Raise your hand if you've ever had to change into pants with an elastic waistband mid-meal. I did this as recently as Thanksgiving, and sometimes it's worth it, but other times, over-indulging just results in bloating and exhaustion, especially if you've been snacking all day long. This conundrum presents itself even more during the holidays. It's hard to stay healthy this time of year when rich treats call your name everywhere you look. But it's easier if you have an arsenal of healthy holiday snack recipes, which is why we gathered 15 alternative recipes for healthy holiday snacks that taste good and make you feel even better.
Click through the yummy, seasonally on-point snacks for you and your guests to devour over the holidays below.
Here's a healthy recipe from Pickled Plum that's super fun to make and might even double as a stress-reliever (just in time for the holidays) because you get to smack a cucumber with a large kitchen knife. Smacking the vegetable lets the tangy chili marinade soak in fully.
A healthy snack that's both magazine-worthy and drool-worthy? This roasted carrot and chickpea harissa dip from The First Mess hits the jackpot. And as if the vivid orange hue weren't pretty enough on its own, the parsley and pomegranate seed toppings make it look like a work of art (and add a nice crunch to each bite).
As we mentioned, one of the best holiday traditions is making cookies with friends and family. Here's a healthier alternative from Food Faith Fitness that yields gluten-free chocolate chip peppermint sugar cookies. Festive and delicious.
When you're craving something savory to snack on, homemade popcorn is a great way to go. Instead of using the microwavable version that's often coated with harmful chemicals, you can decide what ingredients to use and how much. This popcorn recipe from Melanie Makes calls for parmesan and bacon, but if you want to keep things lighter, you might want to opt out of the latter.
Get your protein fix with these spicy kaffir lime peanuts. Whether you're looking for something to keep the kids satisfied between meals or you want to create an at-home bar snack for guests that won't ruin their appetite before the main act, this recipe from Salt and Wind will do the trick.
This recipe from Half Baked Harvest is the homemade version of blueberry Nutrigrain bars. If granola bars don't really do it for you but you want to munch on something convenient and healthy, you'll probably love these fruit-packed snacks.
High in fiber and protein and super fun to eat, edamame is about to become your healthy go-to snack if it isn't already. Though they taste great on their own or with a dash of low-sodium soy sauce, this recipe from Pickled Plum makes them even better by toasting them and then dousing them with sesame oil and soy sauce.
When it comes to healthy holiday appetizer recipes that will impress a crowd, look no further. Filled with chicken and mushrooms, these little holiday purses from Root and Revel are delicious and impressive.
This vegan and gluten-free recipe from Minimalist Baker gives the childhood classic PB&J sandwich a serious upgrade. These bars are made with an oatmeal crust, strawberry jam, and peanut butter, making them sort of like a personal pie, only less dessert-like.
If you feel like getting more ambitious in the kitchen and want to add a healthier appetizer to the holiday party lineup, ceviche is your friend. Follow this recipe from Salt and Wind for some chili lime marinated shrimp.
When you want vegetables to look more fun than their reputation makes them out to be, it's all about coming up with creative ways to present them. Arrange your veggie platters in the shape of holiday items and traditions like these examples from Chelsea's Messy Apron.
Though this snack is packed with a lot of sugar, it's a healthier alternative to other decadent desserts. Plus, it looks way too delicious to pass up. Brought to us by Carlsbad Cravings, this recipe will walk you through grilling and caramelizing some succulent pineapple skewers.
Here's another healthier cookie recipe from Food Faith Fitness. If you're looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth but want something a bit simpler, try these whipped gluten-free shortbread cookies.
Who says you can't have your tater tots and eat them too? Instead of using a carb-rich food like potatoes, consider using a different vegetable. This recipe from Pickled Plum calls for broccoli. Wow. Just wow.
You can whip these lemon chia chews from Salt and Wind in just about 25 minutes, and they look like festive winter snowballs, making them the quickest and healthiest holiday snack around. They're vegan, gluten-free, and packed with superfoods.