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Best Resources for Healthy Baking

Written by Julia Tortorice
Photo by kleinnick (Flickr)

Photo by kleinnick (Flickr)

During the holiday season many of the people who live in the U.S. celebrate with family, friends, and good food. Often, the traditional holiday dishes that are served during this time of year are highly flavorful and made using ingredients such as fat and sugar that are not generally recommended for a healthy diet or lifestyle. With a combination of flavorful food, alcohol and a festive atmosphere, it isn’t unusual for people to be lax with their diet and eat more than they normally would. As a result, some people may gain extra weight during this time of year, particularly when attending multiple celebrations that involve food and alcohol. Fortunately, the holiday season doesn’t need to automatically involve putting on the pounds.

Recipes for dishes that are associated with holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas can be modified to use healthier ingredients. When prepared properly, dishes made using modified recipes are typically as flavorful and appealing as the original. The key to healthy holiday cooking and baking is to find the best resources for healthy holiday desserts, side-dishes, main meals, and snacks. People should take care, however, not to overindulge even when eating foods that have been prepared using healthy recipes.

Holiday Healthy Eating Tips and Recipes

A PDF document that gives readers tips on how to prepare traditional holiday foods so that they are healthy. Following the tips, the document includes numerous healthy recipes.

Healthy Holiday Recipes – Cranberry Pumpkin Bread

Click this link for a healthy cranberry pumpkin bread recipe. The recipe includes ingredients such as whole wheat flour, egg whites, applesauce, and flaxseed.

Healthy Holiday Recipes

This is a PDF that lists various recipes that are healthy and ideal for the holidays. A few of the recipes on this page include, hot spiced cider, a reduced fat pie pastry, and cornbread dressing.

Healthy Recipes for Holiday Season

The recipes on this page are provided by the Texas Woman’s University. Readers will find the recipes for side dishes such as cornbread stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, and baked asparagus. Crustless pumpkin pie and blackberry crisp recipes are also included, as are healthy recipe substitutions.

Holiday Healthy Eating Guide

A PDF guide from the American Heart Association that addresses eating and staying healthy during the holiday season. Pages six and seven of the guide include healthy recipes such as a green bean salad vinaigrette and Orange Glazed Turkey with Potatoes and Carrots.

Tips and Recipes to Avoid Sugar Overload this Holiday Season

Click on this link to open up a Kendall College page that list both recipes and tips that help reduce or eliminate sugar in holiday foods. The recipes on the page are for holiday treats such as carrot, apple, and zucchini bars.

Delicious Holiday Recipes Rich with Flavor and Healthy Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The recipes on this page are for a tuna cheese ball dip and banana walnut bread. The bread includes ingredients such as whole wheat flour, and ground flaxseed.

Healthy Holiday Dishes

Open up this PDF document for twelve pages of healthy holiday recipes. The list of recipes is for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, and includes recipes such as North African orange and lamb kebabs, marmalade-glazed orange cheesecake, and low-fat gingerbread men.

Healthy Holiday Recipe Guide

This is a PDF guide that is filled with recipes for the holidays, particularly Thanksgiving. The guide includes recipes for a roast turkey and light turkey gravy. Other recipes include, but are not limited to: a better-for-you macaroni and cheese recipe, seasonal roasted vegetables, and an oat and apple crisp.

Hold the Holidays – Healthy Holiday Baking

Five pages of holiday baked goods recipes that are meant to be healthier. The recipes range from gluten-free chocolate-mango-coconut-almond balls to almond cookie squares. The recipes on this PDF document are from University of Colorado Health.

Heart-Healthy Baking Recipes – Sweet Potato Cinnamon Bundt Cake with Orange Glaze

Better Homes and Garden lists this sweet potato Bundt cake as one of its heart healthy recipes. The recipe uses ingredients such as egg whites and nonfat yogurt.

Healthier Holiday Cookies Recipes

WebMD features four lighter cookie recipes for the holidays. The recipes are: iced oatmeal applesauce cookies, molasses wheat cookies, almond streusel cookies, and tropical treasure cookies.


A healthy recipe offering on the website for the MayoClinic. The recipe gives a per serving nutritional analysis and provides a tip from a dietitian.

Healthy Holiday Desserts

A slide-show of healthy holiday dessert recipes on the Food Network website. To read the full recipe for any of the desserts, click on the accompanying link.