It’s a long road of cookies, casseroles and champagne standing between Christmas and the new semester. You might have gotten back on track after Thanksgiving, but the idea of turning down a season of sweets and treats is not an appetizing thought.
Instead of gorging on everything in Mom and Dad’s pantry when you’re home, you can turn to healthy options that are still delicious. We’re featuring eight healthy holiday recipes to make sure the tree isn’t the only thing that stays trim.
1. Reindeer Bites
These no-bake energy bites will give you the kick you need to pull Santa’s sleigh for an entire night—or just tackle the last mall shopping trip. The low-calorie, high-protein bites will give you the boost of energy without the crash later.
- 1 cup (dry) oatmeal
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ½ cup ground flaxseed
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Mix ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Roll into bite-size balls.
- Refrigerate to set—and then, on, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen —enjoy!
2. Ham Roll-Ups
Snacking is one of the easiest ways to pick up extra pounds around the holidays. While navigating the minefield of cookies and pies, grab some easy-to-make ham rolls for a snack that is healthy and light.
- Packaged of cooked deli ham
- Light or nonfat cream cheese
- Spread cream cheese on a slice of ham.
- Roll the ham up.
- Slice into inch-sized portions.
3. Spicy Moroccan Chickpeas
Chickpeas are the perfect dinner party entrée. This vegetarian classic is outside of the traditional fare, but still has the rich flavors that warm you up on a cold day. A lot of holiday favorites are meat-heavy (read: high in calories and fat) and not inclusive to vegetarians or vegans. This recipe is vegan and lower in fat but still high in protein. It also incorporates cinnamon—perfect for the season!
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 cups thinly sliced red onion
- 1 Tbsp. Moroccan spice blend
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¾ tsp. black pepper
- ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ cup water
- 1 ½ Tbsps. lemon juice
- 2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 28-oz. can no salt added whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
- 6 cups escarole, torn into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup cilantro leaves
- ¼ cup mint leaves
- ½ cup roasted whole almonds
- 4 cups hot cooked couscous
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add oil, swirl and add garlic. Cook for one minute.
- Remove garlic from pan using a slotted spoon.
- Add onion and cinnamon stick, onion, spices, salt, pepper and red pepper. Sauté for seven minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add ½ cup water, lemon juice, chickpeas and tomatoes; bring to boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for seven minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in escarole; simmer for one minute or until escarole wilts.
- Remove from heat, sprinkle with mint and cilantro and top with almonds. Serve over couscous.
Recipe from MyRecipes
4. Healthy Green Bean Casserole
A green bean casserole is a quintessential part to any holiday meal and an easy dish to bring to a potluck dinner. Our version lightens up the hearty holiday classic.
- 2 Tbsps. butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup onion, diced
- 1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced and diced
- 3 Tbsps. whole-wheat flour
- 1½ cups skim milk
- ⅔ cups plain Greek yogurt
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon onion powder
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- Black pepper, to taste
- 2 bags frozen green beans (12-oz bags)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add garlic and mushrooms and sauté five to seven minutes.
- Add flour and stir well.
- Slowly add milk, stirring constantly to avoid clumping.
- Add yogurt and seasonings, reduce heat and let simmer until thick (five to 10 minutes).
- Cook green beans according to packaging.
- Add green beans to sauce and stir to combine.
- Pour into a casserole dish.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Recipe adapted from The Lean Green Bean
5. Diet Coke Glazed Ham
Ham glazes are sweet, sticky and high in sugar and calories. Using Diet Coke (which we all love) as the base of the glaze cuts out sugar and calories while keeping the same sweet ham taste we all crave.
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 ½ cups Diet Coke
- 1 cup crushed pineapple (optional)
- ½ Ham (5-6 pounds)
- Wash ham thoroughly.
- Rub fat side with brown sugar.
- Pour Diet Coke over ham.
- Pour crushed pineapple over ham.
- Bake at 450 degrees for three hours.
Recipe from The Coca-Cola Company
6. Baked Apples
An apple a day keeps the doctor away—but this holiday treat won’t ward off anybody!
- 4 cored granny smith apples
- Cinnamon heart candies
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Fill apple cores with cinnamon hearts.
- Bake apples on a baking pan for around 40 minutes or until soft.
7. Champagne Sorbet
Cleanse your palate and your New Year with this delicious dessert. This recipe will also make a great punch if you don’t freeze it. Sorbet is a much lighter option than its delicious cousin, ice cream. For a lower-cal option, switch out the sugar for Splenda or Stevia and swap the corn syrup for agave.
- 1 1/2 cups sparkling wine or champagne
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon of lemon and or grapefruit zest
- 1 1/2 cups fresh grapefruit juice
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Put champagne, sugar, corn syrup and zest into a saucepan.
- Bring to a boil so that the sugar completely dissolves; remove from heat.
- Strain into a stainless steel bowl. Add the grapefruit juice and lemon juice.
- Wrap with plastic wrap and place in fridge overnight.
- Process the mixture in an ice cream maker or by hand.
- Transfer mixture to a storage container and freezer in your freezer until firm, at least six hours.
Recipe from Simply Recipes
8. Fruit Jellies
Fruit candy is a healthy compromise between candy and fruit—and homemade candy is even healthier (and cheaper) than the grocery store options!
- 5 (1/4 oz.) packets unflavored gelatin
- ¾ cup strained fresh orange juice
- ½ cup superfine sugar plus more for serving
- Line an 8-by-5-inch loaf pan with foil. Oil foil and set aside.
- Pour 1 cup water into a bowl; stir in gelatin and let soften five minutes.
- Heat juice and ½ cup sugar until sugar is dissolved.
- Add gelatin and stir until melted.
- Let refrigerate until firm (about one hour).
- Take out of pan, cut out pieces using festive cookie cutters and coat in sugar just before serving.
Recipe from MyRecipes.com
Above all, remember to treat yourself right this holiday season! Have fun with your family and friends and enjoy the time off school. Happy holidays from Her Campus!