What’s Christmas without that good, old food coma that follows a decent feast, right? Often brought on by overindulging, that blissful state is what so many families look forward to every holiday season. But if you’re dealing with health troubles such as high blood pressure or you want to shed some weight, these holiday staples don’t work in your favor.
Thankfully, there are equally satisfying, yet healthier dishes you can make this Christmas and turn your holiday feast into one healthy indulgence. Just like you’ve swapped those alcohol-infused beverages with healthy holiday drinks, the same can be easily achieved with new Christmas recipes. Here are a few you must try!
Stuffed mushrooms for appetizers
Fried goodies and baked, fatty, bite-sized dishes are often considered ideal for Christmas as appetizers – they are tasty, fluffy, and easy to make. Especially when you’re looking to prepare several complicated main dishes, these are the lifesavers for your party. The downside? They can cause heartburn, particularly when combined with other fatty and heavy dishes.
But you can go for tasty, light alternatives such as stuffed mushrooms! Bake them in the oven to avoid using too much oil, butter, or lard. Stuff them with mozzarella, or perhaps go with whole-wheat panko with parmesan. Add garlic and herbs to infuse them with extra flavor, and you’ll have a winning appetizer to wow the entire family.
Make your side-dish work in your favor
Mashed potatoes are the go-to side dish and the best comfort food, so it’s no wonder so many people struggling with holiday anxiety reach for a few extra helpings whenever they can. Fortunately, you can make your favorite side dish healthier without losing any of that staple flavor – if anything, you’ll add more aromas you’ll love.
Try mixing part mashed potatoes with part mashed cauliflower and some garlic. You’ll love the taste of this blend! You can also add lighter greens without any frying – baked brussels sprouts, green beans, and asparagus glazed with olive oil and some garlic are wonderful for any main course.
Low-sodium alternatives to protect your belly
The heartburn, digestive issues, and all kinds of belly troubles after your Christmas feast can be traced back to high-sodium, high-fat dishes. For starters, protect your GI tract with a healthy supplement such as GI Revive if you’re experiencing any digestive issues, or you find the holidays can be hard on your digestive health.
Ideally, adapt your recipes to be less heavy in salt and fats that can put so much pressure on your digestive tract. Choose spices and herbs such as cumin, ginger, garlic, thyme, lemon or lime, and the like. They’ll do wonders for your dishes, without wreaking havoc on your GI health.
Naturally sweet bites
Yams and sweet potatoes are a godsend for anyone with a sweet tooth, because they are naturally sweet and full of flavor, so they don’t require all the sweeteners you’d normally use. You can go for natural sweeteners such as a smidgen of maple syrup or honey to bring out their sweetness.
You can also roast butternut squash squares with sweet potatoes, drizzle them with a naturally sweet dressing (once again, honey is a wonderful pick), and you’ll have a classic dish without all the unnecessary calories or stress on your health.
Lean roasting options
So many people brine their holiday meats before preparation, which means you’re infusing them with tons of salt from the get-go. Not to mention the overly sugary coat so many recipes offer to cover the skin of your chosen meat.
How about a leaner, yet equally delicious option with herbs, spices, and lemon? Smarter and healthier food preparation often leads to discovering new taste notes that might become your favorites. Avoid salty marinades and instead rely on slowly preparing your meat and coating it with a bit of butter and plenty of herbs for added flavor and tenderness.
Healthy doesn’t mean flavorless, so you can fiddle with a few of your own family recipes until you create something authentic, yet healthy. Many struggle with their heath goals during the holiday season, but you don’t have to go it alone. Our functional medicine experts are here to help, so schedule an appointment with us to greet 2022 with renewed focus and dedication to your own wellbeing.