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?
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.
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
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
- 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
- Cream 1 Cup Full Fat Coconut Milk
- 1 Tsp Vanilla
- 1/2 Cup Powdered Coconut Sugar (ground sugar)
- Mix all ingredients for cookies until smooth. Place in fridge to allow dough to harden a bit.
- 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.
- Continue until all dough is used up.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden. Allow cookies to cool before mixing together icing and decorating.
2. Paleo Vegan Caramel Delights
- 1 Cup Medjol Dates
- 1 Cup Dark Chocolate (70% or higher)
- 2 Tsp Coconut Oil
- 1 Scoop Vanilla Protein
- 1 Tbsp Water
- In a food processor or blender, blend together dates, water and protein powder until smooth.
- Place a teaspoon size ball of “caramel” in the middle of a small cupcake liner.
- Melt chocolate by microwaving chocolate and coconut oil for 25 seconds and stir. Repeat until smooth.
- Pour 1-2 tsp over caramel and place in freezer to harden.
3. No Bake Nutty Reindeer Poop
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
- In a bowl, mix together everything except dark chocolate and vanilla.
- Scoop 1 tbsp of mix into a silicon muffin mold.
- Microwave chocolate for 25 second intervals until melted, stir in vanilla.
- Pour chocolate over nut mix until just covered. Sprinkle with extra mix and freeze for 10-15 minutes to set.
4. Vegan Gingerbread Men
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix together all the dry ingredients. Add in all wet ingredients and mix.
- Allow dough to chill 5-10 minutes in freezer. On a floured surface, roll out and use a gingerbread cookie cutter for shape.
- Cook for 6-8 minutes or until slightly browned
5. Vegan Dark 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
- In a micrwave safe bowl, melt coconut oil. Stir together chocolate, oil, milk, stevia and extract.
- In a blender, blend candy canes into a powder.
- 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
Gingersnap Cookies Via PrimalPalate
Soft & Chewy Double Chocolate Cookies via PaleOMG
Dairy Free Gluten Free Maple Chocolate Chip Cookies Via CotterCrunch