Christmas is upon us! Which typically means feasting ourselves into a food coma. And then waking up for seconds. But holiday season shouldn’t mean that you need to throw all of your healthy eating habits out the window.
Whether you’re prepping an entire 8-course meal yourself, or just bringing a few sides to the party, we have a few healthy hacks for making sure that Christmas dinner doesn’t totally derail your current lifestyle. A few ingredient swaps are all you really need to make a dinner that’s as delectable as it is wholesome so you can get your grub on, totally guilt-free.
Mash potatoes are pretty much a staple on every holiday dinner table, but we’ve found an equally delicious alternative. If you’re looking to keep it light, trade the potatoes for cauliflower and skip the sour cream for a healthier alternative. Boil cauliflower and garlic until soft, drain, and then add salt, pepper, and olive oil into a food processor and blend until fluffy and smooth. If you want to add a little extra flavor add ghee, thyme, and nutritional yeast (in place of cheese) into the mix.
Green Bean Casserole
Swap the classic canned ingredients with fresh produce and homemade mushroom sauce for a healthy twist. Boil 2 lbs trimmed fresh green beans and set aside. Thinly slice onion and sauté in olive or coconut oil until slightly softened. Transfer the onion to a separate plate, then sauté the panko breadcrumbs until golden. Stir onions, panko, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper together in a small bowl and set aside. In a clean pan, sauté the mushrooms and garlic, stir in flour (you can use healthy alternatives here), stock, non-dairy milk, and nutritional yeast. Simmer until it has thickened. Lastly, mix everything together in a casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees.
Sweet Potato Pie
Another fan-favorite, sweet potato pie is typically packed with sugar and calories that you don’t necessarily need at your dinner table. This is a vegan and paleo friendly option that is just as tasty. Bake sweet potatoes until soft. Remove the skins and slice into smaller pieces. Combine cooked sweet potato slices with organic applesauce and blend until smooth. Add melted coconut oil, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg and blend some more. Transfer into baking dish and bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.
Okay we love desserts, so we’re going to share two of our favorite healthy options here. Opt for a paleo pecan pie by trading the gluten, grains, refined sugars, dairy, and butter, for almond flour, coconut sugar, and coconut oil (via Bakerita); or try our heavenly apple pie recipe for a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Both taste sinfully-good but are so guilt-free that you can totally have seconds (and maybe thirds). We’re not judging.