12 recipe switches for healthy (or vegan) holiday treats (2024)

12 recipe switches for healthy (or vegan) holiday treats (1)

It’s that time of year again! Time to get out the pie pans, baking sheets, and rolling pins. Let the holiday baking begin!

Believe it or not, it’s also the beginning of a great opportunity to turn your holiday favorites into healthier treats.

All the ingredients that make holiday baked goods taste so good are the ones we try to keep on the down-low the rest of the year: Sugar, butter, cream, flour, and chocolate.

This got me thinking… Is there any way to enjoy the holidays without going overboard?

There is! Trim the fats, carbs, and sugar in your traditional holiday baked goods by making some simple substitutions. That way you can have your cake and eat it, too!

Here are a dozen easy recipe switches that will not only let you enjoy delicious baked goods without the guilt but will also make a once-sinful treat into a nutritional delight!

Recipe Switches: Fats

Use avocado or banana, not butter. Both of these add a soft, moist consistency to baked goods without the saturated fat. Avocado provides folate, potassium, fiber, vitamin C and healthy monounsaturated fats.

Bananas are also potassium-rich and a good source of fiber.

Use pureed fruits, not vegetable oil. Eliminate the added fat in your recipe by using pureed fruits or veggies in place of oil. Even baby food will do. One tip: prunes taste best when used in chocolate recipes, including brownies and cakes.

Use egg whites or chia seeds, instead of whole eggs. For years, eggs were vilified over cholesterol concerns. But research has come out touting that eggs lower cholesterol, heart disease, and stroke risk.

But if you’re not a whole egg eater, no worries. Instead of a whole egg, use two egg whites. You’ll keep the protein but lose the fat.

Or, substitute 1 tablespoon of chia seeds soaked in a cup of water for 15 minutes. Chia seeds are tiny black seeds from the plantSalvia hispanica, which is related to mint. Calcium, magnesium, and manganese are three of the important minerals you’ll get by using these seeds instead of eggs.

Nutritious flax seeds also work well as an egg substitute. To replace one egg, just mix a tablespoon of flax seeds with 2 ½ tablespoons warm water. Flax seeds are super-high in omega-3 fatty acids and are a rich source of lignans, plant compounds thought to reduce cancer risk.

Flax and chia seeds are great alternatives for vegans!

Instead of heavy cream, sour cream or cream cheese, try Greek yogurt. It’s lower in fat and higher in protein, but still has all the creaminess of the fattier ingredients.

Recipe Switches: Carbs

Replace white flour with whole wheat… or with beans! That’s right. Whole wheat flour is always a healthier choice than white flour, which has next to no nutritional value. Almond flour is another good choice. It has a unique flavor of its own, and loads of Vitamin E.

Better yet, if you’re baking chocolate cake or brownies, use the same amount of pureed black beans. You’ll be adding a dose of fiber and protein to your dessert.

Recipe Switches: Sugar

You don’t need to load your baked goods with sugar in order to achieve a sweet, satisfying taste. Here are a few things you can try to ease up on the sugar.

  • Use half the sugar called for in the recipe and substitute cinnamon for the other half.
  • Applesauce has natural sugars and makes a great sweetener for baked goods. It will also add a healthy dose of Vitamin C to your treats.

Read: Sugar’s cancer-causing secret exposed

Simply replace the amount of sugar called for with applesauce, then decrease the amount of liquid in the recipe by ¼ cup for each cup of applesauce used. Here’s a simple recipe for home-made, slow cooker applesauce that will make it even more wholesome!

  • Use cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips. Cacao nibs are bits of dried, roasted and crushed cacao beans. They haven’t yet been ground and mixed with sugar to become chocolate, but they have an intense chocolate flavor.

If you need a little more sweetness, use half chocolate chips and half cacao nibs.

Editor’s note: Did you know that when you take your body from acid to alkaline you can boost your energy, lose weight, soothe digestion, avoid illness and achieve wellness? Click here to discover The Alkaline Secret to Ultimate Vitality and revive your life today!


  1. 8 Tips For Healthy Holiday Baking Substitutions — healthcentral.co
  2. 7 Healthy Baking Substitutes For More Nutritious Cooking — simplemost.com
  3. Top 10 Health Benefits of Flax Seeds — Healthline
  4. 11 Proven Health Benefits of Chia Seeds — Healthline
12 recipe switches for healthy (or vegan) holiday treats (2024)


Is Cooking Mama accurate? ›

You have the ingredients correct, sure, but the methods of cooking are completely different. Also, you are rarely doing things in the order that the game gives you, because some things are timed differently. Also, in a real kitchen, you don't instantaneously know when something is finished cooking.

How do you get new recipes on Cooking Mama app? ›

Play the game daily for a week to earn a new Recipe. Objects, Items, Recipes, and more can be purchased with real money. Unlock Achievements through various means.

