Eat this Not That Holiday Edition

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The Holidays are full of lots of treats. Most of them are loaded with empty calories that may taste great at the moment but give us angst later on as our jeans feel tighter and tighter.  While it is ok to indulge in the occasional splurge, sometimes a healthier swap is all you need. I say healthier because these recipes are definitely better for you, but they do contain calories which means you still need to exercise moderation when enjoying them.

 

I'm always experimenting with healthy alternatives to some traditional favorites. Below are some of the recipes that made the A list when it comes to a healthier version. So, if you'd like to save yourself some from adjusting that belt buckle, Try this instead of That.

 

❌Instead of Mashed potatoes

✅Try Herbed Cauliflower Mash

 Olive Oil, Garlic & Romano Cheese Mashed Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower
salt & freshly cracked pepper
4-6 cloves garlic, peeled
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c greek yogurt
1/3 c grated Romano cheese
Salt & freshly cracked pepper

Clean cauliflower and break into large flowerette pieces. In a large piece of aluminum foil, tightly wrap cauliflower flowerettes and peeled garlic cloves that have been seasoned with salt and pepper and place in 350°F oven and bake for 45-55 minutes or until tender. Put into casserole dish and mash to desired consistency (I like a little texture to mine). Add EVOO and greek yogurt and mix in well. Add the grated Romano cheese and season with salt and pepper as desired. Makes 3-4 servings. Can be made ahead and reheated in a 350°F oven until piping hot.

❌Instead of Pumpkin Pie with cool whip

✅Try Pumpkin custard with Merangue

Ingredients:

Custard
1/2 can pure pumpkin puree (roughly 7 ounces)
1 large Organic Egg
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1/2 ripe banana
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Meringue
4 tablespoons Liquid Egg Whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon pure maple syrup

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Mix the pumpkin custard ingredients until well combined and pour into two lightly oiled ramekins
3. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until center is set
4. To make the meringue topping, separate the yolks from the eggs whites and discard the yolks. Let the egg whites sit until they are room temperature
5. Start beating the egg whites on low, for a minute or two. Increase the speed to medium and continue to beat until you reach the consistency of glossy, stiff peaks. This will take roughly 10 minutes. Add the cream of tartar towards the end of the beating process
6. Turn the mixer off , then gently fold in the pure maple syrup. Cover the cooked custards with the meringue topping. Shift an oven rack to the top slot and place the custards back into the oven (375 degrees) for roughly 10 minutes, until the peaks start to turn a golden brown.

 

❌Instead of Holiday Candy Mixes 

✅Try Holiday Moose Munch

Ingredients:

6 cups popped popcorn
⅓ cup raw almonds

Chocolate Drizzle
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 scoops chocolate flavored protein powder of choice
3 teaspoons raw honey

Chocolate Coating
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 scoop chocolate flavored protein powder of choice
1 teaspoon raw honey

Instructions:

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the popcorn and almonds on top in an even layer
2. Melt the coconut oil in the microwave until it’s completely liquid (this should only take roughly 20 seconds)
3. Add the protein powder and raw honey to the melted coconut oil. Quickly stir until combined and drizzle all over the popcorn and almonds
4. Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator to cool the chocolate drizzle completely – around 10 minutes
5. Once popcorn the coating is chilled and set, make the additional chocolate to coat the mixture
6. Melt the coconut oil and add the additional scoop of chocolate protein powder and raw honey
7. Scoop one cup of the popcorn mixture and pour into the liquid chocolate. Quickly stir to coat and pour back on to the baking sheet
8. Let chill again until chocolate hardens
9. Serve straight from the refrigerator (cooled)

 

 ❌Instead of Traditional Christmas Cookies

✅Try Paleo Gingerbread Cookies

1 medium sweet potato
⅓ cup coconut flour
¼ cup tahini paste
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons molasses

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Wash and dry the sweet potato then spear a few times with a knife. Microwave on high for 5-6 minutes, or until soft
3. Scoop the inside out of the sweet potato and into a medium bowl
4. Add the coconut flour, tahini, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and molasses
5. Stir until well combined. You may need to use your hands to mix, as the dough will become very thick
6. Mold into 2½” diameter cookies that are about ¼” thick, and place on a baking sheet
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes

 

❌Instead of Traditional Egg Casserole

✅Try Crustless Egg Quiche

It’s nothing short of amazing how much flavor is packed into this healthy crustless quiche made with simple ingredients. And it’s virtually fool-proof to make! Now I realize everyone and their mother seems to bring an egg bake lined with crescent rolls and loaded with cheese to holiday brunch gatherings, but this tomato and leek crustless quiche is far healthier, and actually far easier to make than you’d think! Slash the carbs and the calories with this perfect egg-bake breakfast!

