Thanksgiving is now over and Christmas season is here. In my family, we wait until the day after Thanksgiving to start decorating. My mom says this is because my dad wouldn’t let her decorate sooner. Makes sense, but for me, it is now a tradition. Let Thanksgiving have its own turn, then we move on to celebrating Christmas.
I am so excited for decorating! This year is going to be different. It is the first time I’ve really had my own tree, in my own place, with my own stuff. I love all things natural and organic. Leaving the smallest carbon footprint as possible and lovingly taking care of nature the best I can. Along with this excitement, I realized that there are some traditions I want to makeover. Make them healthier and non food centered. Don’t get me wrong, we’re still going to be baking (grain free or gluten free with the healthiest ingredients possible) cookies and making fun (healthy) desserts for upcoming parties and to give to neighbors. However, I want traditions that will keep our waistlines, will not suppress our immune systems, or make my kids crazy and drive me up a wall. I am pleased with some of the fun ideas I came up with or found to keep Christmas special and give it a healthy makeover.
- Popcorn and Cranberry Garland. Get some string and a couple needles, a big bowl of plain popcorn, another big bowl of fresh cranberries and make beautiful garland to put around our Christmas tree. It’s fun to make and when Christmas is over, the garland goes in the trash and we get to make it all over again next year!
- Decorating Pine Cones. We have a ton of pine cones at the park. So the kids and I are going to go find the prettiest pine cones, bring them home, debug them then decorate with glitter glue and pom poms. I will take pictures of our masterpieces, then when Christmas is over, they go in the trash and we get to make new ones next year.
- Toy Drives. Buying brand new toys then giving them to kids who would not otherwise get them. The true meaning of the season is generosity and sharing what we have with those who do not have. It is very important to me that my children grow up thinking more about others and less about themselves.
- Reading Christmas Stories and Watching Christmas Movies. Snuggling under a big blanket, drinking warm apple cider, munching on orange slices and enjoying special books and movies sounds just so wonderful. The best part is there are very few dishes to wash!
- Drawing and Coloring Pictures For Christmas Cards. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love receiving a picture drawn and colored by children they love. They tell funny stories, show each child’s creativity and a fun way to, again, help children learn to think about others during this time of year.
Doesn’t all of that just sound like so much fun!!! I am super excited! I am also excited to share a grain free cookie recipe with you. I couldn’t not share a healthy cookie recipe with you after talking about them constantly.
Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 15 cookies
- 1 can garbonzo beans, drained, rinsed and patted dry with papertowel
- 1/2 cup natural almond butter ( I prefer the raw almond butter)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp aluminum free baking powder
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Line cookie sheet with parchment paper (This is important. Do NOT use foil.)
- Put everything except the chocolate chips into food processor. Blend until smooth. With a spatula or spoon, mix in chocolate chips.
- Evenly (this is very important) place dough on parchment paper. Make cookies in the size and shape you want them to be. The shape will not change. If the cookies are different sizes, you’ll have some that are under or over cooked.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes.
- Let cool and enjoy! Store in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
Have a wonderful start to your season!
Live Healthy and Whole,