Ah, Christmas—the season of joy, festivities, and an abundance of indulgences. While we wholeheartedly embrace the merriment and the tradition of treating ourselves during this time, it's essential to find a balance that nourishes our souls without compromising our health. This article isn't about promoting restrictive diet policies, especially not during the festive season when the whole purpose is to enjoy yourself. Instead, let's explore three Christmas recipes that offer the delightful flavours of the season with a mindful twist—lower sugar content for a healthier celebration.
Festive Spiced Oatmeal Cookies
Craving the warmth of holiday spices without the sugar overload? These Festive Spiced Oatmeal Cookies strike the perfect balance. Replace refined sugars with natural sweeteners like maple syrup or honey, and add a medley of seasonal spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. The oats provide a wholesome texture, and you'll find yourself savouring the festive spirit guilt-free.
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
A pinch of salt
Optional: raisins, chopped nuts
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, egg, and vanilla extract until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the rolled oats, almond flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, and salt.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until a dough forms.
- If desired, fold in raisins or chopped nuts.
- Scoop tablespoon-sized portions of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them apart.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cranberry Orange Bliss Balls
For a burst of fruity goodness without the sugar crash, these Cranberry Orange Bliss Balls are a delightful treat. Packed with nuts, dried cranberries, and a hint of citrusy freshness, they make for a nutritious snack or a healthier dessert. The natural sweetness from the fruits allows you to indulge in the Christmas spirit while nourishing your body.
1 cup dried cranberries (unsweetened)
1 cup pecans (or any preferred nuts)
Zest of one orange
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Desiccated coconut for rolling (optional)
- In a food processor, combine dried cranberries, pecans, orange zest, chia seeds, and honey (or maple syrup).
- Pulse the ingredients until a sticky dough forms.
- Scoop out tablespoon-sized portions of the mixture and roll them into balls.
- If desired, roll the bliss balls in desiccated coconut for an extra layer of flavour.
- Place the bliss balls on a tray and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to firm up.
- Once chilled, these bliss balls are ready to be enjoyed.
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark
Satisfy your chocolate cravings with a healthier twist. This Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark combines the richness of dark chocolate with the refreshing taste of peppermint. Dark chocolate contains less sugar than its milk counterpart and boasts health benefits. Choose high-quality dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content for a decadent yet mindful treat.
200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa or higher)
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
Dried cranberries (unsweetened)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Melt the dark chocolate using a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring until smooth.
- Stir in the peppermint extract until well combined.
- Pour the melted chocolate onto the prepared baking sheet, spreading it evenly with a spatula.
- Sprinkle crushed almonds, cranberries and desiccated coconut over the chocolate mass.
- Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for at least one hour or until the chocolate has hardened.
- Once set, break the chocolate into pieces and savor the delightful combination of dark chocolate and peppermint.
Indulging in festive treats doesn't mean compromising your well-being. These recipes allow you to embrace the holiday spirit while making mindful choices for your health. Remember, Christmas is a time to enjoy, and finding a balance that satisfies your soul and supports your overall well-being is the true essence of the season. Wishing you a Merry Christmas filled with joy, laughter, and delicious, mindful indulgences!