When it comes to holiday meals, one of the few negatives is the fact that many holiday meals are delicious but they are far from healthy. This doesn’t mean that the quest for delicious and healthy Christmas menu ideas are hopeless. In fact there are many recipes out there that are for a full healthy dish or if not health club level of good eating, at least offer a delicious dish that is far healthier than the traditional alternative.
Healthy Christmas Food Ideas
#1 Don’t throw out the sweet potatoes!
Sweet potatoes are amazing veggies that are absolutely loaded with vitamins and minerals that strengthen a body, its organs, and its immune system. Sweet potatoes get a little bit of a bad wrap during the holidays, but so much of that is due to adding tons of brown sugar or marshmallows (or both) to the recipe.
Those are definitely not healthy toppings, but sweet potatoes are naturally sweet – you don’t need to add them! Think less dessert and more shepherd’s pie type of casserole or add them in for “2 tones” mashed potatoes to add more nutritional kick and less need for butter and gravy than your regular mashed potatoes.
#2 Focus on your white meat!
While red meat and darker meats have their place, it’s hard to argue with the fact that as a whole white meat tends to be leaner with less of the bad types of fat. While turkey is a popular choice (hold on the stuffing and go light on the gravy), don’t forget that pork can be a fantastic option, too.
There are plenty of recipes with lean pork chops or pork loin with apples and leeks as a filling. You might consider trying something different for this holiday as a delicious pork goes great with carrots, apples, and even cabbage. A little black pepper and garlic powder can give some amazing seasoning so you can hold off on the salt.
#3 Why not put together a hearty stew?
Healthy doesn’t necessarily have to mean low calorie, and thanks to slow cookers and a wide array of online recipe websites, you can put together a delicious and hearty stew. Go heavy on the mushrooms, carrots, and celery. If you’re feeling creative you may even be able to put some sweet potatoes in with the potatoes to create a truly hearty and healthy choice that lasts more than just Christmas.
After all, what’s better than delicious Christmas leftovers that can easily be reheated and enjoyed once again?
#4 Turkey’s not just for Thanksgiving
There’s no reason turkey should only be relegated to one holiday. It’s a delicious meat that offers high protein, is filling, and goes with a wide variety of different dishes. Add in the fact that cranberry sauce is a popular topping with it, meaning you can skip the butter and gravy, and you have an impressive bird that offers a very impressive array of options as to what goes with it.
Turkey can remain on the bird, it can be added to rice and cheese casseroles, you can actually do a lot with this holiday favorite, and it’s a shame that more people don’t put this versatility to use during this time of year.
#5 Don’t forget the salad!
Make your holiday salads special and interesting. If you give a salad that has nothing but a lot of plain lettuce and not much pep to it, then you’re going to drown it in your favorite dressing, and that’s not going to do you much good when it comes to trying to eat healthier.
Add in a variety of different greens, a touch of garlic. Don’t skimp on the carrot shavings, a touch of cheese, or even slices of apple for more flavor. Adding a little fruit and even a small dose of goat cheese really explodes the flavor combinations. Yes, you might still want a little dressing, but you won’t need nearly as much when you have so many other flavors complimenting each other on the plate!
#6 Delicious Desserts
This is where you can really get hit in the belt. Put away the cheesecake or the triple brownie fudge surprise and reach for something that’s a lot kinder to your waistline and your family’s. Just because you want to go healthy doesn’t mean you can’t have a tasty and delicious dessert.
Take a look at gingerbread men as always being a good choice, or you can also create a fruit and yogurt parfait over the usual cheesecake or even regular cake.
As you can see, there are many ways to enjoy still an amazing Christmas feast without sacrificing your dedication to making healthier eating choices for both you and your family. A little bit of imagination and a little bit of common sense go a long way to giving you a healthy and delicious Christmas menu you can be proud of!