Healthy Holiday Potluck Recipes

Everything in moderation, even moderation… right?

Sometimes, especially during these holiday-sweater-and-potluck-filled winter months, it can be hard to navigate the subtle art of saying yes to indulgences while still honoring our intentions to be “healthy.” It can seem like the intention to be sugar-free leaves no room for a mug or 2 or 3 of our friend’s homemade eggnog at a holiday potluck. And while it is SO important to honor the intentions + behaviors that make our bodies thrive and feel best, it is also important to remember that nourishment can come in other forms besides nutrition… like enjoyment!

Be patient with yourself this holiday season as you find your own rhythm with this-- it definitely takes time! For some ideas on how to balance good nutrition with indulgence, check out these delicious + nutritious, seasonal potluck recipes that will be great for keeping you + your friends feeling nourished at all the parties this winter. We hope you enjoy!


Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bliss Balls
with Dark Chocolate Drizzle

 Photo Credit:  Jenna Radomski

Photo Credit: Jenna Radomski

Makes 16-18 balls
Prep time: 10 minutes     |     Idle time: 10 minutes
Author: Jenna Radomski

Ingredients:
−    3 ounces unsweetened baker’s chocolate, chopped
−    ½ cup walnuts
−    ½ cup almonds, unsalted
−    ½ cup cashews, unsalted
−    ¼ cup rolled oats
−    6 dates, pitted
−    2 tablespoons peanut butter
−    1.5 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
−    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
−    ½ teaspoon salt
−    3 tablespoons water

Directions:
1.    Melt chocolate over a double boiler until smooth, stirring occasionally.
2.    Add nuts, oats, dates, peanut butter, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt to a food processor and mix until small pieces form.
3.    While running the processor, slowly drizzle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a slightly sticky dough begins to form.
4.    Use a small spoon to scoop out pieces of dough and roll into balls. Place on a plate or piece of parchment and drizzle with melted chocolate.
5.    Refrigerate for 10 minutes and serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Benefits: 

  • Dates are chock-full of magnesium and Vitamin B6 — two nutrients we lose during our cycles — and are a better choice for a sweetener compared to processed sugar. 

  • Cashews are jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These include vitamins E, K, and B-6, along with minerals like copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron, and selenium — lots of nutrients our body looks to replenish during our menstrual cycle.


Chestnut Cranberry Falafels
with Peppermint Cashew Yogurt 

 Photo Credit: Emily Balaguer

Photo Credit: Emily Balaguer

Author: Emily Balaguer

Ingredients for the Chestnut Cranberry Falafels:
- 1 cup chestnuts
- ¾ cup cranberries
- 1 can/ 2 cups soaked chickpeas
- ⅓ small onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves

Directions for the Chestnut Cranberry Falafels:
1. Preheat the oven to 350º, and grease a cookie sheet with coconut oil.
2. In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients until everything is mixed well.
3. There should still be some small chunks. Form 1” balls and place them on the cookie sheet, about 1” apart.
4. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, and serve with the Peppermint Cashew Yogurt Dip.
5. Enjoy!

Ingredients for Peppermint Cashew Yoghurt Dip:
- 1 cup cashews
- 3 Tbsp water
- Juice from one lime
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 shallots
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 ½ cups fresh mint leaves

Directions for Peppermint Cashew Yoghurt Dip:
1. Begin by soaking the cashews in water. If you have time, try to soak them overnight. If you don’t have as much time, it is okay to soak them for as little as one hour.
2. Then, strain the cashews, and combine everything besides the water in a blender. If the ingredients aren’t mixing well, add increments of water into the blender, little by little.
3. Once everything is totally mixed and has a creamy consistency, serve over the hot Chestnut Cranberry Falafels.
4. Enjoy!

Benefits: 

  • Cranberries can help prevent urinary tract infections by being naturally antibacterial.

  • Mint is a soothing herb that can alleviate indigestion and bloating. It also has been shown to be effective in soothing period cramps.

  • Chestnuts contain a lot of Vitamin C, which is important for boosting immunity. They are also a rich source of B vitamins which are essential for brain functioning.


Persimmon Nut Bread

 Photo Credit: Emily Balaguer

Photo Credit: Emily Balaguer

Author: Emily Balaguer

Ingredients:
- 2 cups buckwheat flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp cloves
- 1 cup walnuts

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350º.
2. Grease a 9” x 5” x 3” bread loaf pan with coconut oil.
3. In a medium bowl, combine and stir the buckwheat flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, ground ginger, and cloves.
4. Chop the walnuts, and mix them into the bowl with spices + buckwheat flour.
5. In a food processor, mix 3 large hachiya persimmons until they have the consistency of jelly. It is okay if there are little chunks still!
6. In a pot, double boil 3 Tbsp coconut oil, and add the melted oil to the persimmons mixture. Mix thoroughly and add into a large bowl.
7. Stir in the dry mix to the wet mix completely, and scoop the batter into the bread loaf pan.
8. Bake for 55-60 minutes, and Enjoy!

Benefits: 

  • Persimmons are a rich source of manganese, which has been shown to improve depression and anxiety symptoms of PMS. Persimmons are also a great source of certain antioxidants, such as flavonoids.

  • Buckwheat is a gluten free, whole grain that contains all of the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.

  • Cinnamon helps improve insulin sensitivity and improve blood sugar.

  • Ginger has been shown in numerous studies to be more effective for pain relief than ibuprofen. Ginger is also an incredible herb for improving digestion.

  • Walnuts have the highest Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio, and are therefore highly anti-inflammatory.

Devon LoftusComment