Search This Blog

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Healthy Holiday Recipes - Tried and True! Part 1

Here are some of my favorite holiday recipes that are not only very yummy, but healthier too. I will be adding more very soon.

Cut-Out Sugar Cookies - without the sugar by The Nourishing Apron
I would actually call them honey cut out cookies if it were me.  I added in lemon flavoring.  I think a cream cheese, honey and lemon icing would be very yummy!  I also rolled mine a bit thicker and had to bake for 18 minutes.  

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup cold butter
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup honey.

1. Pulse butter and flour in food processor till mixture resembles course crumbs.
2. Drizzle honey and extract through the top hole of the processor while pulsing till mixture begins to hold together.
3. Gather dough into a ball and wrap in plastic.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours.  Roll into 1/8 inch thick and cut into desired shapes.  Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 300 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  
4. Remove to a wire wrack to cool.

Spiced Cider
6 cups apple cider
2 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
1-2 oranges, peels only
extra cinnamon sticks (optional)

1. Place the cinnamon sticks, cloves and peels in a cheese cloth and tie it up.  
2. Put cider in a pan and turn on medium/low.  Add in the cheese cloth bundle.
3. Bring to a slow simmer and simmer 10 minutes or so.  
4. Serve in cups with cinnamon sticks sticking out as a garnish.

Cream Cheese Stuffed Dates
cream cheese, softened
dates - cut in half and pitted
nuts of your choice - walnuts or pecans taste best

1. Spread cream cheese in each date half.
2. Top with a nut then sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.
These taste best at room temp.

Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes
2lbs sweet potatoes (I used canned- drain them)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons of maple syrup (or more to taste)
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3-4 tablespoons half and half or milk

1. Cook sweet potatoes and mash till tender - or drain and mash.
2. Add to pan and warm up with the rest of the ingredients.
3. Add cinnamon if desired. I never do because they are perfect without it :)

Spinach Artichoke Dip
I got this recipe from my sister-in-law and boy is it good!
2 cups pram cheese
1 box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1-14oz can artichoke hearts drained and chopped
2/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayo
2 teaspoons garlic, minced

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Mix together parm cheese, spinach and artichoke hearts.
3. Combine remaining ingredients and mix with spinach mixture.
4. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
5. Serve with crackers or toasted bread.

I've altered the way I make it a bit. I hate big pieces of spinach or artichokes so for the directions, I place the spinach and artichokes in a food processor and process. Then I add the rest of ingredients and blend together. I bake just like above. Regardless of the way you make it, I think you'll find this is the best hot dip out there.

Maple Syrup Walnuts by Ellie from the Food Network
2 cups walnuts halves
1/3 cup maple syrup
pinch of salt

1. Stir all ingredients in a warm pan for about 3 minutes or till nuts are toasted and caramelized.
2. Put on plate to cool.
3. Break apart and put in airtight container or bag.

World's Best Gingersnap Cookies by My Years Without Sugar
These cookies have a lovely flavor! I do think they are a bit dry and will try to remedy that next time. Because of that, whatever shape you put these on your pan is what they will come out looking like.
1 cup butter
1 cup date sugar
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 egg

Mix these ingredients together, then add:
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt

Mix these and then add:
2 3/4 cup flour (can use whole wheat flour...)
1 tsp. baking soda

Mix until they are ready to roll into balls (do NOT roll in sugar of any kind) and place evenly on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes until they are cracked on top. I always like to take them out early so they are especially soft and chewy. Every oven is different, so check often and enjoy!

"Mounds" Frozen Candy Bars also from My Years Without Sugar
I thought these were so yummy. I would however recommend making these in mini muffin tins. They are too big and rich for big ones:)
1 1/3 C. unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 C. coconut oil (unrefined, virgin is best)
1/4 C. honey
1 tsp. almond extract
1/2 C. sliced almonds

Melt coconut oil and honey over low heat until just melted. Whisk to combine. Add almond extract and coconut flakes.
Take a 12-compartment muffin tin and evenly distribute the almonds in each. Then evenly distribute the coconut mixture over each of those. Place in freezer on flat surface for 30 minutes.
Next, you will prepare the chocolate:
3/4 C. cocoa powder (not dutch cocoa)
1/4 C. honey
1 C. coconut oil
1 Tblsp vanilla extract

Combine these ingredients in a 2-cup measuring glass and place in a pot of simmering water. Heat and whisk until everything is just melted. Remove from heat and continue to whisk until smooth.
Take out the tin of frozen coconut and evenly distribute the chocolate mixture over it.
Put back into your freezer and freeze until hard, about 30 minutes.
To get them out after freezing, simply pop them out with a knife. Keep them frozen as they melt otherwise.

No comments: