11 Real Food Healthy Holiday Recipes
The holiday season is upon us again! Although this time of year can be notoriously hard on the waistline, we here at Organixx have been working on some delicious but still nutritious recipes for you to enjoy.
These recipes were created with real, whole foods to help keep you on track with your healthy routine – without causing the sugar highs and lows of most traditional holiday fare. For even more tips on keeping staying this holiday season, be sure to check out our 27 Holiday Hacks article.
Healthy Holiday Recipes
#1. Holiday Share Wreath With Crunchy Veggies & Pumpkin Dip
For a share platter that wows and is ultra-healthy and yummy, you and your guests will love this share wreath with its delicious pumpkin dip. Make sure to include the cumin in the pumpkin dip; it has some very real health benefits, including naturally helping to lower cholesterol levels.
8 cups broccoli florets
3 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed
2 cups green beans, trimmed
1 cup sugar snap peas, strings removed
2 cups cauliflower florets
9 cherry tomatoes
1 bunch curly kale
Large round or oval platter or serving board
1 cup canned or pureed pumpkin
1 can black beans, rinsed
1/2 can cannellini beans, rinsed
1 scoop collagen powder
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lemons, juiced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
To prepare vegetables: Rinse all vegetables well. Place a large pot of water on to boil and have a large bowl of ice water close by. Blanch broccoli for 1 or 2 minutes in the boiling water. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli to the ice bath to cool, then drain well. Blanch the Brussels sprouts, green beans, and snap peas using the same method. Let cool.
To prepare dip: Place all dip ingredients into the bowl of a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Transfer to decorative serving bowl, then place this in the center of your platter.
To assemble: Arrange the kale around the edges of the platter, placing the curly edges on the very outside edge of the platter or board. Top with broccoli florets, Brussels sprouts, green beans, snap peas and cauliflower in the form of a wreath. Garnish with cherry tomatoes (so they look like clumps of berries). Can be refrigerated for up to 1 day prior to serving.
#2. Super Healthy Snack Crackers
These vegan, gluten-free, and grain-free crackers are easy to prepare and surprisingly tasty. So much better for you than potato chips, corn chips, or dipping breads. Serve alongside your favorite dip or salsa.
1-3/4 cups ground flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon finely ground pink salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
1/3 to 1/2 cup filtered water
1-Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Into a large bowl add all dry ingredients (including the Herbes de Provence, which are a huge part of the flavor and enjoyment of this recipe). Add the water, starting with 1/3 cup. Using a fork, mix ingredients until a smooth dough forms. If necessary, add more water. This part can also be done with a food processor.
2-Place the dough between two sheets of baking parchment. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is the desired thickness of a cracker. Remove the top sheet of baking parchment and place dough (along with the bottom layer of baking parchment) onto a baking sheet. Using a sharp knife, gently cut dough into squares.
3-Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, until crisp and the edges are browned (try not to let the edges go black though). When the crackers along the outside edge of the baking sheet are done, remove them from the oven and return the others to the oven until they are golden brown. Let cool, then place into an airtight container.
#3. Gluten-Free, Low Fat Holiday Gravy
For those who wish to avoid the wheat and grease-laden traditional gravy, but still want depth of flavor, this recipe will do the trick. Vegan butter can be found at most large grocery stores and health food shops, or make your own from the recipe just below.
1/4 cup vegan butter
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms (optional)
1/4 cup gluten-free flour (have more in reserve)
3 cups organic vegetable stock
2 tablespoons tamari sauce
1 tablespoon gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, or favorite mixed herbs
Salt and pepper to taste
1-Into a large saucepan over medium heat, place the vegan butter and let melt. Add the onion and mushrooms (if using) and sauté until very soft and transparent (don’t rush this part, it should take about 10 minutes). Stir in your choice of flour, a small amount at a time, and it will form a thick paste coating the vegetables.
2-Slowly whisk in the vegetable stock, then the tamari and Worcestershire sauces, and your choice of herbs. Whisk until smooth, raise the heat a little, and bring mixture to a low, bubbling boil.
3-Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 more minutes, during which time it should thicken up nicely. If it gets too thick, add a little more stock. If it is too thin, take a ladle of gravy out and put it into a small bowl, whisking in some of the reserved flour to make a smooth slurry. Whisk the slurry into the hot gravy, raise heat as necessary until mixture has thickened. Taste test and season with salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with fresh parsley.
