Healthy Holiday Treats

Warm sweaters, festive coffees, cozy fires, and all the yummy holiday foods!

The last few months of the year are always my favorite! Warm sweaters, festive coffees, cozy fires, and all the yummy holiday foods! And let me tell you, I am a sucker for a good holiday treat. Peppermint, gingerbread, caramel – you name it, I love it!

My body, however, doesn’t love them as much as I do. All that refined sugar definitely takes a toll on me by the end of the season. I feel bloated & puffy, headachy, have increased brain fog, and overall just ‘blah.’ Not to mention my GI system is not very happy with me.

Below, I have listed 2 easy ways to cut back on the amount of refined sugar and calories on your tried and true holiday treats. Also listed are 3 recipes that take classic holiday flavors and put a healthier twist on them so you still get your treat while keeping your body happy and avoiding those icky side effects of too much sugar.

Easy Ways to Clean Up Your Holiday Treats

Sub Applesauce for Oil

This is a great, simple way to cut back on all those empty calories that are so easy to consume this time of year. Unsweetened applesauce can be used in 1:1 ratio for oil in most baking recipes. Now, I know what you’re thinking – ‘How in the world can applesauce play the same role as oil?!’ And trust me, I had my doubts also. But I have tried it on more than one recipe and I’m telling you, you cannot even taste the difference!

Organic pure Maple syrup or honey can be subbed for white sugar

Not all sugar is created equal! White sugar commonly used for baking is a type of refined sugar. This means it has went through processing to extract sugar. This typically comes from cane sugar or beets. Refined sugars are linked to a higher likelihood of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, depression, and dementia – just to name a few. When using organic pure maple syrup or honey, you are taking sugar in it’s natural form that has not underwent a refining process. It also has a lower glycemic index, meaning it takes longer for blood sugars to rise when ingesting them.

When using liquid sweetener such as pure maple syrup or honey, it is best to decrease the overall amount by about 3 tablespoons in order to reduce overall amount of liquid in recipe.

Holiday Recipes So Delicious, You’ll Have NO Idea They are Healthy

Thin Mints

Thin Mints

It seems as though people are either all the way for #TeamMintChocolate or all the way against it, am I right!?

In my case, you couldn’t give me enough of the mint chocolate!

The good old Girl Scout Thin Mints have always been a weakness of mine. Click here for a recipe for thin mints that take out all refined sugar without taking out any of the great taste.

(Pro tip – pop ‘em in the freezer for a while and you’re in for a real treat.)

Gingerbread Rice Crispies

Gingerbread Crispies

Who doesn’t love a good rice crispy treat?? Click on this link to dress up a simple, classic recipe for the holiday season as well as taking out all refined sugar. What more could you ask for!

Cinnamon Apple Chips

Dried Apples and Cinnamon

I think if the holiday season had one scent, it would be apple cinnamon. There just something about this combo that never gets old. Here is a little ‘lighter’ recipe for something to sit and snack on when you have those holiday munchies. AND it will make your house smell delicious. It’s a win-win!

Please share if you have tried either of the baking substitutes or the recipes listed. I’d love to know what you think. Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy, healthy holiday season. Cheers!

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