9 Holiday Superfoods You Can Actually Feast On
Last Updated: Dec 08, 2016
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From fruitcake to eggnog and candied yams to pecan pie, popular holiday foods don’t exactly scream “healthy.” But there are ways to enjoy a holiday dinner without chucking all your diet goals out the window. Here are nine easy ways to incorporate nutrient-rich superfoods into your festive spread. So go ahead: Eat, drink and be merry — sans the guilt.
Quinoa meets cranberries in this colorful holiday dish. Containing all nine essential amino acids, quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein and an excellent source of fiber. Sweet and tart, cranberries offer anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. You’ll simply cook the quinoa and then mix it with cranberries, parsley and fresh orange juice. It’s a refreshing, vibrant dish that’s as delicious as it is nutritious.
Cranberry-Orange Quinoa Recipe
HOLIDAY KALE AND BEET SALAD WITH TOFU DRESSING
Brighten up a drab winter day with this delicious, low-fat superfood salad. Kale is both low in calories and incredibly nutrient-dense. It’s loaded with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health properties and can also help aid digestion. Rich in vitamin C, beets provide an immune-system boost and can also help lower blood pressure. The tofu dressing recipe makes more than you will need for the salad, but you can enjoy it drizzled over just about any vegetable or grain.
Holiday Kale and Beet Salad With Tofu Dressing Recipe
POACHED PEARS WITH CANDIED SUNFLOWER SEEDS AND CINNAMON
This simple dessert is a cinch to make and cooks in less than 12 minutes. Packed with vitamin C and fiber, pears help aid digestion. Cook the pears and then top them with candied sunflower seeds and a dash of cinnamon. It’s a crunchy, sweet dessert that you can enjoy alone or with a dollop of yogurt. Feel free to swap the cinnamon for nutmeg if you prefer.
Poached Pears With Candied Sunflower Seeds and Cinnamon Recipe
BROCCOLI CHEESE BITES
Perfect as an appetizer, this dish features just three main ingredients: broccoli, cheese and eggs. Belonging to the cruciferous vegetable family, broccoli is a nutrition powerhouse. It’s rich in vitamin K, which improves bone health, as well as vitamin C, which helps fight skin damage. You can use any cheese you like.
Broccoli Cheese Bites Recipe
KALE POCKETS WITH EDAMAME SPREAD
This fun recipe features kale leaves stuffed with edamame and miso spread. Kale is an excellent source of fiber, while edamame simply bursts with immunity-boosting copper and bone-strengthening manganese. Enjoy these kale pockets as hors d’oeuvres or as a grab-and-go snack.
Kale Pockets With Edamame Spread Recipe
PUMPKIN SAGE RISOTTO WITH ASPARAGUS AND LEMON
This creamy risotto boasts all the earthy flavors of the holidays. It includes rice cooked with celery, asparagus, pumpkin puree and dried sage. And while our recipe uses brown rice, you can sub in your rice of choice. Asparagus helps prevent cognitive impairment and is also a rich source of glutathione, which helps break down carcinogens. Pumpkin promotes heart health and reduces blood pressure.
Pumpkin Sage Risotto With Asparagus and Lemon Recipe
SMOKY MAPLE SWEET POTATOES
Move aside, candied yams! We’re making sweet potatoes topped with maple syrup and smoked paprika. This simple recipe uses no oil, but it’s still rich in flavor. Sweet potatoes can help regulate blood sugar and provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. So go on and get your sweet potato fix this winter.
Smoky Maple Sweet Potatoes Recipe
BEET AND FENNEL SALAD
Beets provide essential minerals like potassium, which promotes healthy nerve and muscle function. Pair it with raw fennel for a festively green-and-red salad that bursts with antioxidants. To make the dressing, combine maple syrup with mustard, apple cider vinegar and tamari. The salad’s sweet and spicy flavors will wake up your taste buds.
Beet and Fennel Salad Recipe
MUSHROOM AND PARSLEY CHICKEN
Shiitake mushrooms can help protect against cardiovascular disease and support your immune system. For this recipe we’re pairing protein-rich chicken with cabbage, parsley and shiitake mushrooms. If you can’t find fresh shiitake, buy the dried kind and simply soak them in water for 30 minutes or until they’re soft and ready to be cooked.
Mushroom and Parsley Chicken Recipe
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
What's your favorite superfood to eat during the holidays? And do you have a go-to recipe that accompanies it? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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