Trying To Watch What You Eat? 5 Easy Healthy Holiday Cookie Recipes

I want to preface this post with this…

This is not intended cut back the 5-10 pounds we “allegedly” gain during the holidays. I say allegedly because that’s marketing. Marketers want to scare the living daylights out of us into buying their weight loss books, gear, pills and whatever else on January 2nd. The truth is, most people gain an average of just 1-3 pounds.

So this isn’t about calories. These recipes are about showing that you can fuel your body with awesome treats while also celebrating this time of year. Guilt-free!

Okay… let’s talk how to eat healthy, shall we?

Healthy Holiday Cookie Recipes

The Holiday Food Challenge

The Saturday after Thanksgiving I made a challenge for myself:

To eat clean, cut out added sugar and even track my micros from then until Christmas.

Why would I do such a thing during the holiday season?

Well, for one thing… Thanksgiving makes everyone want to watch what they eat for a few days. Not because of guilt (I don’t believe in feeling guilty for splurges) but from feeling stuffed.

And oh man, did I feel stuffed!

My second reason… I want to see what this body can accomplish by the end of the year.

Yes, you read that right. I treat the year like I treat a race: wanting a strong finish!

It annoys me when people give up on themselves at the end. I see it too often this time of year. It’s almost New Years plus it’s the holidays so just give up and let go for these last 4 weeks. Come January, turn it up a notch and start over.

Cringe.

Who likes to work hard and then give up at the end? Not me. I refuse to do it.

But I’m not giving up on enjoying the spirit of the season either.

Just because I’m cleaning up my diet for the next 21 days, doesn’t mean I have to turn away from all the special treats of the season.

I like a challenge, not a prison sentence.

It’s about balance and it’s about real food. And of course it’s about planning!

The Balance To Splurge & Not Splurge

“Sometimes you just need the REAL thing.”

When it comes to cookies, cakes and sweet treats, sometimes you really do just have to swallow your clean eating pride and eat the sugar laden goodness.

For some things (uh hum, my client’s 7-layer bars) there are no healthy alternatives that give it justice.

And those are the items you splurge on, the ones you don’t make yourself and you only have the ability to have 1-2 servings. If you’re out at a party, eat the real Santa Clause sugar cookie covered with red and white frosting with little snowflake sprinkles.

But, when it’s the holidays and you’re baking for yourself and your family… make the healthier options.

Because you know you can’t eat just one cookie out of the tin. And even if it’s a cookie, food is fuel.

People Want You To Make Healthier Options

biscotti

On top of sticking to my goals and wanting to feel my very best this holiday season, I love the challenge of healthy cooking simply because people expect it from me.

For parties, I cannot bring a typical sugar cookie. I mean I could, but I don’t want anyone to pass out from shock during the holidays!

Instead, People want to taste test what a paleo sugar cookie taste like. They want to taste the vegan bites I’ve posted on Instagram. And they want to know if my chocolate hazelnut cookies are really as good as they look (which they are).

Because believe it or not… people are intrigued and want to try the “healthy crap” you’re in to.

What I’ve learned over the years is that people actually do love feeling good about the food choices they make. I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me to make something “healthy” and then bragged about how good they feel for eating well.

So… all of this to say, I want to share my favorite EASY (because if it isn’t easy, I won’t do it) healthy holiday sweet treats with you today.

These are the gifts that will be in my tins as I pass them out to friends and family.

5 Easy Healthy Holiday Cookie Recipes

1. Snowflake Paleo Sugar Cookies

Paleo Sugar Christmas Cookie #paleo

  • 2 Cups Almond Flour
  • ½ Cup Coconut Flour
  • 2 Tbsp Tapioca Flour
  • ½ Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • ⅓ Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 Eggs

Icing: 

  • Cream 1 Cup Full Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup Powdered Coconut Sugar (ground sugar)

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients for cookies until smooth. Place in fridge to allow dough to harden a bit.
  2. Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Once cookie dough is chilled, remove and roll out 1/2 the dough onto a floured surface. Cut out cookies and place on cookie sheet.
  3. Continue until all dough is used up.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden. Allow cookies to cool before mixing together icing and decorating.

2. Paleo Vegan Caramel Delights

Carmel Delight Bites

  • 1 Cup Medjol Dates
  • 1 Cup Dark Chocolate (70% or higher)
  • 2 Tsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Scoop Vanilla Protein
  • 1 Tbsp Water

carmel-delights-all

Directions: 

  1. In a food processor or blender, blend together dates, water and protein powder until smooth.
  2. Place a teaspoon size ball of “caramel” in the middle of a small cupcake liner.
  3. Melt chocolate by microwaving chocolate and coconut oil for 25 seconds and stir. Repeat until smooth.
  4. Pour 1-2 tsp over caramel and place in freezer to harden.

