We've gathered healthy holiday recipes from certified trainers to share with the community. Find healthier options this holiday season to keep you feeling and looking great!

Once upon a time (May – August 2013), I did an elimination diet that had me eating, oh, maybe 20 different foods. I thought if I changed my diet and only ate nutritious, whole foods and avoided the ones that I was “sensitive” to, my UC symptoms would get better. Unfortunately, these diet changes did absolutely nothing (if anything I got worse), but I discovered some new-to-me foods and ways to cook them that were actually quite delicious, including roasted fennel. Even now, I’ll geek-out when I see it on the Whole Foods salad bar. Ha!

Anyway, a DTFN client and I were recently chatting about fennel (I love my job), so I decided to create a tasty side dish for our database. I came up with Parmesan Roasted Fennel, which is super easy to make and, holy cow, deeeelicious. I mean, everything tastes better with a little cheese, right? I hope you guys enjoy this recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 2 large fennel bulbs (approx. 20 ounces)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • salt + pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven 375 degrees. Slice fennel bulbs into three thick slices. (My vegan friend refers to them as “steaks.”)
  2. Place them on a lined baking sheet and then brush with olive oil.
  3. Sprinkle Parmesan, salt, and pepper on top and then bake for 30 minutes or until tops are lightly browned.
  4. Remove from oven and eat!

A great recipe for Double Chocolate Chunk Walnut Cookies from the amazing Skinnytaste cookbook with a sneaky healthy ingredient that you would never guess was in the mix.

I’ve done some crazy, unconventional things in my baking, like adding black beans to fudgy, kid-friendly cookies, but using avocados in place of butter is totally new to me! As crazy as it sounds, it works!

For these chewy Double Chocolate Chunk Walnut Cookies made with chunks of chocolate and walnuts in every bite, there’s absolutely no butter included in the recipe. They honestly taste too good to be true and definitely not semi-healthy. And I promise you can’t taste the avocado at all!

I tested out these cookies on Mal and Quinn and both of them loved them. They had no idea avocado was in the mix and ate them right up! I’m a true chocoholic, and I lovvvve them! FYI: For a gluten-free option, just swap the white whole wheat flour with gluten-free all-purpose flour. I hope you and your family love these Double Chocolate Chunk Walnut Cookies as much as we do!

Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray or oil mister (optional)
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 1/3 cup unpacked dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup mashed avocado
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (65 grams) white whole wheat unbleached flour (I recommend King Arthur)
  • 1/3 cup (50 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 regular baking sheets with silicone baking mats (such as Silpats) or lightly spray nonstick baking sheets with oil.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, whisk together the sugars, avocado, applesauce, egg white, and vanilla until the sugar dissolves, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Fold in the dry ingredients with a spatula in two additions. Using a spatula, fold in the chocolate chunks and walnuts. The dough will be very sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 15 minutes.
  4. Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls about 1 inch apart onto the prepared baking sheets and smooth the tops.
  5. Bake until almost set, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes on the pan, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

For more recipes from Tina, check out her website, https://carrotsncake.com/

Cauliflower mashed potatoes are a great alternative to regular mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving Day!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-large head of cauliflower (about 10 cups cauliflower florets)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ghee or butter
  • pinch of pink himalyan salt
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 Tablespoon ghee or butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh chives, chopped + more for topping

Instructions:

  1. Break cauliflower into florets and place in a large pot.
  2. Add enough water to cover the cauliflower and heat until water is boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the cauliflower is tender, about 10-12 minutes.
  3. While cauliflower is cooking, heat a small pan over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon ghee, minced garlic and a pinch of sea salt. Sauté until garlic is tender and fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
  4. Drain cauliflower and carefully place in a large food processor with sautéd garlic, 1/2 Tablespoon ghee, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and chives. Process until cauliflower is smooth.
  5. Transfer to a bowl, top with chives and serve.

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