Making healthy choices around holidays, parties or even in general doesn’t need to be difficult. Sometimes it’s as simple as switching out an ingredient or two in your favorite recipe. Sure, it may take a little experimentation; but it will be worth getting to enjoy some of your favorites in a healthier way!

Below we’ll list a few easy recipe swaps so you don’t have to go through the trial and error. From baking to appetizers these will help lower the overall calories of your dish and make them much more macro friendly. Keep in mind these are suggestions and it’s always best to give it a trial run with your new recipe before the serving it!


Baking for parties and holidays: Here’s a list of some swaps to give your favorite cake, cookie, or brownie a healthy spin:

  • 1 cup avocado substituted for 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup applesauce substituted for 1 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup Wheat Flour substituted for 1 cup White Flour
  • 3/4 cup honey substituted for 1 cup sugar (since honey is more of a liquid, you may need to decrease the liquid of the recipe by 1/4 cup. It is also sweeter so consider starting with less and adding more to taste.)
  • 1 banana substituted for 2 eggs
  • 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt substituted for 1 cup butter/oil
  • Cocoa nibs substituted for chocolate chips
  • Powdered peanut butter substituted for traditional peanut butter

Flexible Dieting Coaching

Recipe Idea:

Chocolate Bark: Try using dark chocolate instead of milk or while chocolate. Then swap out the caramel and chocolate bits for ingredients such as cranberries, almonds, pistachios, Himalayan sea salt, raisins, goji berries, shredded coconut, cocoa nibs. The possibilities are endless, give it a try!

Appetizers or Side Dishes:

Most side dishes or appetizers are the combination of many ingredients. This is an easy opportunity for a swap. There’s a slim chance anyone will taste a difference and it will be much healthier for everyone involved too!

  • 1 cup of Greek yogurt substituted for 1 cup sour cream
  • Spaghetti Squash substituted for noodles in pasta salad or potatoes in an au gratin
  • Cauliflower mash substituted for mashed potatoes – if you’re hesitant, try only substituting half for cauliflower.
  • Pecans and honey drizzle substituted for marshmallows as topping for sweet potatoes.
  • Cucumber slices substituted for Triscuits or Crostinis -There are so many variations you could use here. A few examples are: Fat free cream cheese and smoked salmon, Tomato/cheese/balsamic vinaigrette, Greek yogurt dill dip with tomato. The combinations are endless!!
  • Avocado & Greek yogurt substituted for egg yolks and sour cream for deviled eggs.

Recipe Idea:

Vegetable Dip: Leave the premade stuff at the store and ditch the sour cream, this time we’re using Greek yogurt. Not only will this sneak in a little protein, it’ll also save you some fats for the main course. That’s a win-win situation. Spoon desired amount of fat free Greek yogurt into serving bowl add in 1/2- 1 package or homemade dry Italian seasoning mix and stir! Try using the spices in your spice cabinet to change the taste to your liking. Easy, simple, low-fat dip perfect for cut up veggies!

Whether you count your macros or are trying to provide your body with healthier options, events can add a little extra stress in the diet department. Try not to let it. Realize what is in your control and what is not. Whatever is in your control, use it to your advantage to make YOU happy and comfortable with your decisions.

If you want to swap out ingredients for the dish YOU are making and someone doesn’t agree, that’s okay. They don’t have to try it. If you want to eat smaller portions and skip dessert, that’s alright too. What you decide to do is for YOU, not anyone else.

Just remember, by staying true to your goals and expectations not only will you be happier and feel more successful, you may inspire a family member or friend to make a change as well!

If you have any questions or would like to add anything, please feel free to comment below. We’d love to hear your thoughts! 

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