21 October 2021 (updated)

Healthy Christmas Recipes for the Whole Family

Finding healthy Christmas recipes can be challenging. But whether you're vegan, dairy-free, low-carb, or gluten-free, FamilyApp has a tasty guilt-free side dish, appetizer, and dessert recipe that is a crowd-pleaser every time! Read on for some of our favorites.

Healthy Christmas Recipes Crudité Vegan Appetizer

Start your holiday season celebration with a festive appetizer to go with your spiced cider. A show-stopping crudité platter can add sophistication to any special occasion.

First, gather your ingredients together. Typical veggie-packed platters include a variety of colorful vegetables that are easy for guests to dip. Possibilities include broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, celery, green beans, radishes, mini-peppers, endive, snap peas, and baby cucumbers. The nature of crudité is using raw vegetables, so you want to aim for different colors and textures.

Start with a beautiful platter that will display your raw veggies. Then, add your choice of sauces such as three different hummus bowls. From here, you can add your green vegetables first, then follow by adding your colorful ones. Finally, add herbs and kale leaves as decor to finish off your platter! Voila, you now have an easy, eye-catching, and beautifully nutritious appetizer!

Calorie-Friendly Healthy Christmas Recipes

Need a gut-healthy salad to off-set all those holiday sweets and fatty roasts? Consider substituting the usual cream-based side dishes by using healthier broth-based seasonings and flavor with herbs instead. Skip the cheese and buttered baked potatoes. Instead, go with roasted sweet potato or other root vegetables that can increase your fiber intake without the unnecessary calories of a cheese sauce.

Choosing healthier options will be easier on your waist and can taste just as savory. In addition, tossing together a salad while skipping the ranch dressing can keep your caloric intake from exploding. Below is a scrumptious Brussels sprouts recipe that's perfect for Christmas dinner.

Pomegranate and Shredded Brussels Sprouts Holiday Salad

A light and delicious Christmas favorite your whole family will love!

4.8 from 10 votes


PREP TIME

15 mins

COOK TIME

a few seconds

TOTAL TIME

15 mins





COURSE

Appetizer

CUISINE

American

SERVINGS

4 people

CALORIES

268.0 kcal

INGREDIENTS

  • 4

    cups

    Brussels sprouts

  • 1/4

    cup

    extra-virgin olive oil

    plus extra for drizzling

  • 1/4

    cup

    fresh lime juice

  • 1/4

    cup

    toasted pecans

    can sub toasted sliced almonds

  • 1/3

    cup

    dried cranberries

  • 1/8

    cup

    fresh pomegranate seeds

  • 1/3

    cup

    Pecorino cheese

    optional

  • 1/3

    cup

    diced fresh chives

  • 1

    pinch

    sea salt

    to taste

  • black pepper

    to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Slice.

      Thinly slice the Brussels sprouts using a mandoline or a sharp knife.

    2. Combine.

      Place them into a medium bowl and toss with the olive oil, lemon juice, pecans, cranberries, pomegranate seeds, pecorino cheese (optional), chives, and pinches of salt and pepper.

    3. Set and serve.

      Let the salad sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, then taste and adjust the seasonings. Drizzle more olive oil if needed.

NUTRITION

Calories:

268.0 kcal

Carbohydrates:

17.0 g

Cholesterol:

11.0 mg

Fat:

20.0 g

Fiber:

5.0 g

Protein:

9.0 g

Sugar:

6.0 g

Moving on From High-Carb Mash Potatoes

Finding healthier alternatives to our favorite holiday comfort foods is an easy way to create a healthy Christmas for your loved ones. Instead of the usual mashed potatoes that go with your holiday ham, try making mashed steamed cauliflower instead. It's low carb, heart-healthy, and won't spike up your insulin levels like the white potato.

Creamy, garlic mashed cauliflower is keto-approved and kid-friendly. All you do is steam 1 head of cauliflower diced in florets for 15 minutes, place in a food processor with 3 cloves of fresh minced garlic, and sautee the mix in 3 TBS of butter or olive oil with 3 more cloves of fresh diced garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat and add 3 TBS of sour cream and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese will give your mashed cauliflower a rich taste for the holidays.

Tips for Healthy Christmas Recipes

When whipping up holiday meals, think outside white flour, white pasta, white bread, and white rice. These refined carbohydrates are sure to pack on the pounds and raise your blood sugar levels. Instead of the stripped and processed version, opt for whole wheat recipes, brown rice, and whole-wheat pasta that have whole fiber in the grain.

Try recipes like gluten-free roasted butternut squash and wild rice stuffing instead of a bread heavy version. Thinking outside the stovetop stuffing box is going to serve your waistline this Christmas.

If you can't part with your scalloped potatoes, then try a low-fat version with reduced-fat cheddar, fat-free milk, and light butter. Healthier versions don't have to add to your prep time. All it takes is swapping a few ingredients and you've got a low fat, low carb version of your holiday favorites.

Christmas Menu Without the Guilt

When looking at your Christmas menu, start with what you usually eat and think of healthier versions. For example, if your family serves roasted turkey and ham, try baking skinless turkey breast wrapped in turkey bacon instead. Adding a tasty twist to your favorite holiday meats can give your family the comforting pleasures of similar dishes without the unhealthy consequences.

This year, swap the calorie-laden green bean casserole for sauteed green beans with sliced almonds. However, if you can't live without the green bean casserole, look for a healthier version of your holiday favorite. Additionally, you can use caramelized onion instead of fried onions and add low-fat Greek yogurt, low-fat milk, and fresh mushrooms for the filling. Also, choosing whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese adds fiber and taste while cutting out the refined carbs.

Dessert Tricks That Won't Break Your Scale

A berry Greek yogurt parfait is one of the healthiest desserts you can serve to your guests that will look beautiful for the holidays but won't give them a sugar hangover. Adding gingerbread crumbs for the topping to keep with the Christmas theme.

If you're looking for a paleo-friendly gluten-free version of snickerdoodles, look no further than using a healthier version using pumpkin puree with maple syrup, coconut sugar, coconut oil, and the usual ginger and cinnamon. You can absolutely cut out the refined white sugar from your holiday baking by using alternative sweeteners like apple sauce, coconut sugar, raw honey, or stevia.

Delicious Cranberry Holiday Mocktail

You can't top off the evening without a holiday toast, but if you don't want to wake up with a crushing hangover, make the first drink a tasty low-calorie mocktail. This low-calorie cranberry toast is Whole30 approved. All you need is 1 can of cranberry flavored sparkling water, 4 TBS of freshly squeezed orange juice, 4 TBS of 100% cranberry juice, 1 tsp of lime juice, and ice. Put all the ingredients in a shaker and pour into martini glasses for a guilt-free starter to a memorable holiday evening!

Using these healthy substitutes for your Christmas favorites will enhance your evening because you won't be stressed about how you'll feel the next day. Now, you can let go of the holiday shame of eating and savor nutritious recipes guilt-free!



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