Tips & Info

Healthier holiday bites: Try these recipes

From Sound Dietitians, a partner of the Verdant Health Commission. View the complete blog post and recipes from Sound Dietitians at
Thank you to all of you fine PNW people who have taken the time to come out to our holiday cooking demos around the Puget Sound this season! We have received many requests for the recipes to be posted, so here are a few of the highlights.

Caprese Salad Bites

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The Caprese Bites are a great way to build-in veggies in bite-sized servings. They work well as an appetizer and party finger-food option that is super low calorie and packed with nutrients. If you don’t have balsamic reduction at home, you can easily make your own.

Cranberry Quinoa Christmas Salad

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This next recipe is a great vegetarian option for potlucks using quinoa, which is a quick-cooking whole grain that is considered a “complete” protein containing all the essential amino acids (building blocks of protein). My favorite part of this recipe is the use of raw beets (no cooking…yay!), which impart a bright red color to the quinoa and pair nicely with the greens in this salad. This color combination is why I have named this my Christmas Salad. I have had several beet-haters be converted with this salad.  Give it a try!

Cranberry-Pomegranate Holiday Spritzer

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The Spritzer below contains one of my new favorite things in 2016 …. 100% cranberry juice local to Washington! The ratios in this low-calorie “mocktail” are on the tart-side, so you can always adjust the juices to your own taste-buds. I prefer to taste that astringent cranberry flavor and find this to be a great hydrating option in-between glasses of wine or as a palatte cleanser between courses. So festive and refreshing!

Ginger Plum Molasses Cookies

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​We certainly cannot forget about holiday treats this time of year! I have made several tweaks to the Molasses Cookies below in order to boost their nutrient value while also cutting back on some of the less desireables – namely sugar and saturated fat.The two special ingredients are fresh ginger and blended dried plums….okay, okay let’s call it what it is: prune puree, but don’t let that deter you! The fresh ginger imparts a lot of flavor and fiber along with those wonderfully healthful gingerols. The prune puree adds depth of flavor and also makes these cookies chewy. I was able to cut both the butter and sugar in half from a typical molasses cookie recipe with the addition of the prune puree.

Lastly, the refined flour has been completely replaced with a Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, which is now my go-to everyday-use flour. Pastry flour is ground more finely than a regular WW flour, thus it acts and looks more like all-purpose. I don’t even buy all-purpose flour anymore, as I can replace this entirely with WWPF and reap the nutritional benefits of all the parts of the grain (fiber, b vitamins, germ, fat-soluble vitamins, extra protein, etc). Try some of these modifications with your own favorite holiday recipes this year!



Let us know if you try any of these recipes or your own twists on holiday favorites!

Happy & Healthy Holidays to you!



View the rest of the blog post from Megan, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with Sound Dietitians, for the recipes listed above on the Sound Dietitians blog: