Entertaining over the holidays can often replace seasonal joy with seasonal stress.
There’s so much to plan and prepare, lots of decisions to make, and tons of time spent running from one store to another (to another) just to have everything you need. It can all really take a toll on our bodies and our minds!
That’s why I teamed up with ALDI (this post is sponsored by ALDI) this season to make my life easier AND save me money.
ALDI has everything you need this holiday season.
They have super fresh, high-quality food so you can easily put together a vibrant spread, festive decorations to make your home look merry and bright, and a huge assortment of gifts for everyone on your list – all at affordable prices.
It’s important to me – especially since I’m a Nutrition Coach – that when it comes to food, freshness and quality are priority for them.
If you’re also health-conscious, you can shop easier knowing that ALDI-exclusive items, which make up 90% of the store, are free from synthetic colors, trans fats, MSG, and artificial growth hormones.
They also have 2 product lines you’ll really love. One is called Simply Nature. All Simply Nature products are either organic or non-GMO verified, and don’t have any artificial ingredients, flavors, or colors.
The other is liveGFree. All products in this line are gluten-free and include items like pasta, bread, crackers, granola, and baked goods. It’s great if you or people you’ll be entertaining have a gluten allergy or sensitivity (like I do!). Products in this line have even earned the Good Housekeeping seal!
But let’s face it. Even if you are health-conscious, this time of year tends to fill up with so many food-focused holiday events between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. It can feel really tempting to put your health goals on hold for the season and start again come January 1st.
After all – who wants to miss out on fun festive foods that only seem to come around once a year?
But it doesn’t have to be all or nothing!
You don’t have to miss out or sacrifice taste. You don’t have to deprive yourself of delicious and flavorful foods. You can have it all, while still looking and feeling great.
The key is to be a little strategic. Find ways to re-create recipes you love, but with a healthy twist. My favorite way to do this is swapping some ingredients for those more in line with my health goals.
Whether you’re hosting or bringing an appetizer or dessert to share, these four “healthified” holiday recipe favorites will help you go from one holiday gathering to the next while still looking and feeling great (plus they can all be made gluten and dairy-free).
Crudité Charcuterie Board
[Get the recipe here]. This is a fun spin on a traditional crudité (veggies and dip) and charcuterie (meats and cheeses). Instead of all or nothing – why not have a healthy balance between both!
When building your board, include plenty of fresh produce. ALDI has a great selection of fresh and seasonal produce, and continues to expand their selection of organic produce all the time.
I also added their Emporium Selection grass-fed cheese, liveGfree gluten-free crackers, raw nuts, and saved time on making dips from scratch by getting pre-made dips – they carry six flavor variations of hummus for example!
Butternut Squash Apple Soup Shooters Appetizer
[Get the recipe here]. These showcase two delicious and seasonal produce items in a fun shooter glass.
I used Simply Nature Chicken Bone Broth, which is made by slow-simmering organic veggies, herbs and chicken bones, releasing collagen and giving the broth nine grams of protein per serving.
Taco Bites Appetizer
[Get the recipe here]. Everyone loves tacos! This is a bite-sized and much neater way to enjoy them. You can customize with any toppings you want.
Start with a bowl-shaped tortilla chip (or you can use a flat chip but it might be messier). Next, add Simply Nature Organic Grass Fed Beef mixed with Mexican seasonings. Finally, top with festive green guacamole and a red tomato.
This beef (and the broth from the soup) both received the American Masters of Taste Superior Taste Gold Medal Seal from the Chefs in America award in 2019.
Dairy-Free Cheesecake Pudding Shooters Dessert
[Get the recipe here]. Continuing with the fun shooters theme, these are the perfect easy handheld bites of sweet strawberries, creamy cheesecake, and crunchy granola.
I used liveGfree Gluten-Free Granola for a little crust-like crunch at the bottom. For the filling, I used Simply Nature organic raw cashews and Friendly Farms (another ALDI-exclusive product line) organic unsweetened almond milk in the cheesecake to make it friendly for those that don’t tolerate dairy but still want to indulge in deliciousness.
To add sweetness on top, you can make your own preserves/jelly if you want but I took a shortcut with their Simply Nature Strawberry Preserves.
Holiday Chocolate Bark Dessert
[Get the recipe here]. This is a super easy recipe that you can customize in a million ways!
You can use fresh fruit like these pomegranate seeds, dried fruit like cranberries, nuts and seeds like these pistachios or pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, crushed candy canes, crushed pretzels, have fun with it! ALDI has a huge selection of these types of products so your batch can come out different every time.
Head to your local ALDI store to stock up these ingredients, their large selection of beer, wine, and cider, and on all of your holiday entertaining essentials, including ALDI Finds.
ALDI brings in nearly 100 new ALDI Finds products every week, so be sure to pop into your local store often to check them out this holiday season. Items like these are perfect for holiday gift-giving, picking up a last-minute hostess gift, or trying trendy new festive products.
(photography by @Jessica Woodall Photography)