If you think a HEALTHY holiday meal sounds crazy, you’re not alone.
Let’s face it, the one thing we all love most about the holidays is throwing caution to the wind and indulging in all the decadent foods the season has to offer.
Well, that, and not feeling bad about it when we do.
But what if you COULD have both? If you could indulge in sinfully delicious dishes that are ALSO a blessing for your body?
It turns out you can. By adding a few fall superfoods to your holiday menus, you can get all of the flavors without the health risks.
A Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner makeover
It’s time to give your holiday spreads a makeover. But don’t worry, I’m not talking about tossing out the old favorites.
Of course, you can still have a turkey, ham, or – if you’re feeling especially indulgent – a giant prime rib for the family to ooooh and aaaah over.
But it’s time to jazz up those traditional sides, or even replace a few of them completely, with some new superfood traditions that deliver both flavor AND health benefits.
Brussels sprouts: If you can’t stand the thought of facing yet another casserole of limp and soggy green beans don’t. This is the perfect time of year for Brussels sprouts, so go ahead and make the switch.
Brussels are a certifiable superfood. They’re part of the cruciferous vegetable family, which means they’re naturally packed with cancer-fighting compounds. And that means with every delicious bite you’re helping to build a barrier against the disease.
Many folks who think they don’t like Brussel sprouts simple have never had them cooked correctly.
Don’t boil your Brussels. And definitely, don’t nuke the poor things. Instead, clean them off, slice them in half, coat them in a little olive oil, salt, and any other seasonings you like. Then stick them under the broiler and pull them out just as they turn super crisp but before they burn.
Cauliflower: Cauliflower is another member of the cruciferous family that doesn’t get the love it deserves. It’s often passed over in favor of its cousin, broccoli.
But this overlooked veggie is packed with at least 20 different nutrients in every forkful, including choline, a tough-to-get nutrient that protects against dementia, liver disease, and heart problems. And packed with antioxidants, cauliflower could help lower your risk for cancer and other chronic diseases..
Instead of serving mashed potatoes this year, try putting mashed cauliflower on your Thanksgiving menu. If you’re not quite ready to make the full swap, mix some mashed cauliflower into your potatoes for a superfood boost.
MORE superfoods for your holiday meal makeover
Winter squash: Let’s be honest about the old sweet potato casserole. The only reason most people eat it is the brown sugar crust and marshmallow topping.
By the end of dinner, the top of the sweet potato casserole is missing in action. But most of the dish is left behind… cold, unloved, and unwanted.
Why not try a savory superfood medley of winter squash instead? You can get that nostalgic holiday taste by cutting them into cubes and roasting them with a sprinkle of sea salt and a dash (or three) of cinnamon and nutmeg. And since they’re naturally sweet, you won’t miss the sugar.
Best of all, winter squash is full of healthy fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients that are proven to help protect your heart, eyes, and skin.
Pomegranates: With their souped-up antioxidants, and high vitamin content, pomegranates are one of the original superfoods. And when I say “original,” I mean it. They’re mentioned more than once in the Old Testament.
The powerful nutrients in pomegranates can help protect you against heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and more.
Instead of cranberry jelly out of a can try cranberry relish with pomegranate. Look for easy recipes online. The naturally sweet taste of pomegranate will help you use much less sugar than what’s in a traditional cranberry sauce.
You can even create a refreshing Thanksgiving “mocktail” with this delicious superfood. Simply mix together fresh ginger, pomegranate juice, seltzer, and a few pomegranate seeds for garnish.
Chestnuts: Add a superfood punch to your stuffing this year with the most famous of holiday nuts… the chestnut.
Chestnuts are loaded with nutrients that can charge up your immune system and help protect your gut, heart, brain, and bones. Roast them lightly – open fire optional – to bring out their earthy, sweet flavor, and add them to your stuffing just before cooking.