3. No Bake Nutty Reindeer Poop

Reindeer poop healthy

Every family has a recipe for making their own reindeer poop. My mom’s is awesome but loaded with milk chocolate, oats, and a few other things I would rather not indulge in at this time. So, with her recipe as my inspiration…

  • 1/3 Cup Oats
  • 1/3 Cup Cashews, Raw
  • 1/3 Cup Almonds, Raw
  • 1/3 Walnuts
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut
  • 1 Cup Dark Chocolate
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix together everything except dark chocolate and vanilla.
  2. Scoop 1 tbsp of mix into a silicon muffin mold.
  3. Microwave chocolate for 25 second intervals until melted, stir in vanilla.
  4. Pour chocolate over nut mix until just covered. Sprinkle with extra mix and freeze for 10-15 minutes to set.

4. Vegan Gingerbread Men

gingerbreadshake-biteout

  • Rice Flour
  • ¼ Cup Ground Flaxseed
  • ¼ Cup Almond Flour
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 ½ Tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • 4 Tsp Stevia
  • 3 Tsp Molasses
  • 1 Cup Almond Milk
  • ¼ Cup Water
  • ¼ Tsp Vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together all the dry ingredients. Add in all wet ingredients and mix.
  3. Allow dough to chill 5-10 minutes in freezer. On a floured surface, roll out and use a gingerbread cookie cutter for shape.
  4. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until slightly browned

5. Vegan Dark Chocolate Peppermint Truffles

Vegan Chocolate Peppermint Truffles

  • ¾ Cup Unsweetened Chocolate
  • 2 Tsp Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Milk
  • 2 Tsp Stevia
  • ¼ Tsp Peppermint Extract
  • Coconut Shavings or Coco Powder For Coating

Directions:

  1. In a micrwave safe bowl, melt coconut oil. Stir together chocolate, oil, milk, stevia and extract.
  2. In a blender, blend candy canes into a powder.
  3. Roll 1 Tsp of truffle mix into a ball and roll into candy cane coating. Chill for 10-15 minutes before serving.

As you can tell, some people are in for some sweet surprises!

Including me! I can’t wait to snuggle up on the couch with a cup of peppermint coffee, start at my Christmas tree, listen to my favorite Christmas album and nibble on a few holiday treats. All the while sticking to my micros!

Its a win win. See you can have your nutrition goals and have your cake too!

Other Healthy Holiday Sweet Treats

Because it’s the season for giving, I wanted to share a few delicious recipes from around the web. Check them out, make them or just drool while thinking about them. Whatever floats your sweet treat boat.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls Via TheSpunkyCoconut

pumpkin-cinnamon-rolls

Gingersnap Cookies Via PrimalPalate

Gingersnap cookies

Soft & Chewy Double Chocolate Cookies via PaleOMG

double chocolate paleo cookies

Dairy Free Gluten Free Maple Chocolate Chip Cookies Via CotterCrunch

cotter-cookie

 

Comments:

  • itzyskitchen

    All look delicious! I was thinking about making gingerbread men with Kay- maybe I’ll try your vegan version! Hope you had a nice weekend planned 🙂

  • Bonnie Lang

    That’s awesome! I will be coming back to some of these! I definitely cannot only eat one…so it’s a challenge for me for sure if I do bake anything (hello, dough of anything and everything!) and having it in the house. Thanks for these great options!

    Since we got home from our trip for Thanksgiving (which I haven’t even blogged or really shared about yet!) I actually made the same deal! I’ll have some red wine but saying “no thanks” to candy and obvious sweets. So far I’m only 4 days in but feeling good!

    Miss you and have a great weekend – and keep it up! Another thing we can keep each other accountable for now! 😉

  • These all look really yummy! Thanks for sharing the recipes :).

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  • I want those Caramel Delights. After hearing you talk about them last night and now seeing the picture, I’m certain I’m making these. But closer to Christmas to make sure I share…
    I’ve always given up this time of year. But I feel really good about my eating plan and workout schedule and feel confident I can continue until Christmas. And the no alcohol. A doozy but I’m gonna do it 🙂 After that, I’ve got to work on my balance 🙂

  • Amelia

    Everything looks so good! This past week, my sister (who lives in Los Angeles and is expecting baby #1) requested the REAL deal stuff from our childhood, so I obliged (chocolate bourbon pecan fudge/ pb fudge/ sea salt roasted almond toffee/ raspberry crumb bars). Let’s just say I absorbed enough sugar while stirring the pot and smelling the goodies baking that I had ZERO desire to have any. Not only that, but considering I just finished another round of whole30 the day before Thanksgiving, sweets have just not appealed to me. Call me crazy. Fine by me. But I am looking forward to having some bubbles and such at holiday parties coming up!

    I think I will make the caramel delights above and maybe give the paleo sugar cookies a whirl to take to a party this weekend.

    You’re counting micro-nutrients? Not macros? Pretty sure we are cut from the same cloth about wanting to end the year with a bang! I am all about trying to beat my old self 🙂

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