Whether it’s latkes or yule cake, holiday food isn’t known for being healthy. And “Health Food” has a (we think undeserved) reputation for being boring and bland— basically the opposite of festive. Yet worry not, these recipes are satiating, celebratory, and— best of all— won’t leave you in a food coma!
Whatever way you slice it, the holidays will be different this year. And while that might mean missing relatives and stressing about health more than in years past, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Make the most of this unconventional holiday season by starting new traditions and incorporating immune-boosting takes on traditional favorites for your household feasts! Did I mention they’re delicious? Try one new dish, or build a whole new menu around them! Folks dining alone this year (or just with housemates as recommended by the CDC) may be wondering “how do I make a Christmas or Hanukkah meal that is small but festive?” Or “How do I cook a holiday meal for one?” It can be intimidating to figure out how to adjust a recipe meant for twenty people to feed just a few, so we picked recipes that are customizable and forgiving!
PART ONE: Nibbles, Dips, and Entrees
APPETIZERS & SIDES
Who doesn’t love finger-foods?! We’d be perfectly content to eat an entire meal comprised of dips and dollops. Why not? It’s 2020— there are no rules (except wash your hands, wear a mask, and stay 6 feet apart from anyone you don’t live with)!
We could write a whole blog post about the health benefits of pomegranates—they are full of vitamin C & K and have 3 times as many antioxidants as green tea, plus they reduce bad cholesterol— but you’ll be too busy enjoying their tangy goodness and the festive green cilantro & red pomegranate-seed aesthetic to think about how healthy you’re being. Pairs perfectly with a lightly salted baked tortilla chip…or just eat it by the spoonful!
Whole Foods has a great recipe.
Protein-Packed Sprouted Hummus Dip
Hummus is delicious, comforting, and surprisingly simple to make at home. Using sprouted beans makes it even easier to digest (think: fewer opportunities for your family to make flatulence jokes). In place of plain chickpeas, our extra-powerful version uses Organic Power Protein Sprouting Seed!
Whatever you do, be sure to plan ahead; it can take up to 5 days for the beans to sprout before making the hummus. (The hummus itself only takes about 30 minutes to prepare). Once you’ve got the basic recipe down, customize with olives, paprika, roasted garlic, or whatever your taste buds desire! Pair with raw veggies or sprouted spelt crackers to serve.
Sprouting time: 3-5 days
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minute with pressure cooker (45 minutes without)
Servings: 8 (about 2 cups
1 cup Organic Power Protein Sprouting Seed
2 cloves garlic (or more, if you like garlic!)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely ground real salt
3 tablespoons tahini (or a little more)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup water
For the sprouting seeds
1. Sprout your Organic Power Protein Sprouting Seed
(If this is your first time sprouting or you want a refresher, here’s how to sprout your seeds.)
2. Sprouts are ready when they reach about ¼-inch in length – about 3 days total.
For the sprouted hummus
1. Rinse the sprouts well, and then dump them into the insert of your pressure cooker. Cover with water by 3 inches, and swirl in a spoonful of fine sea salt. Pressure cook for 20 minutes. (If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can also simmer the chickpeas in salted water on the stove about 45 minutes or until tender).
2. Drain and dump them into a high-speed blender or a food processor. Add the minced garlic, lemon juice, salt, tahini, olive oil and water as well as any other flavorings or seasonings you like. Process until completely smooth.
3. Serve the hummus immediately, or store in the fridge up to 1 week.
TIP: This recipe makes about 8 servings. We don’t recommend making less because 1) you will wish you had more and 2) it gets tricky to blend. If you have extra, you can keep it in the fridge, freezer, or give some to your neighbors. But we think you’ll probably eat it all…
Recipe adapted from Nourished Kitchen
Anti-Scurvy Raw Cranberry Relish
This tart and tangy cranberry relish is so full of vitamin C, it could keep a crew of pirates healthy on the high seas until next year’s holiday season.* We have been known to eat it by the spoonful. It only takes 10 minutes to prep (but it’s better if you let it rest for an hour before serving). We like to use raw honey in place of the sugar, both for health and flavor. No need to convert measurements, just taste as you go!
Try this recipe from Dinner At The Zoo.
*This claim has not been approved by the FDA, nor the Pirating Board of Nutrition. But the relish IS full of vitamin C.
This colorful salad packs a powerful punch and it couldn’t be easier to make! First, make a bed of whatever fresh sprouts you prefer (we recommend our salad mix, but you can also use alfalfa if you prefer something more mild). Sprinkle on a little avocado, some blood orange slices, and some sunflower seeds. Drizzle olive oil, ume plum vinegar, sea salt, and crushed pepper on top!
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MAIN COURSE?
For vegetarians, many holiday meals leave something to be desired…like a main course you can actually eat! This squash-centric entrée gives you the full celebratory experience, complete with stuffing. Though it’s a meal in it’s own right, it also pairs well with traditional holiday foods like turkey, ham, or latkes.
Squash with Quinoa Stuffing
Use this recipe from Gimme Some Oven as a guide, but instead of roasting your squash in cubes with the garlic and veggies, scoop out the seeds and roast the squash in halves. (Save the seeds to roast with soy sauce for a yummy snack that’s healthy-adjacent). Play around with the stuffing ingredients and customize to fit your tastes: want something with a meat-like flavor? Cook up mushrooms in soy sauce and for that umami experience you crave. Want a bit more texture? Throw in some cashews, almonds, or roasted seeds. Crumble on some goat cheese if you want! Serve squash in halves with stuffing overflowing for a dazzling and delicious main dish. For a starring center piece, use a big butternut squash—we just got one the size of a small chicken from our CSA! For individual portions, serve in delectable delicata squash. (If you haven’t yet experienced the transcendence that is delicata squash, don’t wait for the holiday. Find and roast one RIGHT NOW. You won’t regret it!)
TIPS: Adjust roasting time as needed depending on the size and type of squash. You will likely need to start cooking the squash before roasting the other veggies