Food traditions are a special part of the holiday experience and while you can mindfully enjoy your favorites, just as they are, there are also lots of great ways to improve the nutrient value of or lighten up some heavier traditional dishes.
This round-up features healthier twists on classic holiday foods — or dishes that just happen to be healthy — from my dietitian colleagues. I hope you enjoy them over the upcoming holidays!
Looking for a festive breakfast option? You’ll want to have this Cranberry Orange Cornbread Trifle created LiveBest by your side. Its layers of cranberries, pear, orange, yogurt, ginger, and cornbread make a trifle your guests will never forget! (This dish works as a great dessert as well!)
I like this easy apple pie-inspired recipe with a dollop of whole milk Greek yogurt and a little maple syrup.
Appetizers and Salads
I love the colors of this Maple Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Lemon Tahini Sauce dish! Not only did Alena Menko make this vegan and gluten-free, but it’s so pretty too!
Mandy Enright has changed up the traditional stuffed mushrooms holiday appetizer by making her delicious Walnut Stuffed Mushrooms with Cheddar, Apple & Sage vegetarian and gluten-free.
Lunch and Dinner
Isn’t this Roasted Salmon with Herbs and Pomegranate dish created by Jenny Shea Rawn just gorgeous?!? Based on its ingredients, I have no doubt it’ll be a delicious and festive addition to your holiday dinner.
This Roasted Sweet Potato and Banana Casserole created by To Taste is a great alternative to traditional sweet potato marshmallow bakes — it has a fraction of the sugar and unhealthy fats, but all the amazing flavor.
Looking for a dairy-free mac ‘n cheese recipe? Check out Rachel Hartley Nutrition’s Dairy Free Macaroni and Cheese, made by tossing pasta with an ultra creamy pumpkin, cashew and sage sauce, then baking it in the oven topped with tons of herb packed breadcrumbs.
Are you looking for a healthy alternative to traditional stuffing? This Quinoa Dressing with Mushrooms and Almonds from Healthy Ideas Place is gluten free, low in fat, and high in fiber and nutrients.
If you love sweet potato casserole, you won’t want to miss Liz’s Healthy Table’s Maple Pecan Stuffed Sweet Potatoes for Thanksgiving. This dish looks as delicious as it is appetizing.
Dessert and Sweets
If you’re looking for a special twist on traditional cinnamon rolls, you’ll want to check out these delicious Cinnamon Roll Muffins with Orange Glaze created by KISS in the Kitchen. These rolls are bursting with the classic cinnamon roll flavor, but are filled with nourishing gluten-free ingredients and topped with a sweet orange glaze that’s perfect for the holidays!
Do you love Gingersnap cookies? If so, you’ll want to make Sound Bites Nutrition’s healthier version of the Traditional Gingersnaps made with canola oil (a healthy, monounsaturated fat) and a variety of spices rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Better Is The New Perfect’s No Added Sugar Fruit and Nut Bread (gluten-free) is such a fun and healthy twist on the traditional nutcake. I love that it’s made with nuts, dried fruit, and oat flour instead of all-purpose flour.
And if you’re just not feeling the cooking / baking vibes or ran out of time, I’ve been there. Here are some of my super-easy last-minute dessert recipes.
Craving a pumpkin spice coffee drink? You can make it at home with this easy-to-make Skinny Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe created by Amy Gorin Nutrition.
Hungry for more?
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