‘Tis the season for celebrations, entertaining, and of course, lots of holiday eating! You can avoid the unhealthy food trap by making your own healthy holiday treats. Make sure you’ve stocked up on chia seeds, almond flour, nuts, goji berries, and glazed fruit – so that you’ll have plenty of nutritious staples to expand your holiday food repertoire. We’ll share some recipes that were developed just for us by a registered dietitian, so you can recreate them at home, knowing they’re healthy and delicious!
1) Chia Seeds
Keep a bag of chia seeds on hand to fend off those unwanted holiday pounds. Chia seeds are an appetite-suppressing superfood loaded with fiber to fill you up. They’re also a rich plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, which support your heart and protect against stress. Try them in baked goods like these chia-rich granola bars and enjoy them on-the-go to energize your holiday spirit. Chia seeds can absorb up to 10 times their weight in water so they’ll keep you hydrated; have blueberry chia jam with toast or muffins before you embark on your holiday shopping.
2) Almond Flour
Looking for a gluten-free or low-glycemic baking product? Almond flour to the rescue! This low-carb, high-protein baking flour is made from blanched almonds and is the perfect alternative to wheat flours. It has a very fine, soft consistency and can be used as a one-to-one replacement for wheat flour in your holiday recipes. Delight your guests with this gluten-free apple crisp recipe, which has a delicious crumbly topping made with almond flour. You can also whip up some healthy vegan chocolate truffles for an indulgent treat that is actually good for you!
As you may have guessed, we’re always looking for an excuse to enjoy more nuts, and the holidays are no exception! Crunchy and delicious, nuts are a staple of many holiday recipes because they add texture and flavor. They’re also packed with protein, fiber, healthy fats, and vitamins to keep you at your best during the holidays. Make nutty holiday cookies, cakes, and breads by adding chopped nuts to the mix. For a classic pecan pie recipe, make sure you have fresh premium pecans on-hand. And keep in mind that sliced almonds and shredded coconut give holiday cakes and fancy desserts an elegant touch.
4) Goji Berries
Keep your immune system strong the whole season long with chewy red goji berries. This immunity-boosting superfood is an excellent source of vitamin A, wards off colds and gives your skin a healthy glow. Goji berries are rated as one of the best sources of antioxidants, so it’s no wonder that they’ve earned the title of the world’s most potent anti-aging food. Their mild sweet taste and vibrant red color make them a fun addition to holiday treats, or even your morning bowl of oatmeal. Try this simple goji berry tea to warm up on cold winter days.
5) Glazed Fruit
No holiday fruitcake is complete without a colorful mosaic of glazed mixed peel. Glazed fruit adds a charming touch to cakes, cookies, tarts, and other festive creations. It has a wonderful sweet and fruity taste that brings out the best in holiday treats. The combination of red and green cherries makes a gorgeous topping for a Christmas dessert. Glazed pineapple rings lend a luscious tropical flavor to treats and are a superb decoration. For citrus appeal, don’t forget the glazed diced citron and lemon peel.
What are your own essentials for making healthy holiday treats? Let us know in the comments below.