Healthier Holiday Recipes

Bring these apps and desserts to your mindful holiday table.

Here’s what the Healthy Nest Nutrition family is eating and enjoying with friends (reveling—because we can) while still sticking to our clean-ish diets so we don’t feel gross come January.

Recipe: BETTER Spinach Artichoke Dip
Modified from D. Walker, Celebrations

Healthy Nest founder Robin Hutchinson went to a Hanukkah party and brought a cleaner version of spinach artichoke dip. It’s a fam favorite she has been making for years. EVERYONE loves the creamy cream cheese version and who wouldn’t—really it is scrumptious. But it isn’t that great for our bodies. So we made it better, subbing cashew cream for the cream cheese and adding lots of veggies and nutritional value.

½ cup whole raw cashews
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup diced yellow onion
½ cup (about ½ bulb) chopped fennel bulb
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup water
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp lemon juice
½ tsp apple cider vinegar
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 ¼ pounds baby spinach
2 (14-ounce) cans artichoke hearts in water
¼ cup mayo

To Dip
Simple Mills Almond Crackers
A mixture of carrots, celery and snap peas

Put cashews and warm water in small bowl. Soak for one hour, drain & rinse. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add olive oil, onion, fennel, garlic to skillet. Sauté on low-medium until onions are translucent. Combine cashews with water in blender. Add onion mixture, all spices and lemon and apple cider vinegar. Blend until smooth.

Next, steam spinach until totally wilted. Use paper towels or dish rag to press all the water out of the spinach. Add to blender. Drain artichokes and add to blender. Add mayo. Pulse the blender until combined and spinach and artichokes are small dip-able pieces. Place dip in an oven-safe dish and bake for 20-30 minutes. Serve with veggies and crackers.

Recipe: Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms
Modified from D. Walker, Celebrations

Robin went to a birthday party/holiday party. This time she took stuffed mushrooms. They were savory, delicious and a little bit special.

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
40 cremini or white button mushrooms
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups crabmeat (about a pound)
¼ cup mayo
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp thyme
¼ cup almond meal
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two cookie sheets with oil. Remove stems of mushrooms. Combine stems with onion, chop into small pieces. Place olive oil in a skillet and sauté mushrooms and onions until soft, about 10 min on medium heat.

Next mix crab, mayo, lemon juice and spices in a bowl with the onion mixture. Fill the mushrooms, sprinkle almond meal over the top and bake for 18-20 minutes. Serve garnished with parsley.

Recipe: Fruit Kabobs
Modified from D. Walker, Celebrations

Lisa has been busy gearing up for the holidays. She met friends for a potluck last weekend and brought mini fruit kabobs with chocolate whipped ‘cream.’ It was a hit.

Gather four different kinds of fruit (Lisa used blueberries, strawberries, kiwi and apple). Cut wooden skewers in half to make them shorter and easier for kids to eat. Fill the wooden skewers with fruit.

Whipped ‘Cream’
1 cup raw cashews
1 ½ cups full-fat coconut milk
1/3 cup melted expeller-pressed (not extra virgin) coconut oil
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 ounce raw cacao butter, melted
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt 

Soak cashews in a bowl with water for at LEAST 2 hours (4 is best). Drain cashews, add to blender with coconut milk and oil, maple syrup, cacao butter, vanilla and salt. Blend for about a minute until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for one hour. Serve immediately with the fruit. 

Recipe: Christmas Fudge
Who doesn’t LOVE to bump into fudge during the holidays? This and the next dessert recipe are both on the menu for Christmas Eve at Lisa’s house.

1 cup maple syrup
½ cup coconut sugar
½ cup expeller-pressed coconut oil (or ghee)
1 cup raw cashew butter
6 tbsp arrowroot powder
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp sea salt
12 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate (100 percent cacao), chopped

Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper and make sure there are side pieces so you can lift the fudge from the pan. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine syrup, sugar and coconut oil. Mix until liquid. Whisk in cashew butter, arrowroot, vanilla, salt and chocolate. Continue stirring on lower heat until well combined. Pour fudge into prepped baking dish and smooth top. Chill in the fridge until set ~6 hours. Cut into squares.

Recipe: Peanut Butter Balls
Modified from A. Liddon, Oh She Glows

1 cup smooth or crunchy 100% natural peanut butter
¼ cup pure maple syrup
¼- ½ tsp sea salt (to taste)
1-2 tbsp coconut flour
1/3 – ½ cup gluten free crispy rice cereal (not puffed rice cereal) to taste
¾ cup dark chocolate chips
1 tsp virgin coconut oil

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, REALLY stir peanut butter, syrup and salt for about a minute until mixture thickens up. If you want a thicker ‘dough’ OR if dough is too sticky, add the coconut flour (only if it needs it). If the dough gets too dry, add a bit more syrup.

Then, add the rice cereal and stir again. Shape dough into 18-20 balls. Melt chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave. Zap at 50% power for a minute at a time, until soft. Mix thoroughly. Place ball into the melted chocolate mixture to fully cover. Place them onto the lined cookie sheet in freezer for about 20 minutes. Add a bit of sea salt to the tops before you freeze for more pizazz (better for adults). Optional.

The Healthy Nest team wishes you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season. We’re so grateful for you and for this opportunity to share these delicious recipes.

Learn about our Natural Weight Loss Program and how to maintain your health goals during the holidays and year-round.

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