1) Fruitcake Without The Cake
Fruit bowls as an alternative dessert will leave you feeling lighter and more energetic after a three-course holiday meal. These two examples add nutrient-rich and tasty compliments to the already wholesome assortment of fruit with no added sugar.
> Option 1: hemp seeds, cacao nibs, finely diced fresh ginger, raw cashews, Brazil nuts, and raw almonds.
> Option 2: plain yogurt with vanilla extract, lemon and lime juice
You can always replace these nut choices with walnuts and pecans to get closer to what’s actually in fruitcake
2) Dairy Free Coconut Eggnog
Did you know that although coconut milk has a high fat content, it’s unique fatty acids may aid weight loss, improve immune function, reduce heart disease risk, and improve skin and hair health?
Ingredients: 4 c. coconut milk, 6 Tbsp honey, 8 egg yolks, 2 Tbsp vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, white rum (optional).
Directions: Heat, but do not boil coconut milk and honey. Beat egg yolks with vanilla extract. Add half of coconut milk mixture to egg yolks and stir. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until egg nog thickens. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg. Allow to cool to room temperature, add rum now if you choose. Then cover and refrigerate 3 hours before serving.
3) Shrimp Cocktail (instead of Cheese & Crackers)
Cheese & Crackers starter plate: 306 calories and 16g of fat per 2-ounces of cheese and 5 crackers.
Shrimp Cocktail: 51 calories, 0.4g fat per 5 medium-size shrimp with cocktail sauce.
4) A Smart Side Dish: Grilled Garlic Infused Veggies
The simple grilling of veggies creates a charred caramelized flavor that is deliciously enhanced further with extra virgin olive oil infused with crush garlic.
Directions: Crush garlic and add into jar with olive oil and set aside. Char grill the veggies, a few suggestions are: eggplant, zucchini, red onions, mushrooms, red-yellow-green bell peppers, red or green cabbage, and cauliflower; all sliced. Lay decoratively on a platter, salt and pepper. Drizzle the olive oil mixture.
5) Holiday Dips
This recipe has pro-biotics similar to those in yogurt, so the good bacteria will aid you to digest a day full of holiday feasting. What’s nice about making your own sour cream is you control the ingredients; there are no fillers or preservatives in this recipe. Your finished product will be high-quality, healthy and delicious!
Directions: In a clean jar, mix one part real cultured buttermilk with three parts cream, stir gently. Cover with a coffee filter, and use a rubber-band to hold it on. Leave on your counter for 24 hours. Stir it to see if it’s thick. If it isn’t, stir again and recover, leaving for another 12 hours. Now all you need to do is create an innovative dip!
6) Pumpkin Pie (instead of pecan pie)
Pecan Pie: 676 calories, 40.8g fat and 39.4g sugar
Pumpkin Pie: 161calories, 4.8g fat and 4.8g sugar! For the fat figures to be accurate, the pumpkin pie recipe needs “low-fat” evaporated milk.
7) Cranberry Sauce Sans Sugar Or Artificial Sweeteners!
Cranberries are loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants and fiber that helps to lower bad cholesterol levels, but the tart berries are highly sweetened with lots of cane sugar and other sweeteners. If you prefer doing without the “sugar rush and crash”, consider using fructose directly from fruit! This recipe won’t be as sweet as the canned version, but you can add honey or agave if preferred.
Ingredients: 2 bags of fresh cranberries, 3/4 c. pineapple juice or orange juice, 1/2 cup of applesauce, 1/2 c. of water, juice and zest of one orange, 3-4 Tbsp of honey or to taste (optional).
Instructions: Put cranberries, pineapple juice, applesauce and water in a sauce pan and and bring to a boil. Keep on medium heat, stirring constantly until the cranberries start to explode (10-15 mins). Reduce to a simmer and pour the juice and zest over the cranberry mixture. Simmer 10-15 mins and remove from heat. Cool completely and store in fridge at least 4 hrs but preferably overnight before serving.
8) Why Not Turkey Breast Instead Of Ham?
Turkey is an incredible healthy protein source. The nutritional value of a serving of turkey provides almost half the recommended daily allowance of folic acid and is a good source of vitamin B, zinc, and potassium. It can help keep blood cholesterol down, protect against cancer and heart disease, and boost the immune system. By serving up the white breast meat, you’ll save hundreds of calories and milligrams of cholesterol versus ham or even the richer dark portion of turkey meat.
9) Seasoned Olive Oil Instead of Butter
When it comes to bread spreads, olive oil has good fats and no cholesterol unlike its counterpart, butter. Choose “native cold pressed” or “Extra Virgin” olive oil to be sure it’s not “high-heat refined oil”.
Pour olive oil in a dipping bowl; add a crushed garlic clove and/or herbs like rosemary, sage, thyme, crushed red pepper and sea salt. You can get creative here with your own custom blend! Let the mixture sit while you oven warm crusted bread as a meal starter.
10) Gluten-Free Rice Stuffing & Herbs
Rice is the perfect alternative to bread when it comes to turkey stuffing. It’s not only gluten-free but stuffs well in the festive bird making both dishes aromatically flavorful. Also delight vegetarians by spooning the precooked rice stuffing into a pumpkin or acorn squash, lightly drizzle with olive oil and bake until dark golden.
Ingredients: 2 c. long grain white rice, 1/2 c. chopped onion, 1 c. chopped celery, 2 cloves garlic, 1/4 c. unsalted butter, 1 c. golden raisins, 1/2 c. dry sherry, 1 bay leaf, 1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley 1/2 tsp sage, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp marjoram, 1/2 tsp thyme.
Directions: Cook the rise in 3½ cups water. Sauté the onion, celery, and garlic in the butter. Combine the rice and onion mixture with golden raisins, dry sherry, bay leaf, parsley, sage, pepper, sea salt, marjoram, thyme and mix thoroughly. Stuff the bird just before cooking.
**Note: If you are specifically cooking for celiacs, not all rice is gluten free. Please be aware of cross-contamination in factory settings and consider using quinoa instead**