Fun food traditions don't have to be laden with toxic refined sugars and flours. The kids and I are starting new wintertime culinary rituals that are fun and full of memory-making potential. They've already made me promise that we do all of the following for winters to come. Several of these were Pinterest finds, so I'll provide the link to each of those and a little note of how our experience turned out.
black olive penguins a couple years ago and have become a wintertime staple ever since. My older kids (ages 10 and 12) help cut the carrots and our 6 and 9-year-olds can do the rest. The 2-year-old more than happily helps eat them. We give him a couple cream cheese balls and olives to play around with while the rest of us assemble them.
We even roast chestnuts on a, well, closed oven. We found a bag at Trader Joe's and have received them in our produce box before we started growing our own veggies. We loved how they looked like little presents after roasting them. Simply preheat your oven to 350º, cut a big "x" on the flat side of each one (I highly suggest adults do this part; it's tricky), and roast for 35-40 minutes. Unwrap the chestnut presents while still very warm, but not too hot to burn little hands, and enjoy a warming, buttery treat. Martha has some pretty yummy recipes for them if you have any leftover.
This simple grape-and-cheese Christmas tree with a celery trunk (and little sprigs of thyme as pretty little dividers) was an easy and tasty snack that the kids put together themselves.
We used our old hummus flower idea to make a Christmas star with hummus (here's a simple recipe) and heirloom carrots of different colors. If you haven't grown your own, Trader Joe's has bags of them available.
The most challenging snack were these snowmen. The one I made with our 6-year-old fell apart, but our crafty 9-year-old pretty much mastered it. There might have been some tears shed from disappointed little eyes after snowmen cracked and crumbled, but I think we might try them again next year.
Homemade hot (or warm) chocolate is too simple not to make! It's taste is far superior than powdered mixes, not to mention it's way healthier. We rotate between Perfectly Frothy Raw Hot Cocoa and this Mexican Hot Chocolate. When I'm really in a need for extreme chocolate, we pull out the Dairy-Free Sipping Chocolate Recipe.
Need a little something more than chocolate to sip? Indulge in this super-quick Egg(less) Nog. It's a favorite.
These Grain-Free Coconut Lace Cookies don't last long around here. Buttery+thin+crispy= cantstopwontstop.
Originally, I was shooting for a Paleo Peppermint Patty kinda thing, but I actually prefer these Paleo Bon Bons without the peppermint.
I love recipes that are naturally grain-free without having to tweak anything. These Gluten-Free Chocolate Cloud Cakes are a real show-stopper and simply delicious.
Happy festive, healthy kitchens, friends! xo