How do you create a balanced recipe? ›

Creating healthy recipes
  1. Use more fruits or vegetables.
  2. Use lean cuts of meat.
  3. Use reduced-fat dairy products or less of the full-fat versions.
  4. Change some or all of the grain products in your recipe from highly processed to more wholegrain.

Is it OK to eat unhealthy during the holidays? ›

"It is absolutely no big deal," she says. "I can promise one day of more indulgent eating is not going to result in lasting weight gain (or) derail any progress that you've made." There are, however, unhealthy behaviors that are common around this time of year that may fall into the category of disordered eating.

How can I make Thanksgiving more healthy? ›

Lighten Your Recipes
  1. Skip the cream. Use Greek yogurt or whole milk instead in mashed potatoes, creamy soups, and creamed onion or spinach recipes.
  2. Reduce the sugar. Cut it back by 10 to 25 percent in baking recipes. ...
  3. Add some fiber. ...
  4. Upgrade the stuffing. ...
  5. Be sodium savvy. ...
  6. Boost nutrition.
Nov 22, 2021

Why did Cooking Mama get removed? ›

Cooking Mama: Cookstar is no longer available for purchase as of November 2022, when the International Court of Arbitration ruled that Office Create's IP rights had been infringed by the game and granted their request to have it removed from sale.

Do real chefs use recipes? ›

But the truth is that chefs and cooks use recipes all the time, especially when making something new. They just don't use them the way most home cooks do, by starting at the top and simply following instructions until the dish is finished. Or, at least that's not the only thing they do.

Is Cooking Mama Chinese or Japanese? ›

Based on preferences over certain regional recipes in the Cooking Mama series and the birthplace of her voice actress, it can be assumed that Mama and her family currently live in the Kansai region of Japan or at least have grown up there.

Is there an app for my recipes? ›

Recipe Keeper is the easy to use, all-in-one recipe organizer, shopping list and meal planner available across all of your devices. Enter your recipes with as much or as little information as you like. Copy and paste recipes from your existing documents or apps. Categorize your recipes by course and category.

Who owns the rights to Cooking Mama? ›

Cooking Mama (stylized as cookıng mama) is a video game series and media franchise owned by Cooking Mama Limited. The series is a cookery simulation-styled minigame compilation of many video games and adventures for Nintendo gaming platforms.

How do I make my restaurant bigger in Cooking Mama? ›

- Once you have bought the land it will be highlighted with a darker green grass. - Press down on the area which you would like to expand and choose your flooring. - Drag the flooring paint brush over the land and the walls will appear. Don't forget to decorate your new walls!

What balances out bitterness? ›

Sweetness: From sugar, honey, fruits or otherwise, sweetness will counteract bitter and sour flavours. It can also be used to cut down the heat of a particularly spicy meal. Saltiness: Salt plays two very important roles in flavouring a dish. Firstly, it balances against bitterness.

What is the best balanced meal? ›

The more veggies — and the greater the variety — the better. Potatoes and French fries don't count. Choose fish, poultry, beans, and nuts; limit red meat and cheese; avoid bacon, cold cuts, and other processed meats. Eat a variety of whole grains (like whole-wheat bread, whole-grain pasta, and brown rice).

What is the most well-balanced meal? ›

A well-balanced meal typically consists of a source of carbohydrates like grains or starches, a source or serving of protein, some fat, and one or more servings of vegetables and fruit. A great “rule” of thumb to consider is aiming to fill half of your plate with vegetables and fruit at most of your meals.

What can I add to my meals to make them healthier? ›

Choose lean meats and reduced-fat dairy products and limit processed foods to minimise hidden fats. Nuts, seeds, fish, soy, olives and avocado are all healthier options because they include the essential long-chain fatty acids and these fats are accompanied by other good nutrients.

How can I make my Christmas dinner better? ›

To help, we've put these tips together with the help of our expert chefs from our kitchens.
  1. Organisation. ...
  2. Brine your Turkey on Christmas Eve. ...
  3. Have you got the right equipment for the job? ...
  4. Prep your veg the night before. ...
  5. Get your timings for the big day sorted. ...
  6. Keep it fun, get the family involved.

How can I save money on food during the holidays? ›

Here are a few budget friendly tips to help save money on holiday meals.
  1. Plan your menu carefully. ...
  2. Prepare less. ...
  3. Trim protein costs. ...
  4. Serve it simple. ...
  5. Shop smart. ...
  6. Cook ahead. ...
  7. Make smart beverage choices. ...
  8. Get your money's worth of leftovers.

How do you maintain your diet on holiday? ›

Treat yourself – but not too much

It's about having an 80:20 rule, where you eat healthily 80 per cent of the time. Allow yourself the occasional treat, but think about the fruit and veg you enjoy, and eat more of those. “Make choices about what you're eating, rather than it happening on autopilot,” says Dr Hibberd.

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