If you haven’t already received an inbox full of holiday party invites, they’re likely just around the corner. Between the cookie exchanges, solstice potlucks, Hanukkah gatherings, Christmas feasts, New Year’s all-nighters, and hot toddy bar crawls, there are so many ways to indulge this time of year. Last week we shared 15 tried-and-true ways to survive holiday cravings and parties, and one of the great tips from Honest friend and nutrition expert Alex McMahon of Evolve Nutritional Therapy was to bring food to share. Bringing a dish to a holiday party is a great way to ensure that you’ve got something delicious and healthy to eat, even if the rest of the table is loaded with tempting treats.
Whether you pick something up from the New Seasons deli or make a winter vegetable masterpiece from scratch, there are plenty of ways to contribute something satisfying and nourishing to any holiday feast. Here are a few of our favorite ways to bring some real food to the party:
Red and Green Deviled Eggs: Protein power! Who doesn’t love deviled eggs? Affordable, filling, and packed with protein that will keep you and your body happy all night long, deviled eggs are one of our go-to treats to bring to a party. Try topping them with chives and paprika or mix in an avocado with the filling and top with a piece of roasted bell pepper for some red-and-green fun. We also love bacon-topped deviled eggs because, well, who wouldn’t?!
Bacon-wrapped butternut squash bites: Healthy carbs, protein, and fat in one bite-sized treat? Sign us up.
Slow-cooker chicken wings five ways: From classic buffalo-style to pineapple mango to chile cilantro lime, these chicken wing recipes will make you rethink keeping your crock pot in the closet—plus you won’t have to use any oven space if you’re bringing food to a potluck.
Don’t forget dessert! Bringing your own healthy(er) holiday treats can help you go easy on the gluten and sugar bombs that may otherwise be calling. Check out these recipes for make-ahead sweets that aren’t too sweet:
1. Fruit Tree: Looks like a Christmas tree made out of strawberries, melon, kiwis, and other tasty fruits. A fun project to get the kids to help with!
2. Bundt Cake: Sweetened with maple syrup and honey, this holiday cake gets fancy with white chocolate, pistachio, and apples.
3. Coconut Macaroons: With only four ingredients, this simple gluten free dessert is made of coconut, egg whites, honey, and salt.
4. Cut-Out Cookies: If it’s not the holidays without cookie cutters and icing, this paleo-friendly, grain-free cookie recipe is a must.
5. Flourless Brownies: For those who prefer chocolate with their chocolate.
Guacamole is a crowd-pleasing starter loaded with healthy fats and, surprisingly, a large amount of fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. Grab a container of guac from your local store (or order takeout from your favorite Mexican restaurant) and dig in with a plate full of pre-cut veggies or sweet potato chips. Instant win.
Olive sampler: Did you know that Trader Joe’s has really, really tasty (and affordable) canned olives? Pick up a can of black olives, a can of green olives, and a jar of kalamata olives for a sampler that will taste fresher than any supermarket olive bar (at about a fifth of the price). Also check out international markets like World Food for affordable olives.