The holidays are the season for comfort foods, yet many of the standard comfort foods are heavy on calories and have lost most of their nutritional value. If youre hosting a party or mixing drinks, serve versions of holiday-themed comfort foods that are rich in flavor and nutrition. Try these tips to keep it fresh throughout the holiday party season.

Favor living ingredients on your buffet table

Whether you are throwing the party or partying it up, choose more fruits and veggies. A 50% plant-based menu can support you staying fit over the holidays.

Celebrate with H20

Hydration is key to ward off hangovers, bloating, and general fatigue during the holidays. Treat yourself water every day day and mix it up with  herbal teas, infused waters, and sparkling waters with a twist or a squeeze of lemon or lime.  

Spritz your Cocktails with a Lift

Adding fresh ingredients to your cocktail mix helps to maintain balance in your body, even when the spirits are high.

Recipes to Entertain with Health on the Menu

Holiday Nut Nog

This special nut nog can be sipped chilled, served with a spirit added, or blended into a milkshake. Its even tasty as a warm latte.

Ingredients

1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours
1 teaspoon vanilla powder or 1/2 a vanilla bean, scraped 1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
3 cups purified water

Directions

Rinse and drain cashews. Place in blender with remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. If a smoother consistency is desired, sift the mixture through a nut-milk bag. Top with a sprinkle of nutmeg, if desired.

 

Pink Grapefruit Cosmopolitan Pink Grapefruit Cosmopolitan

When its cocktail time and you want something refreshing and beautifying, this is an uplifting choice. Makes 1 serving.

Ingredients

1 grapefruit, freshly squeezed
5 cranberries, fresh or frozen (extra for garnishing)
1 1/2 ounces organic vodka or sparkling water
12 teaspoons agave nectar (as desired)
1 handful of ice

Directions

Place grapefruit juice, cranberries, agave nectar, and ice in blender and blend on high for 60 seconds. Pour mixture through fine mesh strainer into martini glass. Add mixer. Garnish with a cranberry.

Green Appletini

Half the fun of cocktail hour is holding beautiful stemware, sipping an exotic drink, and a having conversation. The apple and spinach here will keep you in the mix and healthy and happy. Serve in a martini glass for flare and pizzazz. Makes 1 serving.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups water
1 large Fuji apple (or other sweet apple of choice), cored and sliced
1 cup fresh baby spinach
3 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 1/2 ounces of organic vodka or sparkling water
2 tablespoons agave nectar

Directions

Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve or nut-milk bag, or enjoy its natural pulp straight up.

Cheesy Kale Chowder

Hot, creamy chowders warm your body and soul on the chilly days of autumn and winter. And what better way to have your chowder than with kale and dairy-free creaminess? If you havent tried a dairy-free creamy soup, you’re in for a surprise. This is one of my favorites.

Soup ingredients

1 tablespoon ghee (or sesame oil if vegan)
1 cup leeks, diced (whites only)
2 cups celery root, peeled and diced
1 bunch of kale, stemmed and sliced thin
4 cloves of garlic, minced
12 baby Portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 quart vegetable broth
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves

Cheesesauce ingredients

1/2 cup raw cashew butter
1/4 cup raw tahini
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

Melt ghee (or sesame oil if vegan) in five quart pot on medium-high heat. Add garlic, leeks, celery root, salt, and pepper and sauté until vegetables sweat but don’t brown (about three minutes).

Add mushrooms and sauté until soft and slightly browned. Add kale and sauté an additional two minutes. Pour vegetable stock over vegetables, add the thyme and then reduce heat to simmer.

While soup is simmering, prepare the “cheese” sauce by adding all sauce ingredients in high-speed blender and blending for 30 seconds.

Pour the cheese sauce directly into the piping hot chowder and stir. Remove soup from heat and serve immediately.

 

Diana Stobo is the author of Get Naked Fast! Stripping Away the Foods that Weigh You Down and Naked Bliss. The recently opened The Retreat in Costa Rica, a health and wellness destination (theretreatcostarica.com):