Friends, it’s the most wonderful time of the year once again. Yay! But maybe this year is a little bit different for you. You could be watching what you eat this year than you have done in the previous years and are looking for healthy holiday recipes for Christmas or Thanksgiving. Healthy eating during the holidays terrifies the best of us, it did me at least.
The first time I was mindful about what I ate, clean eating during the holidays terrified me because I used to picture myself eating carrot sticks, while my family gobbled up all the yummy food at the dinner table.
But when the holidays finally arrived, this turned out not to be the case. I enjoyed all the delicious food just as much as my family. Not once did I eat some skinny salad, or skip on the mouth-watering stuffing, or dessert.
There are some insanely delicious clean eating holiday recipes and clean eating Christmas recipes that you can indulge in, guilty free. And what you will get in this article is a careful selection of the best of the best healthy holiday recipes from food bloggers around the world!
If this is going to be the very first time you’re going to try eating healthy during the holidays, take a deep breath and relax.
You are not going to undo all your years’ worth of dieting and exercise during the holidays. When you are smart about how you handle Thanksgiving and the Christmas feast, you can survive just fine.
How to indulge without the bulge this holiday season
Most people go through a few days of calories in just one sitting during the holidays. And that is fine, as long as you don’t beat yourself up about it the following day.
If you are going to eat and feel guilty about it later, to a point where you spend hours on the treadmill the next day, then you might just as well not do it from the onset.
The holidays and the wonderful food that comes with it supposed to be enjoyed.
You shouldn’t punish yourself because of your food choices on the day before, during or after Thanksgiving or Christmas.
If you are one of those people, like me, who can’t rely on self-control on Thanksgiving, then at least try to stuff your face, with healthier food choices.
Also, I will share with you a few tips and tricks on how to eat healthy during the holidays, before we get to the yummy clean eating Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes.
Healthy eating during the holidays – tips & tricks
Fill your plate with protein
Out of the other macronutrients (fat and carbs), protein is the most satiating. I would encourage you to fill at least half of your plate with quality food like lean protein and low carb veggies.
Bring your own healthy food
If you will be spending the holidays away, prepare a few of these clean eating holiday recipes to take along.
If taking your own food is off the tables, eat before heading out. That way, chances of you eating 10 000 calories will be so much slimmer.
Take short walks
Really, I am not talking about putting your trainers on right after your Thanksgiving meal, but try to do 5- 10 minutes of walking after your heavy meal to help with digestion.
The short walks can include taking multiple walks to the kitchen while clearing out the table, playing with the kids. If you actively are looking for something, you are going to find it.
In this case, if you look for opportunities to remain active in your environment, you will certainly find them.
Healthy holiday recipes for Christmas and Thanksgiving
Baked sweet potatoes with pomegranate from Good Life Eats
Sliced sweet potatoes are baked in a spiced orange maple glaze and sprinkled with juicy, bright pomegranate arils.
It is a gorgeous, colorful Thanksgiving side dish that is a little bit more on the healthier side without sacrificing flavor. Get the recipe from Good Life Eats here.
Slow-Roasted Turkey from the Nourished Kitchen
Slow-roasted turkey is marvelously tender, with meat that falls off the bone and golden, rich brown skin. It’s an easy, hands-off way to prepare turkey, and yields consistently excellent results. Get the recipe from the Nourished Kitchen.
Low carb layered pumpkin dessert from the Northern Nester
Everyone will be begging you for this low-carb Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares recipe! You would never know it doesn’t contain any sugar or gluten! A THM S dessert (also keto, low carb, and gluten-free). No special ingredients. Get the recipe from the the Northern Nester
Butternut squash and kale quinoa stuffing
Butternut Squash and Kale Quinoa Stuffing is a fantastic vegetarian stuffing recipe loaded with tons of veggies and flavors. Get the recipe Good life Eats.
Healthy sweet potato casserole
This Sweet Potato Casserole is a healthy and delicious holiday side dish recipe, made with clean ingredients and butternut squash for some extra veggie power. Topped with pecan streusel, this is just as good as (or better than!) traditional sweet potato casserole. Get the recipe from Confessions of a Fit Foodie.
Chocolate peppermint log
This no special ingredient Trim Healthy Mama, keto, and gluten-free Chocolate Peppermint Log has just the right amount of festive peppermint flavor in the creamy filling, and without any flour in the cake, it’s a cinch to roll up without cracking. Get the recipe from the Northern Nester.
Coconut and Roasted Pear Tartlets from Nourished Kitchen
Touched with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, these gluten- and dairy-free coconut and roasted pear tartlets are magic on the winter table where the sweet softness of coconut milk blends beautifully with tender pears roasted in the lightest drizzle of maple syrup. Get the recipe from the Nourished Kitchen.
Pumpkin pie bars (gluten-free)
Pumpkin Pie bars are an irresistible slightly healthier spin on a classic treat. Traditional pumpkin pie baked on top of an almond flour crust and topped with a date caramel sauce. Get the recipe from Hungry Hobby.
Moroccan Carrots from Whole New Mom
These Moroccan Carrots are the spiced just right and are the perfect easy side dish for every day, but great for special occasions too. Seasoned with cumin, coriander, parsley, in a warm vinaigrette, they’re a lovely colorful vegetable side that the whole family will love. Get the recipe from Whole New Mom.
Cucumber hummus bites
Cucumber Hummus Bites make the perfect finger food and appetizer for your next party or get together. Crisp cucumbers slices are topped with roasted red pepper hummus, tomatoes, feta cheese and fresh parsley. Get the recipe from A Cedar Spoon.
Baked Stuffed Pumpkin
If you’re searching for a show-stopping fall recipe for your holiday table, check out this Baked Stuffed Pumpkin recipe. Get the recipe from this mama cooks.
Whole wheat sweet potato biscuits
Looking for a way to shake up your Thanksgiving dinner table? These easy Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Biscuits are the perfect real food solution! They’re tender, flavorful, and easy. Be sure to double the batch so you have leftovers for breakfast! Get the recipe from Frugal Nutrition.
Easy Healthy Pumpkin Custard
Do you love pumpkin? If so, you will love this easy and deliciously healthy pumpkin custard. It’s simple enough for every day, works for almost every special diet, and yet is special enough for dessert and special occasions. Get the recipe from Whole New Mom.
Baked apple recipe with spiced granola and yogurt
Healthy easy baked apple recipe stuffed with homemade cinnamon granola, a dollop of Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey. Packed with whole grains, fiber and protein, it’s my healthier twist on apple pie a’la mode. Get recipe from sugar and cloth.
Autumnal delicata squash salad with persimmons
This delicata squash salad with persimmons is the perfect seasonal addition to your Thanksgiving spread or fall dinner. Get the recipe from Cadry’s Kitchen.
Harvest Squash Casserole
Harvest Squash is a colorful blend of vegetables with garlic, fresh thyme and Parmesan cheese. It’s low carb, gluten-free and keto-friendly. Get recipe from what a girl eats.
Oven slow-cooked turkey leg
Slow-cooked turkey leg with tender meat and crispy skin, the best way of cooking a turkey. Get the recipe from Where is my spoon.
Susan Chanda is a professional content writer/journalist with over 20 years’ experience. She holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing management from University of South Africa and a diploma in Journalism and Public relations.
Susan has been writing evidence based fitness and health articles since 2016 for Fitness Chat, and is a certified fitness trainer, and diet and nutrition coach.
Fitness Chat is one of the several other websites that Susan owns, or co-owns with her children.
You can read more about Susan here.