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9 Holiday Superfoods You Can Actually Feast On

author image Susan Marque
Susan Marque is a versatile writer with an eclectic background. She started in animation, became a healthy food expert, has written for every type of media, and continues to explore all avenues from screen to print. After many years in Hollywood she went back to school in New York, earning an M.F.A. in creative writing from The New School. She currently lives in Manhattan.

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9 Holiday Superfoods You Can Actually Feast On
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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.

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1. Cranberry-Orange Quinoa
Photo Credit: Susan Marque

1 Cranberry-Orange Quinoa

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.

Read more: Cranberry-Orange Quinoa Recipe

2. Holiday Kale and Beet Salad With Tofu Dressing
Photo Credit: Susan Marque

2 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.

Read more: Holiday Kale and Beet Salad With Tofu Dressing Recipe

3. Poached Pears With Candied Sunflower Seeds and Cinnamon
Photo Credit: Susan Marque

3 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.

Read more: Poached Pears With Candied Sunflower Seeds and Cinnamon Recipe

4. Broccoli Cheese Bites
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4 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.

Read more: Broccoli Cheese Bites Recipe

5. Kale Pockets With Edamame Spread
Photo Credit: Susan Marque

5 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.

Read more: Kale Pockets With Edamame Spread Recipe

6. Pumpkin Sage Risotto With Asparagus and Lemon
Photo Credit: Susan Marque

6 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.

Read more: Pumpkin Sage Risotto With Asparagus and Lemon Recipe

7. Smoky Maple Sweet Potatoes
Photo Credit: Susan Marque

7 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.

Read more: Smoky Maple Sweet Potatoes Recipe

8. Beet and Fennel Salad
Photo Credit: Susan Marque

8 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.

Read more: Beet and Fennel Salad Recipe

9. Mushroom and Parsley Chicken
Photo Credit: Susan Marque

9 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.

Read more: Mushroom and Parsley Chicken Recipe

What Do YOU Think?
Photo Credit: merc67/iStock/Getty Images

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!

Read more: 12 Fall and Winter Superfoods

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