Nourishing and Satisfying Holiday Recipes

Fats, sugars, and starches are abundant in traditional holiday recipes, and many family-favorite dishes aren’t exactly what you’d consider healthy. While there’s nothing wrong with indulging in a favorite side dish, many families do want to be mindful of excessive sugar and calories—especially if healthier, equally tasty alternatives might be possible.

Here are 7 holiday recipes that will support your family’s health without sacrificing what makes a Christmas feast feel so hearty and comforting.

1. Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a perfect holiday side dish that can be more nutritious than you might initially believe. Roasting is a great method for preparing sweet potatoes as it brings out their natural sweetness. This recipe also adds maple syrup and butter for a tender finish and fantastic flavor. You’ll see that pure maple syrup is used, which many believe to be a healthier alternative to granulated sugar.

Check out the recipe here.

2. Tender Herb-Roasted Turkey

While turkey is a Thanksgiving staple, it can also be a great choice for Christmas, especially if your family members aren’t big fans of ham. This easy turkey recipe is loaded with herbs and aromatics for a turkey that’s naturally low-fat, smells incredible, and tastes tender and moist.

3. Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower

Mashed cauliflower isn’t for everyone, and many picky eaters simply won’t enjoy such a drastic alternative to their beloved mashed potatoes. So what’s the answer to healthier mashed potatoes? Halving them! This recipe uses half mashed potatoes and half mashed cauliflower for a delicious garlic flavor that kids and adults will love.

4. Slimmed-Down Green Bean Casserole

Green bean casserole is a polarizing dish: Some love it, and others hate it. But we bet your family will love this slimmed-down take on classic green bean casserole! This recipe is absolutely delicious, and though it does take a bit more work to make, the result is a perfectly textured green bean casserole rich with herbs, mushrooms, and homemade crispy onions.

5. Healthier and Simpler Honey-Glazed Ham

It’s hard to beat a honey-glazed ham when it’s a dish your entire family looks forward to for Christmas. Most glazed ham recipes are loaded with sugar—and not just white sugar but also additional fruit sugars. In fact, you might be surprised that there’s very little actual honey in many glazes! This recipe only has three ingredients and uses both raw honey and natural apple butter for a no-sugar-added glaze.

6. Multigrain Stuffing With Sausage and Herbs

With a moist middle, a crispy top layer, and plenty of herbs, this stuffing recipe smells as incredible as it tastes. Rather than using white bread, this healthier stuffing recipe calls for a multigrain bread of your choice. You might even try sprouted multigrain bread!

You’ll also see that there is sausage in this recipe. If you and your family aren’t fans of sausage or you’re looking to cut calories, you can omit it from your dish.

7. Slimmed-Down Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake

If your family loves chocolate and cheesecake, this lightened version of chocolate truffle cheesecake is going to be a winner. This recipe has a bit less sugar than standard cheesecake and is lowered in calories by substituting cottage cheese for a portion of the cream cheese. Since this cake keeps very well in the fridge, it’s perfect for making the day before your holiday dinner.

Adjust your favorite recipes with less sugar and healthier ingredients.

Don’t forget that you can tailor your own family favorites. There are often a number of ways to make dishes healthier. For example, you can use a sugar substitute in place of half or all of the granulated sugar called for.

Take your favorite recipes, hop on Google, and search for “alternatives to [the dish or ingredients within the dish].” You’ll be surprised at how many ideas are out there that can help you make even the most decadent recipe healthier.

We’d love to know about your family’s favorite holiday dishes!

The holiday season is the perfect time to stop in at Monroe Family Dentistry for a checkup and professional cleaning. We can help you prepare your smile for all of those family gatherings and make sure your smile is healthy and cavity-free for the new year. During your visit, we’d love to know how your family is doing this holiday season and what tasty dishes you might have planned.

You can schedule an appointment for yourself or your family by giving our Greenville office a call or using this online form.