Ingredients:

1 sliced leek
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup grape tomatoes
10 large Organic Eggs
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk (from a can) 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Place a medium pan on the stove top over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, sliced leek, and grape tomatoes
3. Saute roughly 10 minutes until leeks are translucent and fragrant, and tomatoes are blistered. Poke each of the tomatoes with a sharp knife if they do not slightly break on their own
4. Combine the eggs, coconut milk, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk.
5. Fold in the the sautéed leeks and grape tomatoes then pour into a greased pie dish
6. Place the pie dish into the oven and bake cook for 35-40 minutes, until the center is set

 

❌Instead of Traditional Fudge

✅Try Dairy Free Coconut Fudge, Peanut Butter Fudge or Almond Butter Fudge

Dairy Free Coconut Fudge

 Ingredients

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup coconut oil softened

1/3 cup unsweetened Flaked Coconut

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk

1/4 cup Swerve Low Carb Powdered Sweetener

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in food processor or small blender like NutriBullet.
  • Process until all ingredients have been well blended.
  • Spread out into a small square or rectangular container lined with parchment paper.
  • Refrigerate until fudge is hardened.
  • Remove fudge from container and cut into squares.

 

Almond Butter Fudge (low carb, sugar free, egg free)

makes 16 squares

 Ingredients

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup almond butter

1/8 to 1/4 cup raw honey

1/2 of a banana mashed

1 tsp  vanilla extract

 

Directions:

Place all the ingredients in a small pot. Heat over low heat until melted, about 30 seconds. Blend with an emulsion blender until the mixture is smooth.  

Pour into a small 3x5 mini loaf pan lined with parchment paper or pour into silicone molds. Allow the mixture to cool in the freezer until solid. Slice into small 1 inch x 1 inch squares. Because the coconut oil, these will melt if not kept refrigerated. 

 

Add ins: Try adding chopped walnuts to the mix. 

Peanut Butter Fudge
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 15.5 oz. can Great Northern beans, rinsed well and drained
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter, very creamy and well-mixed
  • ½ cup refined coconut oil
  • 6 T salted butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup peanut flour
  • ½ cup oat fiber
  • 3-4 TBSP of  pure maple syrup
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Soften the peanut butter, coconut oil, and butter together in the microwave. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process until completely smooth. Taste and add more sweetener if desired. Press into a foil-lined 8x8 inch pan and freeze. When the mixture is fairly firm but not completely frozen, slice into 36 squares with a sharp knife. Freeze until solid, then transfer the squares to a sealed container and store in the freezer. The fudge is a little firm to bite into when frozen, but if you leave it out for a few minutes before eating, it's perfect. You can also transfer a few pieces to the fridge an hour or two before eating to let it soften up a little. I don't recommend storing the fudge in the refrigerator long term because it loses its nice creamy texture when totally thawed. Yields 12-16 servings (2-3 squares per serving).
NOTES
If your natural peanut butter didn't get mixed well at the beginning of the jar and is pretty stiff, add a few extra tablespoons of coconut oil/butter to the "dough" so the fudge isn't dry.
There are less than 3 grams of net carbs per serving from the beans in this fudge.
❌Instead of Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte
✅Try Healthy Dairy Free Pumpkin Spice Latte

Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte

 

1/2 cup almond or coconut milk
1 cup dark brew coffee
2 tbsp canned pumpkin
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/16 tsp nutmeg, allspice & cloves (less is more!)
1/4 tsp of vanilla 

Place all ingredients in a high speed  and blend for about 10 seconds. Pour and enjoy!


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