Christmas is right around the corner, and millions of people all over the world are celebrating that and other winter holidays. Those celebrations include many things, but perhaps the most common— and delicious— one is food!
For many people, the holiday season is a time of indulgence and breaking diets. And there’s nothing wrong with that! While there’s never a good time for food shaming, this is certainly a time to avoid that. You should feel free to enjoy whatever foods you want without guilt.
However, some people do want to try and maintain a healthy diet over the holidays. It can be very difficult, with treats and goodies all over the place. But if you do the cookies, there are some delicious recipes that you can enjoy without breaking your diet! Let’s take a look at a few.
1. Slow cooker mulled apple cider
If you’ve never had mulled cider, you’re definitely missing out. And this slow cooker mulled cider is a great one to try out! Mulled cider comes from the older mulled wine, which is wine that is heated and combined with aromatic spices.
Mulled apple cider is delicious, incredibly easy to make, and perfect for any holiday event. You can follow the recipe or add in your own spices and ingredients, to make a cider to fit your specific tastes. And, since you make it yourself, there doesn’t need to be a lot of added sugars.
Typically, mulled cider is made as an alternative to mulled wine for those who don’t want to drink alcohol. But that doesn’t mean you can’t spike it if you want to! Mulled cider tastes great with rum, whiskey, soju, and bourbon, and you can try out other things if you like.
2. Spinach artichoke dip
Many holiday meals wouldn’t be complete without a good appetizer. This spinach artichoke dip is a great option. It’s easy to make, and delicious.
It has few ingredients, and most of them are good for you. It can be paired with chips or, for a healthier alternative, toasted bread or even unsalted pretzels. It will have you and your guests hungry for more, and feeling good about what you’re eating.
3. Fresh ham with red pepper glaze
For many people, ham is an essential part of holiday meals. My family makes it every year, and we have a recipe that everyone loves. However, our recipe contains a lot of sugars, fat, and alcohol, so let’s take a look at something a little more healthy!
This fresh ham is a perfect main dish for those looking for a healthy option without losing classic holiday flavor. Fresh ham, rather than cured ham, cuts out unnecessary sugars and fats. And the glaze is simple, easy to make, and incredibly tasty. It will be sure to satisfy your whole family.
4. Orange cranberry chicken
For those that want a traditional holiday flavor but don’t want ham, this orange cranberry chicken is the way to go. It has the holiday flavor of cranberry, combined with delicious orange, rosemary, honey, and garlic.
The chicken is roasted, rather than fried or baked, so it gets a deep flavor without extra fats. And orange is so good, it can be combined with almost anything to create a delicious punch of flavor!
5. Gingerbread chocolate chip muffins
Dessert is probably the hardest part of finding healthy holiday recipes. I mean, how do you make something sugary, sweet, and tasty without it being too unhealthy? Luckily, there are a few options, and one is these gingerbread chocolate chip muffins.
They are made with almond flour, so they’re gluten free, and rather than sugar, they get sweetness from vanilla and honey or maple syrup. Plus, they’re packed full of holiday spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger.
These muffins have all of the delicious flavor of classic holiday gingerbread and chocolate, without the extra sugars. They’re a great option for those looking for a healthy dessert option.
6. Sugar cutout cookies
It wouldn’t be the Christmas season without cookies. I just made over 500 cookies to give to people for the holidays, and I know thousands of other people are making them as well. Cookies are to Christmas what a soccer ball is to soccer: absolutely essential.
But making cookies healthy can be a challenge. This sugar cutout cookie recipe provides a way to make classic shaped sugar cookies in a healthy way. It uses whole wheat flour, honey, and lemon zest to get all of the flavor without compromising diets.
And, if you want to be even healthier, you can replace the butter with plant butter! It is better for you, vegan-friendly, and it gives cookies a much better texture. Personally, I think almond-based butter works the best, but avocado is good as well.
These are just a few of the healthy holiday recipes that are out there. If you spent some time looking, you could find dozens more that would be just as delicious. And never be afraid to make your own! All it takes is a few ingredient swaps and some creativity to come up with delicious, healthy holiday recipes.