Christmas is quickly approaching, which means the temptation to overeat is everywhere. Baking is a big tradition during the holidays, and you shouldn’t have to sacrifice valued traditions in order to embark on a healthier lifestyle! Instead, you can make a few simple adaptations to your diet during the holidays. It’s surprisingly easy to take charge of your Christmas diet, it just takes a little intention, devotion, and planning! Explore a few of my favorite baking alternatives this season while spending time with your family, and don’t be afraid to try something new as a way to celebrate a healthier holiday season this year!
To begin with, try adopting a healthier version of a holiday classic. This recipe for healthy gingerbread men includes natural bases and sweeteners such as almond meal, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut oil, and maple syrup. Combined, it makes about 15 large cookies that can be decorated with traditional icing or more healthy alternatives. I recommend getting creative with goji berries, nuts, seeds and cacao nibs on top of a healthy cashew icing or a simple maple syrup base!
Whether you bake every year for the holidays or you simply can’t ignore that sweet tooth during Winter, there are simple alternatives that you can make to every classic. These healthy linzer cookies are a great way to celebrate the season without the heat in the kitchen! The alternative ingredients in this recipe make it gluten free, dairy free, and vegan friendly. It combines cashews, coconut flour, maple syrup, coconut oil, Chia jam and seeds, raspberries, and lemon juice for a naturally sweet treat bursting with flavor! This simple new holiday favorite will be a tradition to look forward to as a family each year, as baking together is a great way to pass on healthy living values!
While new traditions are fun to explore, you should never feel like you have to let go of holiday favorites in order to pursue a healthy eating journey. Instead, try making your favorites with a few healthy ingredient alternatives that can alleviate the guilt of Christmas cravings! To begin with, consider butter alternatives such as avocado, olive oil, greek yogurt, and pumpkin puree. When it comes to baking, you can also pick up black bean, whole wheat, spelt, almond, or hemp flour as a healthier alternative to white flour. Lastly, consider coconut, maple, or yacon syrup instead of sugar for a naturally sweet alternative on a variety of your holiday favorites.
If you’d like to catch more tips and advice for healthy eating and cooking like a chef, be sure to follow me on Instagram at OfficialChefT, check out SimpleEatsTV on YouTube, and find my podcast, Simple Eats w/ Chef T, on iTunes, Google Play, Overcast, Pocket Cast, and Radio Public.
Always remember to Eat with a Purpose!