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4 Holiday Treats for Your Healthiest Holiday Yet

Holidays are a time of giving, spending time with family and friends, and for lots (and lots) of treats. And sometimes, it’s okay to indulge a little! But having your own arsenalt of healthy desserts to help you and your friends stick to a healthy eating plan. So whether you’re following a Keto diet, are vegan, or just want a “clean” dessert, we’ve got options for you!

But first, let’s talk about why you should include some healthy treats in your diet this season.  

Carbohydrates aren’t always the enemy, but refined sugar might be! When you consume a lot of refined sugar–like those extra glasses of vino, Grandma’s shortbread, and the box of chocolates that always seems to be at the office–not only will your blood sugar be out of whack, but so will your sleep schedule, and your stress levels… no wonder the in-laws seem to pique your anxiety levels more this time of year.

But depriving yourself of any and all goodies can leave you bingeing on the full gingerbread house if you don’t take it in moderation.

Here are some holiday baking hacks to follow for any recipe swaps:

  • Swap butter for coconut oil. Coconut oil has fats called medium-chain triglycerides (or you may have heard of MCTs). These MCTs have been found to help with fat burning, and cognitive function.

  • Swap white sugar for coconut sugar. While coconut sugar is still sugar it is lower on the glycemic index and will cause less of a blood sugar spike.

  • Add in extras where possible. Try adding ingredients like collagen powder, maca powder or ground flax seeds to holiday baking to give it a nutrient boost!

  • Make smaller portions. If you’re making something like cookies, make each cookie a little smaller than normal.

  • Try different flours! Almond flour, coconut flour, even oat flour, giving you added nutrients. Just remember to check the conversions online since each will be different than regular all-purpose flour.  

  • Use maple syrup in drinks instead of simple syrup. Recreating your favourite coffee shop holiday drinks at home? Go au-naturelle with maple syrup.


So try out these 4 holiday recipes for your healthiest holiday yet!

 

4 Holiday Treats for Your Healthiest Holiday Yet
Paleo Peppermint Cookies

Recipe via The Healthy Maven

Nothing screams “holiday season!” more than peppermint and chocolate combined into one glorious bite (or sip). With p

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups almond meal

  • 2 T coconut flour

  • 2 T cocoa powder

  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar + 1/4 cup ground coconut palm sugar for rolling*

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

  • 1/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips.

  • 1 tsp peppermint extract

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl combine almond meal, coconut flour, cocoa powder, 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar, baking soda and salt.

  2. In a separate bowl combine eggs, coconut oil, chocolate chips and pepper extract.

  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined.

  4. Cover bowl and place in fridge for one hour (or overnight) or freezer for 20 minutes. Dough should harden. Do not skip

  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  6. Scoop out 1 tablespoon worth of dough and roll into a ball between palms.

  7. Roll each ball in 1/4 cup of ground coconut palm sugar to coat.

  8. Place balls on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

  9. Remove from oven and let sit on tray for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack. Do not try to remove before 10 minutes as they will be too soft.

  10. Dust with any leftover ground coconut palm sugar for a more “snowball” like effect.

  11. Will keep for several days in an airtight container on your countertop.

4 Holiday Treats for Your Healthiest Holiday Yet

Healthy Peppermint Mocha

Skip the line (and all the sugar) at the coffee shop, and make your own Peppermint Mocha at home. Plus, if you’re following a carb-free diet, you can swap out the maple syrup for monk fruit sweetener, or stevia!

The added bonus here is the addition of healthy fats, and collagen, which will can help to reduce inflammation, enhance skin’s appearance, and help to keep you satiated, and less likely to reach for that sugary treat later in the day.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups hot coffee (or 2 shots of espresso with 1 cup hot water)

  • 1 tsp. pure maple syrup (or your choice of sweetener)

  • 1 tbsp. cocoa powder or powdered cacao

  • ½ tsp. peppermint extract

  • 1 tbsp. collagen powder

  • 1 tsp. MCT oil

Directions:

  1. Brew coffee to preference

  2. Place all ingredients in a blender for 10-15 seconds.

  3. Pour and enjoy!

  4. Tip: place all liquids in the blender first, then the collagen powder and MCT oil on top.

Make it a latte with this recipe.

4 Holiday Treats for Your Healthiest Holiday Yet

Healthy Gingerbread Men

Recipe via Pheebs Foods

This recipe is great because it includes blackstrap molasses which is high in iron, calcium, and magnesium, and won’t leave you with a major sugar crash! Plus, the addition of gelatinized maca powder adds a stress-busting boost to each cookie… so maybe you won’t feel the need to spike your almond nog. ;) 

Ingredients:

  • 5 Cups almond meal

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • Pinch of salt

  • 4 tsp ground ginger

  • 2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp nutmeg

  • 1 tbsp gelatanized maca powder (optional)

  • 2 tsp vanilla

  • 2 free range eggs

  • 2/3 cup melted coconut oil

  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup

  • 4 tbsp blackstrap molasses

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 150°C.

  2. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

  3. Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well until all the spices are evenly distributed.

  4. Whisk all wet ingredients in another bowl, adding the oil last to ensure it doesn’t harden.

  5. Pour wet mix into dry, and mix well with a spoon until a dough forms. It will be a lot stickier than normal dough and a bit more fragile.

  6. Turn dough out onto a well floured board, if you are not gluten free, using a small amount of white flour makes kneading easiest. Otherwise more almond flour or another gluten free flour will work.

  7. It doesn’t need a lot of kneading simply get it into a well mixed ball, cover in glad wrap and place in the fridge for fifteen minutes.

  8. Once chilled slightly roll out to approximately 1/2 cm thick and use a cookie cutter to cut out your men.

  9. Place onto baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes, or longer depending on how crunchy or soft you like your biscuits. You may have to cook in batches as this recipe makes quite a few men.

  10. Allow to cool fully before decorating.

Feeling like adding the festive gingerbread spirit to your everyday? Try this Gingerbread Spiced Protein Smoothie!

4 Holiday Treats for Your Healthiest Holiday Yet

Paleo Chocolate Bark

Recipe via Ditch the Carbs

Chocolate bark is an easy way to get in the festive spirit, and stick to your healthy eating plan. Adding ingredients like maca powder, chia seeds and coconut oil are easy ways to add superfoods, without sacrificing flavour.

Ingredients:

Paleo Chocolate

  • 100g coconut oil

  • 200g cacao butter

  • 2 tbsp. granulated sweetener, of choice or more, to taste

  • 4 tbsp. unsweetened cacao powder

  • 1/4 tsp. salt to taste

  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Bark toppings can include:

  • Raw almonds, chopped

  • Unsweetened coconut chips

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Chia seeds

  • Raw hazelnuts, chopped

  • Chilli flakes

Directions:

  1. On a very low and gentle heat, melt all the ingredients for the chocolate bark together in a pan.  

  2. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Pour the Paleo chocolate into a dish lined with baking parchment.

  3. Allow the chocolate to cool for a little bit longer and "almost" set. You don't want the the chopped nuts and coconut to sink to the bottom. You can even pop it in the fridge for a minute or two (just don't forget to go back or it will set solid). Sprinkle the Paleo bark toppings over the surface.

  4. Refrigerate until set. Break into pieces. Enjoy!


Want some more recipes that are sure to hit the spot (think fruit cake and fudge!)? Check out these 4 healthy holiday recipes too!

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