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Healthy Holiday Cooking

With the holidays just around the corner, now is the time to plan. Don’t you want to be the person who brings a new healthy dish to pass that everyone is talking about? All it takes is a little searching and experimenting.  Be sure to give yourself enough time to plan out your holiday cooking in the first couple of weeks of December, before things get too busy. This way, if you make something you’re not in love with, or it doesn’t turn out just right, you have the time to remake it. You won’t be scrambling last minute which usually leads to buying something unhealthy and premade from the store.

 

Bread

Who says you have to follow strict tradition and buy the giant croissant rolls from Sams Club or Costco? These kinds of things fill you up on empty calories, cause major blood sugar swings, and ultimately lead to a nasty energy crash a few hours later. Not my idea of a happy holiday dinner. If you want to make a tasty, gluten-free, keto bread for your friends and family, check out my Low Carb Everything Rolls below. You can serve them freshly toasted with grass-fed butter and herbs. To transform them into a fancy appetizer, spread them with grass-fed cream cheese, chives, and a small piece of wild-caught smoked salmon. Everyone will be coming back for more.

Meat

You can’t go wrong with choosing healthy protein options for the holidays. Everyone usually enjoys roasted turkey, chicken, pork tenderloin, steak, salmon, or even lamb chops. Avoid drenching everything in a high sugar BBQ sauce or glaze. Instead, keep it healthy by using top quality oils like avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, or coconut oil, and some fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, garlic, onion, pink salt, and pepper.

Vegetables

This is the category that always seems to be lacking. After any event, I usually hear my clients say they’re glad they brought their own veggie tray or salad because there wasn’t much to choose from. This is simply because many people only focus on meat and starch. Be sure to give your guests a nice variety of vegetables to choose from. There are so many vegetables that taste absolutely amazing when cooked and seasoned with herbs and spices (roasted green beans, asparagus, brussels sprouts, radish, broccoli etc). Below you will see my favorite version of Creamy Mashed Cauliflower. Everyone loves it because it’s low carb, rich in vitamins, and it tastes very similar to mashed potatoes.
In today’s world with the constant rise in diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, when it comes to planning your holiday menus, stay mindful of creating enough healthy, low carb, nutrient dense options for your loved ones who may be dealing with major health conditions. As a society, we tend to forget how much of a profound impact certain foods have on our health. Do you really want to serve your diabetic Auntie a store bought pie with 60 grams of sugar per serving?  Heck no! This leads me to the last category of the night, dessert.

Desserts

Believe it or not, any of your favorite traditional desserts can be converted into a low carb, low sugar version. For example, if you always make brownies, google “low carb brownies” and you will find so many different variations. People tend to get in the habit of baking the same things year after year because that’s what’s easy. I get it, the unknown can be scary.  But once you step out of your comfort zone to make your first low carb dessert and taste how similar it is to the “unhealthy” version, you will be so glad you did. The best advise I can give is quality vs. quantity. When you switch to using low glycemic sweeteners such as monk fruit, stevia, chicory root, or erythritol, less is more. I’ve learned to start with about 1/2 the amount of sweetener the recipe calls for, taste it, and then you can always add the rest if you feel it needs it. Check out our Keto Shortbread Cookie recipe below. You can easily create different variations by adding cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice to one batch, or lemon zest to another.

To view more healthy recipe ideas, go to our website’s homepage and enter your email in the top banner to receive our Keto Cravings Cookbook. I wish you all the best on your holiday menu planning this year! Remember, change is not a threat. It is a challenge that can help strengthen new traditions. Feel free to reach out to any of us here at Ideal Wellness for tips and advice through this holiday season.

Ideal Wellness

Ideal Wellness