Spread the Word

4 Healthy, Easy-to-Make Holiday Snacks

Hosting a holiday party, but concerned about your waistline? Leave the belly to Santa this year by preparing these four festive, guilt-free holiday treats instead. With this spread on the table, the party guests and your waistline will breathe sighs of relief.

White Chocolate Holiday Bark

As a classic seasonal favorite, holiday bark is typically loaded with sugar and a slew of unhealthy ingredients. Enjoy this alternative instead. Packed with nuts, coconut and more, this white chocolate holiday bark offers a boost of energy with a delicious flavor.

Adapted from health.com

  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 pounds white baking chocolate, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Spread the almonds and coconut on a baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes or until the coconut is gently browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

3. Transfer the almonds and coconut to a large mixing bowl. Add the cranberries and raisins. Reserve 1/4 cup of the mixture and set aside.

4. Combine the white chocolate and coconut oil in the top portion of a double boiler. Heat over simmering water and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

5. Fold the melted chocolate into the dry ingredients and then spread the holiday bark on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with the reserved topping. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until hardened. Break the bark into pieces and serve.

Popcorn Balls

Popcorn balls are always a hit with the younger holiday party crowd. Let the kids indulge in these healthier alternatives to traditional popcorn balls. Agave nectar, almond butter and dark chocolate blend with the popcorn for a hard-to-resist, healthy holiday treat.

Adapted from Eating Well

  • 7 cups popped corn
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 4 tablespoons chopped dark chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons dried cherries

1. Place the popcorn, chocolate and cherries in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

2. Combine the agave nectar and almond butter in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. When the mixture begins to bubble, heat for 30 additional seconds and then remove from the heat.

3. Pour the mixture over the popcorn in the mixing bowl and mix gently with a spatula until all ingredients are evenly coated.

4. Fill a bowl with ice water. Dip your hands in the ice water and then divide and shape the mixture into

2-inch balls using your hands. Re-dip your hands in ice water as needed while making the popcorn balls. Place each ball on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Allow to cool before serving.

Healthy Party Mix

Whole grain cereal, nuts and a blend of spices offer a new take on the classic holiday party mix. The blend of flavors in this party mix will have your guests reaching for more all night long.

Adapted from kblog

  • 3 cups whole grain, organic cereal
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 2 tablespoons roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup mixed nuts
  • 1 tablespoon flax seed meal
  • 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Combine the cereal, cashews, sunflower seeds, mixed nuts and cranberries in a large mixing bowl.
2. Combine the remaining ingredients, except the flax seed meal, in a small bowl and stir until blended. Pour the mixture over the cereal mixture and toss until all ingredients are evenly coated. Sprinkle the flax seed meal over the holiday mix and toss until combined.
3. Serve immediately or store in a sealed container.

Veggies and Healthy Dip

Who says holiday veggie dips must be unhealthy? Enjoy a burst of vitamin-rich flavor with fresh veggies and ditch the guilt with this healthy, re-made herb dip.

Adapted from myrecipes.com

  • 5 carrots, peeled, quartered and sliced
  • 1 head broccoli, sliced
  • 5 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 head cauliflower, sliced
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced

1. Arrange the vegetables on a serving platter. Set aside.

2. Combine the yogurt, buttermilk, chives, parsley, zest, salt, pepper and garlic in a blender. Blend on high until smooth. Pour the dip into a serving bowl and serve with the fresh vegetables.

The holidays are fun and all, but their effects on the waistline can be less than flattering. Snack smarter this holiday season by preparing these healthy alternatives instead. They are so delicious that your guests won’t notice the healthy difference.