Happy Holidays! I don’t know what’s better this season… the trees, the lights, the parties or the smell of yummy treats coming from the kitchen!
I love the way food can bring people together. There’s a reason so many people believe the kitchen is the heart of the home. Whether you are making small talk at a party, laughing with your closest friends, or sharing a meal with your family… there is a bonding experience that happens when you share oohs and aahs around a table.
But before the Norman Rockwell moments there is often a flurry of frustration. Baking is a science and most of us aren’t scientists. Tricky recipes, Pinterest fails, and a struggle to find something that is both healthy and delicious, can make the thought a little overwhelming.
I am here to help. I’ve tried and failed more than a few recipes on the way to creating the perfect balance of ease, nutrients and taste. I’ve put together some of my best in my new kitchen helper, Healthy Holidays with Brooke Thomas.
Need a quick breakfast in the hurried weeks leading up to Christmas? Or maybe you are hosting or going to a Holiday brunch. These two recipes will do the trick.
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
- 3 1/2 cups almond flour
- 3 cups coconut palm sugar
- 1 Tbs pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
- 1 cup soft coconut oil
- 4 large eggs
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1.) Combine and stir the flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and make a well in center of mixture. Whisk together pumpkin, coconut oil and eggs; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Stir in pecans.
- 2.) Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 9 x 5 loaf pans. (sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top for an added special look)
- 3.) Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire rack, and cool completely. (about 1 hour).
- **You can also use mini-loaf pans for a smaller gift and cut your cooking in half the time.
- 3 1/2 cup Organic All Purpose Flour
- 2 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/4 Cup Turbinado Sugar
- 4 Large eggs
- 1 tsp Almond Extract
- 1/2 cup Dried Cranberries
- 1/2 cup Pistachios
- 1.) Preheat oven to 375
- 2.) In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- 3.) In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl with a hand mixer), blend together oil, sugar, eggs, and extracts.
- 4.) Gradually add flour mixture to the large bowl and mix until well blended and smooth. Add cranberries and pistachios, mix until distributed into the dough.
- 5.) Shape the dough into two logs (about 1 foot long) and place onto sheet pan lined with parchment paper far apart from one another. Press to flatten.
- 6.) Bake 25 minutes, then cool enough to handle. Slice logs on the bias, then return cookies to sheet pan and lay down on the cut side. Bake 10 minutes, turn over, bake 5-10 minutes more.
Homemade treats are a great gift idea for neighbors or teachers. This granola recipe looks great packed in a glass jar. Make a cute label (there are a lot you can print for free from the internet) and tie a pretty ribbon around it and wa-la!
- 7 cups Gluten Free Rolled oats
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 Tbs ground cinnamon
- Dash of sea salt
- 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
- 1/2 cup local honey
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Use parchment paper or a liner on a half sheet pan and make sure the sides are coated in coconut oil so the granola doesn’t stick.
- 2.) In a large bowl, combine the oates, coconut, almonds and cranberries, then add the cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
- 3.) In a small saucepan, combine the coconut palm sugar, honey and coconut oil. Cook over medium low heat until the sugar has fully dissolved. Remove from the heat, add vanilla and allow to cool slightly.
- 4.) Pour honey and oil mixture over the oat and coconut mixture. Toss to combine evenly. Pour out mixture on sheet pan. Place in oven for 10 minutes. Turn oven off and allow to sit for 2-3 hours or overnight.
- 5.) Remove from oven and break into small pieces. You can also place some of the baked granola into a re-seable plastic bag and break apart with a rolling pin.
- 6.) Store in airtight container for up to 6 months.
My Healthy Holidays Baking Guide has 14 recipes. There are appetizers and sweet treats perfect for every Holiday occasion. Going to a cookie exchange? You’ll love my new Chewy Oatmeal Raisin cookies. Need a dessert for a party? My apple coconut cobbler makes entertaining easy—the crockpot does all the hard work!
Consider it my Christmas gift for you! Just click here to download ALL OF THEM FREE.