3 Tasty Winter Recipes For the Holiday Season
It’s that time of the year! For me, the month of December consists of decorating for the holidays, blasting Christmas music, spending time with loved ones (family, friends, and of course, my animals), and lots of baking. Recently, we’ve been receiving a lot of rain in California. My barn doesn’t have an indoor ring, so I’ve had quite a bit of free time on my hands. Not only am I an ambassador for The Fit Equestrian, which promotes healthy eating, but my family also owns natural food stores and my mom has written multiple cookbooks. Since I’m always aiming to eat the best quality food possible, I decided to take advantage of this spare time and try my hand at mixing and blending in the kitchen. What better way to share these recipes than through a TFE blog post? Keep in mind that with the recipes listed, you can adjust them to fit your needs. I understand that everyone has different nutritional needs and preferences, so these ingredients are just guidelines.
Dairy-Free Eggnog - serves 2
Vegan eggnog? I, too, was a bit skeptical when I first heard of this. But, with my recent discovery of oat milk and its incredible taste when used as a dairy milk substitute, I figured I’d give this idea a shot. Turns out that it tastes amazing! Although it may not have the exact same flavor as traditional eggnog, it’s pretty darn close. It’s creamy, flavorful, and delicious. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 cups milk alternative (I highly recommend Oatly!)
- 2-3 tsp maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg, plus some for garnish
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- A pinch of salt
- A shot or two of espresso (optional)
Instructions: Combine the milk alternative, maple syrup, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt and blend these ingredients together. Share with a friend or store the remainder in the refrigerator for up to a week. For an extra boost, add some cold brew coffee (hot or cold).
Peppermint Bark - serves 12+ people
This recipe has very few ingredients, yet is a tasty treat for the holidays. It is the perfect dessert to bring for holiday parties or simply enjoy at home with family and friends. Here are the ingredients:
- Semisweet chocolate chips (8 oz)
- White chocolate chips (8 oz)
- Peppermint extract
- Crushed candy canes
Instructions: Microwave the semisweet chocolate chips for 30 second increments until melted. Pour the chocolate onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and spread evenly. Put the chocolate into the fridge or freezer until set. Next, microwave the white chocolate chips for 30- second increments until melted. Pour the white chocolate over the semisweet chocolate and spread, then sprinkle the crushed candy canes on top of the white chocolate. Place into the fridge or freezer until firm, and then cut into pieces.
Creamy Winter Soup - serves 6-8 people
One of my favorite things to do when it’s chilly outside is to have a warm bowl of soup and cozy up by the fireplace to watch a movie. This winter squash soup is incredibly delicious! Hint: it’s even better with some sour cream or toast with butter!
You’ll need the following:
- 4 cups winter squash (butternut, kabocha, buttercup)
- 3 large carrots (peeled, or scrubbed with a vegetable brush and cut into 1/2 inch rounds)
- 1 potato (peeled and cubed)
- 2 parsnips optional (peeled or brushed with a vegetable brush and cut into 1/2 inch rounds)
- 1 medium onion
- 1 clove garlic (minced or finely grated)
- 1/2 to 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp curry powder
Instructions: With a sharp knife, cut the squash in half. Scoop out the seeds. Cut 1 1/2 inch strips from stem to bottom. Lay each piece on it’s side and gently cut the skin away from the flesh. Continue until all of the strips have been trimmed. Cut each section into 1 inch pieces. Place cut squash into a bowl. Take the onion and trim away any roots from the ends. Cut in half from pole to pole. Peel away the skin until the onion is smooth underneath. Lay the onion on the cutting board with the cut side down. Cut half inch strips from the top to the bottom. Once the strips have been cut, turn the onion 90 degrees and cut strips the opposite way, making cubed pieces. Place a large pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the pot. Let it heat up for 1 minute. Add the onion and stir. Turn the heat to medium low and sauté the onion until translucent. Add the squash and curry. Stir the squash into the onions and allow to sauté for 3-5 minutes. Stir several times during this time. Now, add enough water to cover the squash by about 1 inch. Bring the water to a bowl and then add the potatoes and salt. Bring the water back up to a simmer, allowing the vegetables to cook for about 5 minutes. At this time add the carrots, do not stir, simmering a few minutes before adding the parsnips (if choosing to use them). Allow the vegetables to simmer until they are tender. At this point add the garlic and stir the vegetables in the pot, bringing the bottom vegetables up to the top. Taste the broth, adjusting the spices and salt. Turn off heat. With an immersion blender, purée the vegetables until creamy. Ladle into bowls and top with sliced avocado or a drizzle of olive oil. Side note: If you’d like to make this soup into a coconut curry vegetable soup, use 1-2 cups of coconut milk in place of some of the water and follow the directions as listed.
I hope you have a happy holiday season and enjoy the recipes!
- TFE Ambassador Sara Someck