Whether you’re a health nut, or you have a health nut on your guest list, don’t miss out on some of these amazing healthy holiday recipes. Now, we’re not talking meals that taste like paper, we’re talking meals that are loaded with whole foods, key nutrients, and real flavor.

Appetizer

If you’re trying to steer clear of dairy, but you don’t want to sacrifice the cheese platter, you should try making cashew cheese.

Cranberry and Thyme Vegan Cheese Ball

cranberry and thyme vegan cheese ball While cheese is loaded with protein, cashews are loaded with protein and many nutritional benefits. Nuts and cheese have a very similar umami, salty flavor profile. That’s why cheese tastes like nuts, and nuts taste like cheese. From there, you could add nutritional yeast for even more of a cheese-flavor punch. what is nutritional yeast While nutritional yeast is a popular cheese replacement used by vegans, anyone can enjoy this product that’s packed with protein and amino acids. To learn more about nutritional yeast, click here.

Sides

Taking two of the most popular Holiday sides, and giving them a nutritional makeover; we hope you like how they look.

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower and Chives

garlic mashed cauliflower It’s okay if you didn’t get to try a healthier version of mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving, but, you should seriously consider trying this Garlic Mashed Cauliflower and Chives from Livestrong. This holiday recipe does not have milk, but you’ll be happy to know that butter is still allowed.  Not ordinary butter though, grass fed butter. Grass fed butter is overall higher in many nutrients, and it doesn’t contain any unhealthy trans fats.

Easy Quinoa Stuffing

picture of quinoa stuffing on platter Quinoa is a super grain loaded with nutrients like protein, fiber, iron, copper, thiamin, and vitamin B6. Some people say quinoa tastes has an earthy taste, so if you’re not a fan of earthy flavors, sometimes it’s just a matter of finding appetizing flavors that will stand out, like stuffing flavors. You might think that it’s not possible to have a bread-less stuffing, but stuffing isn’t all about the bread anyway, it’s all about the herbs (particularly sage).

Hold The Sugar

As you know from PLN’s other article called Sugar is a DRUG!, it might be a good idea to steer away from the sugar this year. The Holidays bring evil temptations for sugary cookies and syrupy beverages, but, resist those naughty foods, and try some nice treats instead.

Spirulina Energy Balls

spirulina energy balls surrounded by fruit Spirulina is a nutritional ingredient known as a “miracle from the sea”. It’s made of microalgae that grow in oceans and salty lakes, and it’s rich with chlorophyll. The most amazing thing about this superfood is that it contains 60-70% protein. The FDA says spirulina also contains good amounts of calcium, niacin, potassium, magnesium, B vitamins and Iron. While the smell might be potent, the taste is rather mild. Even adding a teaspoon to your sugar cookies would give them not only a festive green look, but added nutrients.

Peppermint Mocha Fudge (Vegan, Paleo) 

peppermint mocha fudge pieces stacked on plate This Mocha Peppermint Fudge is super easy to make just like traditional fudge. But, there is a distinct difference between this paleo fudge and traditional fudge. The big difference being that there is way less sugar in the paleo version. The natural sugars in the coconut milk and the maple syrup are the only sweet things in this recipe, whereas other fudge recipes that call for sweetened condensed milk.

Healthy Holiday Eggnog

You can still have all the great flavors of traditional eggnog, and, you can even still have the egg.  Just hold the yolks, and replace the sugar with raw organic honey. Holiday eggnog in a mug While egg yolk adds a creamy characteristic to eggnog, the cholesterol is not welcomed. This eggnog recipe is made with only egg whites, so you still get some protein. A bonus to using local honey as a sweetener is it can help you with your allergies. By exposing you to the pollen in your area, you can build immunity to many of the allergens around you.

Paleo Hot Chocolate Mix

holiday hot chocolate in a mug   A major holiday favorite made with coconut sugar instead of refined, processed white sugar. This recipe also calls for one of the healthiest spices you can get; cinnamon. The nutritional benefits of cinnamon are tremendous, and, I’ll bet it adds excellent flavor to the hot chocolate.

Happy Holidays from Project LeanNation!

We hope you give yourself the gift of nutrition this year during your Holiday gatherings, and we hope you found some healthy inspiration in this article. Happy Holidays!

Resources:

Cashews Grassfed Butter Quinoa Spirulina  Cinnamon 

Photo Credits:

Cheese Ball Nutritional Yeast  Garlic Mashed Cauliflower and Chives Quinoa Spirulina Energy Balls Peppermint Mocha Fudge Healthy Eggnog Paleo Hot Chocolate Mix