Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Healthy Holiday Swaps

Create healthy, festive meals this holiday season to keep you and your family from indulging in too many unhealthy treats. Read on to satisfy your cravings without the guilt.

  The holidays are a time to celebrate, get together with loved ones and of course indulge in our favourite festive foods. Sometimes it's easy to get a little too carried away in the indulgences and we end up eating more processed or sugar laden foods than we wanted. These recipes will below will help keep your meals wholesaled food centric and your desserts healthier. 

Coconut French Toast

  Start your Christmas morning on with a hearty breakfast to get you through the day. By eating a filling breakfast, you won't feel as hungry throughout the day, therefore you won't over indulge in snacking. This recipe also gives you a hint of sweetness with cinnamon, stevia and maple syrup, without spiking your blood sugar.


2 whole eggs, or use equivalent of egg substitute combined with nutritional yeast
2 slices of sprouted bread
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon + more for sprinkling on top
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
A pinch of stevia


  • In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cinnamon and stevia 
  • One slice at a time, dip a piece of sprouted bread into mixture- ensure it's fully coated on each side- Note: If you like soggier french toast, place both pieces in at a time and let them sit for a few minutes before flipping.
  • Once done, place on a baking sheet and top both slices with shredded coconut, sprinkle with extra cinnamon
  • Bake in the oven for roughly 10 minutes, or until egg has fully baked and the toast is a light brown/golden colour. 
  • Serve hot & enjoy!
  • Top toast anyway you like it. We enjoy it with warm berries and a light drizzle of pure, organic maple syrup or manuka honey. 

Non Potato Maple Mash

  Add extra vegetables to your holiday meal by substituting mashed potatoes for mashed turnips! They have the same consistency and with a taste this good, no one will be missing the other. 


3 medium raw turnips, chopped
4 cups carrots, chopped
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil 


  • Chop carrots and turnips into smaller pieces, making it easier for them to soften faster. Place in a large pot filled with water, bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • After roughly 20 minutes, vegetables should be soft. Pierce them with a fork to test if uncertain. Remove from heat, drain the water. 
  • Place vegetables in a large bowl, add in maple syrup and coconut oil. Mash with a hand masher. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper
  • Serve hot!

Creamy Broccoli Vegan Risotto  

  Forgot the stuffing this year and make this whole food, gluten free alternative instead! Pairs well with any main dish and there's no pressure to make a full turkey if it's a small get together. 


1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white cooking wine or water
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 
1-1.5 cups risotto rice
3 cups gluten-free vegetable broth
2 cups non-dairy milk
3 cups chopped broccoli florets
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of freshly ground pepper
3 green onions, chopped


  • Sauté onion and garlic in large pan over medium heat until onions are tender
  • In another saucepan, over medium heat, bring dairy-free milk and broth to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer
  • To onion mixture; add white wine or water and lemon juice. Keep on heat until all liquid has been cooked away
  • Add rice to onion mix. Gently cook over low-medium heat for a few minutes
  • Measure out 1 cup of broth and pour into rice. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring just enough so it doesn't burn
  • Once that broth is absorbed, repeat the process with measurements of 1/2 cup of broth at a time. 
  • Keep 1.5 cups of broth in saucepan and add broccoli. Keep repeating process until all broth is absorbed and broccoli is tender.
  • Serve hot and garnish with green onions
You can make this dish ahead of time and store in fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months. 

Sugar Free Cacao Truffles 

  This seasons most decadent dessert just got an upgrade! Put a healthier spin on your holiday dessert with these guilt free, sugar free truffles.


Chocolate Butter:
1/2 cup sunflower seed butter
2 tbsp grape seed oil
3 tbsp cacao powder
5 drops stevia concentrate
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil
100g cacao paste or unsweetened dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup cacao powder, divided
1 tsp alcohol free pure vanilla extract
25 drops stevia concentrate 


Chocolate Butter:
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until fully combined. 
  • Tip: Sometimes sunflower butter can be a little oily, if this is the case, adjust the recipe by removing the grapeseed oil. Set aside. 
  • Over low heat, melt coconut oil and stir in cacao paste, coconut palm sugar and chocolate butter. Stir consistently to avoid burning or sticking
  • Once combines, slowly add half of cacao powder, making sure it's fully incorporated before removing the pan from heat
  • Stir in remaining ingredients and place in fridge for 2-3 hours- you want the mixture to be a little more firm and easier to handle
  • Place remaining cacao powder in a small dish. Set aside
  • Using hands, take the firm mixture and create bite sized truffle balls
  • Roll in the cacao powder and place on a serving dish or in an airtight container. Repeat until all mixture is gone. 
  • Serve right away or store in fridge/freezer until you're ready to serve! 

  Healthy doesn't have to mean sacrifice. These healthy swaps aren't only loaded with ingredients and superfoods that are good for you, they're also loaded with flavour. These healthy alternatives will satisfy your cravings and keep you healthier too. Happy Holidays from National Nutrition!

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