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Overindulge With These Healthy Holiday Meal Ideas!

We all tend to overindulge in unhealthy foods over the holidays. Whether you ate some of the candy you passed out to trick or treaters, are chowing down on too much pie or will tackle that chocolate advent calendar, you probably will do something non-nutritious this season. There’s nothing wrong with a little over-indulgence, but we are here to help you find a balance in your healthy and unhealthy extravagances.

Healthy Cooking for the Holidays

You probably have traditional holiday food that you don’t want to give up – and that’s ok! Here are five quick tips you can use to make your traditional meals a little healthier:

  1. Replace anything canned with fresh ingredients.
  2. Cut down on salt by using flavor boosters like citrus juice or fresh herbs.
  3. Use low sodium veggie broth to baste.
  4. Try using half whole-grain flour and half all-purpose instead of 100% all-purpose flour.
  5. Try a sweetener besides refined sugar. Raw sugar, maple syrup, molasses, honey, and fruit juice are all better options.

Healthy Holiday Meal Ideas

This holiday season, you may want to mix old favorites with new, healthy meals. We hope you’ll add some healthy foods to your holiday feast. Here are a few suggestions:

Baked apple or pear

The best fruits for baking are the Bosc or Anjou pears and Granny Smith or Honeycrisp apples. Bake the apple or pear in an ovenproof dish filled with just enough water to coat the bottom of the dish.

While a baked apple or pear is sweet by itself, add a drizzle of honey or cinnamon mixed with honey, along with a sprinkle of pecans or dried fruit. This adds texture and sweetness to the dish.

Healthy Green Bean Casserole

Green bean casserole is a staple on many a Thanksgiving table. However, the Campbell’s soup recipe includes canned soup and packaged onions. You can make a couple of switches to this classic casserole to make it infinitely more healthy.

First, instead of packaged onions, bake fresh and seasoned onions. Next, either blanch or steam your beans, but don’t overcook them as so many do. You don’t want soft beans – but green beans with a little crunch. Finally, make your own cream of mushroom soup with mushrooms, broth (either vegetable or chicken), and half-half.

You can find a complete recipe here (from the Food Network) and more broken down instructions here (from Lifehacker). Making simple changes to this classic recipe will not only make it more delicious – but healthier as well.

Indulgent Fruitcake

Fruitcake has been a holiday staple for years. This cake is more like coffee cake, and it’s usually jam-packed with dried or artificial fruit like maraschino cherries. With so much fruit, it boggles the mind that these cakes are also packed with sugar.

Simple ways to make the traditionally sickly sweet fruitcake healthier are:

  • Cut the sugar in your recipe in half.
  • Cut out the sugar all together and add fruit juice instead.
  • Stick with real, dried fruits and remove anything artificial.
  • Try making a gluten-free cake by replacing all-purpose flour with almond flour.

You can find fruitcake recipes at varying degrees of healthiness here and here.

We hope you can find delicious ways to both stay healthy and enjoy this holiday season! If you aren’t feeling great, or you haven’t gotten a wellness check this year – be sure to schedule an appointment here at Flow Natural Health Care. We want you starting your new year with a bang!

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