Holiday Recipes Health Hacks

We’ve been lied to.
Seriously!  For years, I thought my favorite holiday recipes tasted so amazing – and they could only be made one way [the recipe on the label – #hellogreatmarketing!] to taste right.  I was in serious need of…


Thankfully, as I learned more about clean eating, I learned that was not true! Those favorites are sooo much better without the unnecessary short-cutted, pre-packaged foods. And it’s easier than you think!

If you want to know what is REALLY in those popular holiday food brands, check out this link. If you’d rather not know, that’s okay! You can still totally enjoy the awesome recipes I am sharing. 🙂

I am sharing favorite recipe links or health-hack tricks that I’ve collected over the past years. And I am challenging you to try at least ONE of them – – or another great one that you find. Be sure to tell me which one [or more!] you try this year, or share your own great healthy and delicious holiday recipe or hack.

#holidayhealthhacks are simple with a few basic adjustments to recipes.
>> Cut the sugar by at least 1/3 of what is called for.  This is for recipes suggesting an amount of sugar close to the amount of flour!  Trust me. The other – real – flavors will suddenly pop! All that sugar distracts from other flavor.

>> Substitute coconut sugar for cane sugar. Or at least use organic can sugar. This makes a massive difference — as evidenced by observing the contrast of children’s behavior after consuming either of these sugars versus processed white sugar! You can also substitute honey or maple syrup, but be sure to watch out for the effects of trading a dry ingredient for a wet ingredient.

>> Last sugar hack! Add molasses to organic cane or coconut sugar to make your own brown sugar. I’ll just tell you that I read how brown sugar is actually colored brown….  And fresh molasses brown sugar tastes so much better!

>> Trade butter for Crisco. Just allow your butter to soften until malleable and swap in equal amounts. Be aware that butter-based baked goods will be softer.  You can also substitute butter for high fructose corn syrup in recipes like Pecan Pie.
**Butter is not bad for you! Healthy fats feed our brains. I avoid processed oils and sugars like Crisco or corn syrup at all costs.

>> Swap coconut oil for Canola oil in recipes. You can thank me later. #soyummy

>> Use dark chocolate, preferably 85% cacao or higher, in baking. THIS is the chocolate that is truly good for you!

>> Enjoy fresh ingredients – or at least frozen – instead of canned or packaged options. Fresh vegetables like green beans can be blanched and cooled and ready to add to recipes in less than 5 minutes. I just rinse frozen vegetables in water to thaw, dry in a clean dish towel, and cook. Chop fresh onion, coat with bread crumbs, & roast for crunchy onion topping that will make you never want French’s Onions again! 

>> And did you know you can EASILY make your own Cream of Mushroom soup?  Or make your own evaporated or sweetened condensed milk in a few minutes? Or get a few minutes of arm workout to make your own amazing fresh whipped cream?  I just didn’t think about these options – – until I tried them. And I will never go back…

Make Your Own Pumpkin Pie Spice
Make Your Own Pumpkin Pie Spice

These are some of my favorite clean recipes – either no or just light hacking needed – that I absolutely love.  And now you will know some of my favorite recipe sources!

Healthy Holiday Brunch Casseroles
Cinnamon French Toast and Egg & Sausage Baked Casseroles

most are make-ahead options *
:: Cinnamon Raisin French Toast Casserole Bake from the Food Babe
:: Egg & Sausage Baked Casserole from 100 Days of Real Food
:: Baked French Toast with Bananas from Monica Swanson – the Grommom
 :: Baked Pear & Hazelnut Oatmeal from Top With Cinnamon 
:: Cinnamon Rolls from Moms Who Think
*yeast free/no rise option that tastes amazing!

:: Crescent Rolls [totally worth the double rising!] from Allrecipes 
:: Sweet Potato Casserole from 100 Days of Real Food
:: Green Bean Casserole from Gimme Some Oven
* I can’t find my recipe – but this is similar!
:: Stuffing with Essential Oils from Aromatools Blog
* I haven’t tried this one – but it uses oils and looks yummy!
:: Creamy Kale, Brussels, & Cranberry Salad from A Beautiful Mess
* Total WINNER last year! Substitute plain, whole milk yogurt for the mayo.
:: Cheesy Ham-Potato Chowder from
* Perfect for a busy before or after the holiday dinner

Healthy Holiday Cookies
Pumpkin Pie Squares, Whole Wheat Gingersnaps, Peppermint Chocolate Spritz Cookies

:: Pumpkin Pie Squares from Allrecipes
* I cut the sugar. Pumpkin is sweet, and you will really get to taste it.
:: Whole Wheat Snickerdoodles from Allrecipes
* BEST ever!
:: Whole Wheat Gingersnaps from Allrecipes
* Also BEST ever!
:: Chocolate Peppermint Spritz Cookies from 100 Days of Real Food
* You could use Peppermint Essential Oil! {be sure it is safe for internal use}
:: Pecan Pie from Allrecipes
* With butter base
:: Pumpkin Pie from Allrecipes
* Evaporate whole milk on the stove
:: Butter Pie Crust from Allrecipes
   * I usually add an egg
:: Apple Pie from Allrecipes
* Make with butter crust

Holiday Pies healthy recipes
Healthy Apple Pie, Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie

I hope this resource is helpful! And definitely check out these websites. They are all great resources for delicious, real-food, healthy recipes.

I am excited to find out which recipe you try! OR – do you have an awesome healthy holiday recipe or hack to share? Comment here or on Uluwehilifestyles on Facebook.

Happy Holiday Cooking!


4 thoughts on “Holiday Recipes Health Hacks

  1. Such a great post! (and honored to be included in your list!) I’ll be sharing this…I SO agree there is much we can do to healthy-things-up without even revamping our menu entirely! Thank you for this! 🙂

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