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Traditional Christmas Recipes with Nontraditional Ingredients

Merry Healthy Christmas!

When we think of the holiday season and all of the fun festivities and traditions, many of us instinctively think about all of the yummy foods and treats that surround us in abundance this time of year! Classic Christmas traditional treats like sugar cookies, candy canes, gingerbread, cider, fudge, and egg nog, for example, are all delicious, but come with a price. While there is certainly a way to make all of these yummy foods at home in a wholesome, real foods way, most people don’t take the time or energy to do so and instead rely on the heavily processed junk forms of these foods.

Having a fun and merry Christmas can still occur when eating healthy foods! This is the case even for younger kids! And no, healthy food does not mean you will only be eating vegetables! Healthy can still include eating your favorites—including the fudge, cookies, and egg nog—it simply takes the desire and commitment to prepare them with real, whole food ingredients!

To be considered healthy, there are a few important criteria the food needs to have. First, the food must be clean and clear of any processed and hazardous, synthetic ingredients such as additives, colorings, flavorings, or preservatives. Next, it must not contain heavily processed vegetable oils or flours. Third, it must not be loaded with sugar or processed carbohydrates. In addition, the food must contain some health promoting benefits from naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and phytonutrients. In short, the food must not have any toxic effects, and must have at least some amount of health promoting benefits!

To help you discover some wholesome alternatives to the poor quality options, I’ve included below some of the traditional Christmas and holiday foods made in a more nutritious manner. They're made with natural ingredients and sugars, and many are vegan, though the non-vegan options can easily be substituted. Remember to have fun making and trying new ways of doing things, and get the whole family involved in the creative process of making delicious, and somewhat nutritious, festive foods!

Vegan Banana or Chia Nog


  • 2 cups almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 2 medjool dates, pits removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon rum extract

Get the full recipe at!

Homemade Vegan Egg Nog


  • 3 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 4 tablespoons agave or pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 tablespoons rum extract

Get the full recipe at!

Gingerbread Men Cookies


  • 2 3/4 cups (280 g) almond meal (ground almonds)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
  • 4 fresh soft pitted dates (60 g)

Get the full recipe at!

Naturally Sweetened Gingerbread House Cookies


  • 2 sticks salted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar (substitute whole cane sugar)
  • 5 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Get the full recipe at!

Fudgy Brownies


  • 1/2 cup palm shortening or unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the baking dish
  • 8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup coconut crystals
  • 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour

Get the full recipe at!

Creamy Chocolate Fudge


  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 6 tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup or raw honey
  • Get the full recipe at!

Coconut Flour Cut-Out Cookies


  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour, firmly packed (+1 tablespoon if needed)

Get the full recipe at!

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