#4. Vegan Butter
If you’re cutting out dairy or following a vegan eating plan, you’ll love this vegan butter recipe inspired by lovingitvegan.com that is so much healthier than margarine made with vegetable oils. Note that you will need to remove this butter from the refrigerator a few minutes prior to spreading on fresh bread or creaming in a recipe as it will be quite solid. This should last up to two weeks in the refrigerator, and also freezes well.
1 cup refined coconut oil, melted (do not substitute with extra virgin coconut oil)
2 tablespoons your choice avocado or hemp oil
1/3 cup unsweetened hemp milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1-Into a blender container, add melted refined coconut oil along with the avocado/hemp oil, set aside.
2-In a measuring cup, add apple cider vinegar and hemp milk, stir to combine. The mixture should curdle slightly. Add this to blender container. Add nutritional yeast and salt and process in a blender until quite smooth.
3-Pour into a small glass dish and refrigerate until solid.
#5. Simple Cranberry Cinnamon Sauce
Rather than grabbing for a jar or can of sugar-laden cranberry sauce, this year try making your own. You will still need a sweetener, but using organic maple syrup or raw honey is a healthier option and you can control the sugar level which you can’t with pre-made cranberry sauce.
1 pound (453 grams) fresh organic cranberries, washed
1/2 cup pomegranate or orange juice
Your choice of maple syrup or raw, local honey
Cinnamon stick (or one drop of food grade cinnamon essential oil)
1-Into a large saucepan over med-high heat, place the rinsed cranberries, water, and cinnamon stick.
2-Choose your sweetener, and start with just 1/4 cup. As mixture begins to boil and cranberries pop, taste (careful, it’s hot!) and add more of the sweetener of your choice if needed. If you choose to use cinnamon essential oil instead of a cinnamon stick, add it at the end when cranberries are cooling.
3-Cranberry sauce stores well in a covered container in the fridge for a week or more, so feel free to make in advance. Place into a festive serving dish to serve.
#6. Ginger Beer Pomegranate Mocktail
This is a crowd pleaser – tart, tangy, and full of antioxidants and gingery flavor. Yes, there’s sugar in the ginger beer or ginger ale, but it isn’t a lot and helps to offset the tart cranberries. Despite the word “beer” in the name, ginger beer is typically non-alcoholic. Look for a brand that uses the fewest ingredients (i.e. additives) possible.
1 tray of ice cubes
1 cup (250 ml) cranberry juice (with no added sugar)
2 cups (500 ml) pomegranate juice (with no added sugar)
3 cups (750 ml) ginger beer (or ginger ale if you cannot find ginger beer)
Thin slices of fresh ginger root (peeled)
Juice from 1 lime
Fresh pomegranate seeds and mint leaves for garnish
1-In a large 8-cup glass pitcher, add a tray of ice cubes, then add the two juices and the ginger beer/ale and thinly sliced fresh ginger root. Stir together.
2-Pour into glasses, squeeze in a little lime juice, and garnish with mint leaves and fresh pomegranate seeds.
#7. Baked Sweet Potatoes With Goat Cheese
Rather than succumbing to the usual sweet potato dish swamped in marshmallows, try this instead. Sweet potatoes are full of beta-carotene, and other vitamins and minerals. Goat cheese is considered a healthier option than cheese made from cow’s milk because it has fewer saturated fats and less cholesterol, is rich in vitamins and minerals, and has a healthier type of casein.
1 sweet potato for each person (do not peel)
Organic goat cheese, crumbled
Handful of pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
Freshly chopped chives
Sea salt flakes
Butter (vegan or regular)
1-Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Place each sweet potato onto foil square, place a small amount of butter on top (about 1/2 teaspoon), sprinkle with sea salt flakes, then wrap each potato loosely with the foil and place on baking tray. Bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, until a knife can easily be inserted right through each potato.
2-Using oven mitts, remove potatoes from foil (being careful not to burn yourself) and place onto serving plate. Slit potatoes open and into the center of each one place a portion of crumbled goat cheese, pumpkin seeds, freshly chopped chives and a dollop of butter. Serve immediately.
#8. Roasted Pumpkin and Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are a Christmas classic in England, but they usually don’t make the list of favorite holiday foods in the U.S. This recipe may just change that! Roasting these vegetables until they are slightly golden really improves their flavor and texture, and they are full of antioxidants, anti-aging minerals, and vitamins.
