Some seasonal recipes for a healthy holiday!
We always get questions this time of year for how to enjoy seasonal or holiday food without sabotaging your health or overindulging. The healthy eating specialists at Precision Nutrition shared a couple tips and some great healthy holiday recipes that we thought we should pass along!
Tips to stay healthy and sane during the holidays:
- It’s ok to have a little of Grandma’s pumpkin pie or Santa’s cookies. Sane eaters stay relaxed and flexible.
- Let go of the all-or-nothing mentality! You don’t need to deprive yourself but also don’t overindulge and just throw in the towel all together.
- One way to make sure you stick to your goals and plans- make your own tasty treats and bring them with you! That way you know what you’re eating.
- Otherwise, follow these healthy eating best practices:
- Eat slowly and enjoy the flavors.
- Eat smaller portions
- Eat until just satisfied, not beyond
- Keep moving. Get up and go for a walk or head outdoors.
- Suggest healthy alternatives as a new family tradition- who know, you may spread positive eating habits!
And now, for some great seasonal recipes! Easy Pumpkin Soup & Hearty Thanksgiving Stuffing!
Recipe #1: Easy pumpkin soup
Soup is a great addition to any holiday menu because people often go a little crazy with the appetizers on the holidays. It’s great to have a healthy alternative.
I also love making this recipe when it’s cold out and I’m looking for a quick, simple soup.
You can also tweak it to include more vegetables. Enjoyed next to a protein-bread grilled cheese sandwich, it hits the spot every single time.
1 small red onion, chopped
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tbsp (15 mL) of grass-fed butter or olive oil
1 small can of pumpkin puree (or fresh in which case you’ll need about a 1.5 cup [325 mL] worth)
2 cups (500 mL) of coconut milk
Salt or Herbamere + black pepper to taste
1 tsp (5 mL) of powdered chicken stock
A small sprinkle of nutmeg (it’s optional but nice)
1 cup (recipe serves 2)
30 minutes total (10 min preparation time + 20 min cooking time)
Heat a large soup pot and add the butter or oil. Add the onions and garlic and stir well, then cover the pot. Let things cook for 5 minutes, or until onions are transparent and soft.
Add the pumpkin, milk, and seasoning. Using a hand-held immersion blender, liquefy the vegetables with the rest of the ingredients. You can also let the mixture cool and blend it in a regular blender, then re-heat it before serving.
If soup is too thick, add a little water until it has the consistency you prefer.
Recipe #2: Hearty Thanksgiving stuffing (gluten and dairy-free)
This healthier version of stuffing is a great option for those who worry about indulging in this holiday treat. If you follow Precision Nutrition’s guidelines for eating slowly, and eating until just satisfied, it’s a healthy part of a holiday meal.
Also note: this recipe is flexible: Adapt it to your tastes. Treat it like a blueprint to play around with. For example:
- Add cinnamon, thyme, cloves, and fresh rosemary
- Add cooked bacon and/or sausage
- Use barley and quinoa instead of rice
Play with it until you reach your ultimate turkey stuffing formula!
2 tbsp (30 mL) of coconut oil (or grass-fed butter)
1 chopped onion
4 stalks of celery
½ cup (125 mL) chopped dried apricots
½ cup (125 mL) chopped dates
½ cup (125 mL) chopped cranberries
½ cup (125 mL) cooked wild rice or cooked oats (or half and half)
½ cup (125 mL) pecans
½ cup (125 mL) walnuts
1-2 cups (250-500 mL) of vegetable, chicken, or beef stock (or more/less if you want it drier/moister)
Splash of white wine (optional but nice)
Salt or Herbamare, to taste
Pepper to taste
A pinch or two of dried sage
8 servings (or enough stuffing to fill one big turkey)
45 minutes total (15 min preparation time + 30 min cooking time)
Heat a large heavy-bottomed pot and melt the coconut oil or butter. Add onion and celery and stir occasionally until they get soft and transparent.
Add the chopped cranberries, dates, and apricots. Once it’s all soft, add the cooked rice (or cooked oats, or both), and throw in the eggs along with enough stock (plus a splash of wine) to hold it all together. Let it cook until it gets to a firmer, dryer consistency.
Add seasoning and nuts to finish. Either stuff your bird, or serve alongside.
*Reposted from Precision Nutrition. Read their entire post here.