Healthy holiday recipes everyone will love

Whether you’re attending a party or a small family gathering, it’s important to come armed to any holiday event with original and tasty options. The recipes below are meant to push you outside the box while staying relatively healthy. Dig in and enjoy!

Apple-Walnut Stuffing

Stuffing is everything. If done right, it can be the glue that holds any holiday meal together. This recipe is particularly flavorful, original and sure to leave anyone eating it wanting second or third helpings. Recipe courtesy of

• 3/4 pound mild ground pork sausage (omit for vegan or vegetarian option)
• 1 medium onion
• 2 medium apples
• 1 cup celery
• 2 large garlic cloves
• 1 cup toasted walnuts
• 1/4 cup fresh parsley
• 2 tablespoons fresh sage
• 1 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
• 12 cups assorted bread cubes
• 2½ cups low-sodium turkey, chicken or vegetarian broth
• 1/4 cup melted butter
• fresh parsley to top

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Saute sausage and onion in a large skillet over medium heat six minutes or until sausage is no longer pink. Add apples and next two ingredients; saute five more minutes or until apples are tender. Stir in walnuts and next five ingredients. Transfer to a large bowl, and let cool 10 minutes.

Fold in bread and broth until well blended. Spoon into a well-greased, three-quart or 13- by 9-inch baking pan. Brush top generously with butter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 50 minutes or until top is crusty and brown. Garnish, if desired.

Apple Spice Cake

Since pumpkin and apple pies are the usual go-to holiday dessert, why not try making something new? This Apple Spice Cake has that amazing holiday feel with a kick you won’t be able to resist. Recipe courtesy of

• 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
• 1/3 cup fat-free cream cheese, softened (use vegan cream cheese for vegan or vegetarian option)
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 large eggs (use egg substitute for vegetarian/vegan option)
• 1½ cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 cup low-fat buttermilk (use almond, coconut or other substitute for vegan or vegetarian option)
• 1 cup chopped and peeled apple
• 2 tablespoon brandy (optional)
• Cooking spray
• 2 teaspoons powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the first four ingredients in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about three minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and the next five ingredients (flour through nutmeg), stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat well after each addition. Stir in the apple and brandy, if desired. Spoon mixture into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Hot Buttered Rum

This will for sure be a party favorite. It’s tasty, cozy and will give you that jolly holiday buzz. Be warned, this recipe makes a hefty quantity, so be prepared to share. Cheers! Recipe courtesy of

• 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1/4 cup honey
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
• Pinch salt
• 3/4 cup spiced rum
• 2 cups boiling water
• 4 sticks cinnamon, for garnish

Using an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar, butter, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt in a medium bowl until blended and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a four-cup (or larger) measuring cup. Add the rum and then two cups of boiling water. Stir until the butter mixture dissolves. Divide the buttered rum among four mugs. Garnish with the cinnamon sticks and serve.