2 tablespoons lemon-infused olive oil
2 cups Brussels sprouts, sliced in half
2 cups pumpkin, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
Freshly chopped herbs of your choice (i.e. rosemary, chives, thyme, dill, oregano)
Freshly ground pink salt and black pepper, to taste
Toasted nuts and dried cranberries for garnish (optional)
1-Preheat oven to 425°F (210°C). Cover a large baking sheet with baking parchment paper. In a large bowl combine the Brussels sprouts, pumpkin cubes, fresh herbs, olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange vegetables onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
2-Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender when tested with a fork. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
#9. Mix-and-Match Holiday Fruit Crumble
A nice change from sugar- and wheat-laden holiday desserts, fruit crumbles are healthy(ish), delicious, and still retain much of their vitamins and minerals, even though baked.
Choose from any one of these to make 6 cups of fruit or create your own unique combination:
- 5 cups thinly sliced apples + 1 cup fresh/frozen cranberries
- 3 cups thinly sliced apples + 3 cups fresh/frozen mixed berries
- 3 cups thinly sliced apples + 3 cups fresh/frozen thinly sliced rhubarb
- 3 cups fresh/frozen strawberries + 3 cups thinly sliced pears
- 3 cups thinly sliced peaches + 3 cups fresh/frozen strawberries
- 2 cups blueberries + 2 cups strawberries + 2 cups raspberries
1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped almonds, walnuts, or pecans (optional)
2/3 cup raw honey
1/3 cup coconut oil (warmed slightly if solid)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice or cloves
1-Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). In large glass baking dish greased with coconut oil, combine the fruit and arrowroot starch.
2-In a separate bowl, combine rice flour, oats, nuts, raw honey, coconut oil, and spices. Mix together until slightly crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over fruit mixture.
3-Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, or until toasted and golden brown. Cool slightly and serve while warm and fragrant. (It also tastes delicious cold!)
#10. Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie
While pie is rarely considered “healthy,” this is an old favorite made healthier and is a good choice for people who have given up dairy. The others won’t even notice the dairy is missing. The coconut milk will not impart a coconut flavor; it will be a rich and delicious pumpkin spice flavor.
1 can (15 oz/425 gm) can pumpkin puree (or 2 cups fresh pumpkin puree, strained over fine mesh strainer to remove excess liquid)
1 cup full fat coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon clove
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Pre-made pie crust of your choice, unbaked
1-Preheat oven to 425°F (210°C). In a large bowl, beat the eggs until creamy. Add in pumpkin puree, coconut milk, and vanilla extract; beat until well combined. Add sugar, salt, and spices and beat until completely combined.
2-Into a dish containing the pie crust, pour the pumpkin filling over the crust. Cover the crust with foil or pastry shield to prevent burning. Bake pie for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (180°C) and continue to bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. The filling may still be a little wiggly in the center, but it will firm up as it cools.
3-Allow pie to cool on a wire rack for two hours (remember not to rush this). Serve or refrigerate until ready to serve.
#11. Peppermint Fudge No-Bake Energy Bites
Is mint chocolate your guilty pleasure? Try these no-bake energy bites that are full of delicious and healthy ingredients… with nothing to feel guilty about.
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/3 cup pitted dates (about 6 or 7)
1 tablespoon collagen powder
1 tablespoon organic cacao powder
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 drop peppermint essential oil
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon miniature dark chocolate chips
Optional outer covering: cacao powder, toasted coconut, toasted chopped nuts
1-Into the container of a food processor, place almonds and process until finely chopped. Add dates and process until smooth. Add collagen and cacao powder, vanilla extract, peppermint oil, and coconut oil. Process for several minutes, until mixture begins to look well combined. Add a teaspoon of water, if necessary, to help it all combine. Add chocolate chips and pulse a few final times to combine well, making sure not to completely pulverize the chocolate chips; you want them chunky still.
2-To roll into balls, take a heaping teaspoon of the mixture in your hands and roll it into a ball. The coconut oil will soften and it may be a little messy but it helps to bind these together. Place your choice of outer toppings (cacao powder, toasted coconut, or toasted chopped nuts) into a bowl and roll each bite through this.
3-Place balls onto serving plate or container and refrigerate for 30 minutes prior to serving to solidify the coconut oil. Enjoy!
Watch a video of Katrina making the Peppermint Fudge No-Bake Energy Bites
We here at Organixx wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season, filled with the people you love… and lots of healthy, delicious foods. Want more healthy recipes? Click here to check out our recipe page.