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Looking for Healthy Holiday Recipes Without Losing the Tradition?

The Holiday season is upon us and most of us want to enjoy the celebrations without throwing our health and wellness programs out the window.

Cookies, Squares, Brownies and Biscotti - One of my favorite cookbooks is by an former HEAVENS member, Julie Van Rosendaal. Her “One Smart Cookie” book has great takes on your favorite holiday recipes with a healthier twist!

Other holiday baking tips:

- For muffins and loaves, try substituting fat free yogurt or unsweetened apple sauce for the “oil or butter.” I usually go straight across – ½ cup of oil = ½ cup apple sauce.

- For muffins and loaves, try reducing the amount of sugar by adding extra fruit. For example, in the typical Banana bread recipe, I feel like I can reduce the amount of sugar by ¼ cup with the same amount of banana.

Ginger Muffins – Companies Coming – Muffins and More – I made these for my classes last year and they were a big hit.

¼ cup butter or marg, softened

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 egg

½ cup molasses

¼ cup hot water

1 ¾ cup flour

1 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp cloves

¼ cup hot water

Combine butter, sugar, egg, molasses and first amount of hot water in mixing bowl. Beat together well.

Measure next 6 ingredients into same bowl. Stir.

Gradually stir hot water into batter. Fill greased muffin cups ¾ full. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes, then remove. Makes 12 muffins.

Rummy Eggnog Muffins – Companies Coming – Mostly Muffins – I made these ones too and they were loved!

2 cups flour

2/3 cup brown sugar packed

1 tbsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

½ tsp ground nutmeg

¼ tsp cinnamon

1 egg

¾ cup eggnog ( use ¾ cup buttermilk and ¼ tsp ground nutmeg when eggnog is not available)

½ cup dark (navy) rum

1/3 cup melted butter or margarine


1 tsp melted butter

¼ cup finely crushed gingersnaps

Measure first 6 ingredients into large bowl. Stir. Make a well in the centre.

Combine next 4 ingredients in small bowl. Add to well. Stir until just moistened. Fill 12 greased muffin cups ¾ full.

Topping – stir butter into gingersnap crumbs in small bowl. Sprinkle on batter. Bake iat 375 for 18-20 minutes until wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean. Let stand in pan for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool. Makes 12 muffins.

The Main Event or try anytime!

Leek and Mushroom Stuffing – I love this recipe as it’s done outside of the “Turkey” so the stuffing isn’t as rich. We cook our turkey on the barbeque (search Beer Butt Chicken and think TURKEY) which is always delicious as it steams the bird from the inside out. And yes, I make my husband barbeque when it’s -30 outside!

Butternut Squash and Roasted Garlic soup


-1 cup milk or unsweetened milk alternative of choice

-3 cups butternut squash, cubed

-2 heads of garlic

-3-4 sprigs of rosemary

-2tbsp olive oil

-4 carrots, peeled

-1 white onion, halved

** garnish with pumpkin seeds, salt and pepper


Pre heat oven to 375. Place squash, carrots and onion on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary. Slice the top of the heads of, wrap garlic, drizzle with olive oil and wrap the garlic with tin foil. Place the wrapped garlic onto the baking sheet with other vegetables and place in oven.

Roast until everything is fork tender.

Place vegetables into blender, add roasted garlic, milk and blend everything together until smooth. Garnish with pumpkin seeds, salt, pepper and enjoy!

Serves 6

Vanessa Ladouceur – Manager and Personal Trainer – Heavens Fitness Ltd.

Roasted Vegetables – Darn Delicious

The holidays are a time to celebrate and enjoy so keep up your workouts and enjoy the season!

Lisa Kingston – Business Manager and cooking amateur!

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