By Sherry Orcutt

Everyone looks forward to the Holidays! Special times with family and friends and incredible once a year holiday foods. We have traditions that all look forward to.

Is it really possible to incorporate healthier dishes during the holidays?  We do at our home and when we share our holiday with others, we always bring some healthier dishes with us.

Sometimes when people hear the word, “healthy” they automatically think it does not taste good. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

So I thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite side dishes with you to enhance your holiday table. Shhhhhh – don’t divulge ahead of time that it’s healthy!

Mom’s Cranberry Salad

One bag of cranberries, chopped in food processor. Three stalks celery, ½   cup pecans, three apples, ½  cup raisins. Chop all ingredients in a food processor

Sauce:

Two bananas,  two ripe pears, 4-8 dates, without pits. Process in a food processor for sauce and add to above ingredients. Chill.

N‘egg Nog  (Serves 8)

Two cups almonds, soaked for four hours and drained, four cups water, one cup macadamia nuts, ½ cup raw honey, one Tbsp cinnamon, one tsp. nutmeg, ¼ tsp turmeric,  two tsp. vanilla, one banana

1. Place almonds, macadamia nuts and water into blender and blend well.

2. Strain almond milk in a milk bag, returning the liquid to blender.

3. The remainder of the strained nuts may be discarded or used in another recipe.

4. Add honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, vanilla, and banana blending well.

5. Refrigerate prior to serving for a couple hours, chilled is so much better. More nutmeg may be sprinkled on top when served.

Enjoy! We hope that these will become part of your holiday tradition in your home.  We hope you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May 2013 be a happy and healthier year.

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Kelly Legg has been writing for the Osprey Observer as a freelance writer for three years, and has recently taken on the role of managing editor for the Christian Voice newspaper. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications. She currently resides in Riverview with her husband and three children.