The Christmas holiday is filled with lights, joy, laughter, and time together with friends and family. It’s also filled with delicious food and drinks, especially cakes and other sweet treats. Event planning around the holidays often involves crafting a menu that is simultaneously delicious and healthy. If you want to eat healthier during the holiday season, here are a few foods that you can prepare that have fewer calories and that still offer many of the same flavors that you enjoy at Christmas.
You might make canned or bagged green beans for your Christmas dinner, but those beans might be full of salt, butter, and other ingredients that aren’t all that healthy. Consider breaking the ends off of fresh beans and leaving them whole before charring them. Add a small amount of salt and pepper for flavor and a drizzle of olive oil for a healthy side dish.
Although ham is usually the meat associated with Christmas dinner, salmon is a healthier option to consider. Sprinkle a little brown sugar and paprika on top of the fish as well as a few slices of lemon for a bit of acidity before baking the meat in the oven. Garnish with parsley or another green herb as a way to coincide with the other colors of the holiday.
Cut-out cookies are a Christmas staple, and ginger is usually considered a healthy ingredient compared to chocolate and other items that you can use when making cookies for the holidays. If you combine applesauce and honey with a small amount of molasses and ginger, you can make a delightful gingerbread cookie that is healthy to enjoy. Consider using gluten-free ingredients so that everyone who visits your home can have a sweet treat.
Elevate your cranberry sauce by leaving the berries whole and adding cinnamon and a splash of orange juice. You can also add a small amount of honey or maple syrup to balance the sour taste of cranberries in the sauce. Place a small amount of the sauce in glass bowls for each guest at your Christmas dinner, garnishing the sauce with a stick or two of cinnamon.
Fudge Bites With Peppermint
You don’t have to completely give up your sweet treats for Christmas, but try to make them a little healthier so that you’re not getting all of the calories and sugar that you would from cakes and pies. Combine oatmeal, dark chocolate, and crushed peppermint with a small amount of honey to hold everything together. Form the mixture into small balls, coating the outside of each one in crushed peppermint and chopped nuts. These are a simple treat that you can enjoy that doesn’t have a lot of the sweet ingredients that other desserts have and that clearly follows the flavors of the holiday season.
You’ve probably prepared a sweet potato casserole for Christmas or another holiday. Instead of using a lot of brown sugar and butter, there are other ingredients that you can use to make it a healthy dish. Use vanilla instead of brown sugar to sweeten the casserole. Top with toasted oatmeal and a few cranberries for a lighter version of this classic recipe.