotics are high fiber foods (whole grains or resistant starches) that feed the healthy bacteria in your digestive system. They also help regulate blood sugar levels and leave you feeling full and satisfied.
Here’s a few side dishes that are packed with prebiotics:
- Rustic and delicious high fiber sourdough bread
- Oven roasted Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes)
- Red wine braised lentils
- Garlicy leeks in olive oil
- Steel cut oats risotto
Sugar Free Treats
Sweet treats are a staple of the holiday season. However, they don’t have to be sugar-ladened and cloyingly sweet. Here are a few recipes that can either be sweetened to taste, or are naturally sweetened with fruit.
- Frothy whipped eggnog is a favourite holiday treat.
- Mincemeat is a fruit-filled holiday staple that most often eaten as a tart filling. However, I enjoy mincemeat as a delicious accompaniment to a cheese board or as a filling for a shortbread thumbprint cookie.
- Grinch fruit kebabs are just made with fruit!
- Chocolate avocado mousse is a date sweetened indulgence.
- Try an orange and banana sweetened ice cream.